University dismisses 11 students who gathered in same room amid COVID-19 pandemic

BOSTON -- Northeastern University said Friday it has dismissed 11 freshman students for the fall semester for violating campus social distancing guidelines after they were discovered in the same hotel room.

The students were given 24 hours to leave the Boston campus and were ordered to undergo COVID-19 tests, the university said in a statement. It said any who test positive would be moved into isolated wellness housing rather than sent home, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Northeastern said the 11 people, whose names were not released, were part of an international experience for first-year students. It said they were among more than 800 students housed in two-person rooms at the Westin Hotel not far from the main campus.

"Northeastern and its community of students, faculty and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously," said Madeleine Estabrook, the university's senior vice chancellor for student affairs. "Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential."

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The university said students in the program had been formally notified multiple times over the past week that they needed to practice physical distancing, avoid crowds and wear masks when around others.

Staff members discovered the 11 jammed into the hotel room Wednesday night, officials said. They said the students would not be reimbursed for tuition and fees for the fall semester.
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