Sunday, September 20, 2020

Crazy and Contemptible College Coronavirus Rules: Online-Only Student Who Is Never on Campus Suspended for Attending a Party

By Adam Dick - September 20, 2020 at 04:23PM

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So you want to avoid the mask mandates, long lists of grim rules, administrators demanding strict adherence to these rules, and prison-like conditions that have become the norm at many university campuses in the name of countering coronavirus? You may choose to be an online-only student and stay away from your university’s campus and the repression that you would find there. It sounds like a good idea. But, this plan may not always work. The repression may find you off campus as well.

The long arm of crazy and contemptible college coronavirus rules can be very long. Indeed, New York University has suspended indefinitely, and is threatening to take away the full-tuition scholarship of, an online-only NYU student who had no plans to be on the NYU campus. The university’s actions are based on its reviewing video of the student attending a party off-campus.

Robby Soave lays out in a Thursday Reason article the predicament of the unfortunate student:
It was a gorgeous August weekend in New York City, and Andy—a college senior at New York University (NYU)—decided to attend a rooftop social gathering with his roommates.

The party was consistent with New York City's Phase 4 COVID-19 guidelines, which allow events of up to 50 people. Many attendees went mask-less, but Andy says he didn't stand in close proximity to anyone other than his roommates—who are also students—and they left after a short while.

But unbeknownst to Andy—whose name has been changed for this article to protect his privacy—someone at the party posted a video of the event on social media. Andy never saw this video, but he knows that he was visible in it. The video was reported to NYU administrators via the university's COVID-19 compliance system. On Sunday, August 23—a day after the party—NYU Director of Student Conduct Craig Jolley sent an email to Andy accusing him of "threatening the health and safety of the NYU Community." By 5:00 p.m. on Monday, NYU had suspended him indefinitely: To return to campus in 2021, Andy will need to write a reflection paper and beg for readmission. Resuming his education might be impossible, anyway, since he relies on a full-tuition scholarship that is now threatened by his disciplinary status.

Andy thinks NYU treated him unfairly. It's hard to disagree. Importantly, he didn't actually put anyone on campus in danger, because he had no plans to set foot on NYU property: He lives off campus, and all his classes were online.

"I am not a student who will be staying at or near NYU housing, nor will I be entering Campus Grounds or NYU buildings as I am currently enrolled in all online courses," Andy wrote in his appeal of the decision.

The appeal was rejected.
Continue reading Soave’s article here.

Watch out for Big Brother universities that seek to see and control all, both on and off campus.

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