More than 100 referrals were made to the University of Maryland’s Office of Student Conduct for noncompliance with COVID-19 rules between the first day of the spring semester through the end of February, according to information provided by a university spokesperson.
Out of these cases, 16 have resulted in sanctions, according to a university statement from spokesperson Natifia Mullings.
In response to a COVID-19 surge on the campus, the university implemented a weeklong sequester-in-place order in late February. When they lifted the order on Feb. 27, university President Darryll Pines and health center director Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos announced that about 600 referrals had been made to the student conduct office for potential COVID-19 violations since the start of the fall semester.
Some students caught in violation of the code of conduct lost housing privileges, the email read. At that point, the university has also issued more than 30 interim suspensions.
College Park has also stepped up its compliance activities in “collaboration with the university,” according to the email, resulting in more than 250 warnings and municipal infractions for noise and gathering limit violations and more than $35,000 in fines.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been very clear with our campus community that we all maintain a collective responsibility in keeping our community healthy and safe,” read the university statement provided by Mullings. “We have reminded our community that failure to comply with university expectations and public health mandates puts the health of others at risk and cannot be tolerated.”
According to the university statement, students found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct — which includes coronavirus compliance rules — will face consequences ranging from reprimands to suspensions and expulsions.
During the fall semester, the university issued 19 interim suspensions in one night for alleged coronavirus violations. However, as of the following evening, at least 10 of those suspensions had been lifted, students involved told The Diamondback.
Nine of those lifted suspensions were issued to students who tested positive for COVID-19 but chose to isolate in their apartments instead of going home or isolating in university housing, students told The Diamondback. The other suspension was issued to a student who tested negative for the virus but lived with one of the students who tested positive, students said.
Last semester, the university received 196 reports of noncompliance with COVID-19 guidelines. As of Nov. 25, about 150 students had been referred to the student conduct office for visiting the campus while in noncompliance with COVID-19 testing requirements.