Increased undergraduate enforcement of COVID-19 safety guidelines
September 2, 2020 1:02 PM
Recent unacceptable behavior by a small number of students has resulted in some concerning increases in undergraduate COVID-19 positive cases. Real-time data from our Shield testing program allowed us to quickly detect this rapidly emerging trend and gives us the opportunity to act quickly to break that cycle.
For two weeks, starting now, we are intensifying our efforts to identify and swiftly remove those individuals who have created this unacceptable risk for our campus and community and who have undermined your hard work to stay together. Students who continue to violate our safety policies, who fail to comply with directions from our public health officials and who engage in unsafe activities that risk spreading the virus will be asked to leave this university.
Also, starting today at 5 p.m., for the next two weeks for their own protection, we expect all undergraduate students to limit their in-person interactions to only the most essential activities. These include things like taking twice weekly COVID-19 tests, attending class, purchasing groceries and food, going to work, engaging in individual outdoor activity, attending religious services and seeking medical attention.
We have seen the majority of our students respond voluntarily and positively this semester and we expect these temporary restrictions to be adopted. Fortunately, our Shield testing program identified this trend early, and there is no evidence of any spread from students to instructors or to the broader local community.
The full massmail we will send to undergraduate students in a few minutes is included below with details about what we expect them to do and more information about our increased focus on compliance and enforcement.
These actions will repair much of the damage a few irresponsible students have caused, and this should flatten the curve.
But, if this approach does not successfully reverse this upward trend, we will move quickly and decisively to transition the rest of the semester to fully remote instruction.
The choices of our students in the next two weeks will determine the rest of our semester.
Robert J. Jones
Andreas C. Cangellaris
Danita M. B. Young
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
* From the letter…
Real-time data from our Shield testing program allowed us to quickly detect a rapidly emerging increase in positive cases that will force us to return to fully remote instruction for the rest of the semester if we do not take immediate action to break the cycle.
• Some students have ignored the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) directives to isolate or quarantine, choosing to go out even knowing they are positive for the virus.
• Some students who have tested positive are actively avoiding our contact tracers and some have repeatedly returned to testing facilities attempting to “test out” of their positive status, which is not permissible under CUPHD protocols.
• Some students have made active efforts to circumvent the Safer Illinois app.
• Over the weekend, we received 11 complaints about large gatherings inside fraternities and private houses.
• Over the weekend, we responded to more than 100 party-related calls.
* Some disciplinary measures taken so far…
• A student was issued an interim suspension for hosting a large party at his apartment on Friday.
• Another student was issued an interim suspension for violation of a quarantine order on Saturday.
• A student who posted a video on social media attempting to show people how to circumvent the Safer Illinois app is facing discipline.
• The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity has been placed on interim suspension after another large party this weekend.
• Approximately 100 additional students and organizations are facing disciplinary action for their behavior over the weekend.
…Adding… This is why I labeled this “completely predictable behavior.” From July…
Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students