Northeastern University Is Ready for Students; Safety Measures in Place for On- and Off-Campus Students

Northeastern University has been working these past few months diligently to prepare our campuses, including our classrooms and residence halls, for the arrival of our students. Every aspect of our planning has been done with the health and wellbeing of our community in mind, including testing every member of our community for COVID-19 and reconfiguring indoor and outdoor spaces on campus to reduce density and maintain healthy distancing. Wearing face masks is mandatory. Nonetheless, as college students prepare to move back to the Boston area in the next few weeks, we understand that neighbors are growing increasingly worried about students living in private accommodation off-campus. We want to assure you that the testing protocols, contact tracing, and agreement to COVID-19 Health Commitments & Expectations as a condition of being a member of the Northeastern community apply to students living both on- campus and off-campus. As of August 26, the university had completed 14,595 tests, with 14,588 negative results and 7 positive results. An online dashboard is updated daily with the latest results from Northeastern’s Life Sciences Testing Center, a new, state-of-the-art laboratory on the university’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Every member of the Northeastern community is required to submit the university’s Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation form as a prerequisite to returning to campus. The attestation form must be complete before students return to Boston. These Expectations are also summarized in this Fall 2020 Expectations video.

“Protect the Pack” is Northeastern University’s new mantra for encouraging healthy behaviors throughout the university community. A public health campaign titled the same is in operation on the university’s campuses and across its digital platforms. The campaign is informed by the notion that staying healthy is a group effort that will require everyone to do their part. Fostering a community culture of mask-wearing, physical distancing, and personal hygiene is essential, and that requires putting faith in students. ‘Health Husky Leaders’ and Community Ambassadors to help those students understand best practices for interacting with peers on or off-campus. These students will serve as community ambassadors, and they will be supported by University officials to monitor for social distancing and mask compliance this fall. ‘Health Husky Leaders’ will help ease the burden on University and City police officers to respond to coronavirus rule- breakers.

Students, both on campus and in neighboring communities, who fail to meet these health expectations and commitments, will face swift and severe sanctions. On August 22, 2020, Madeleine Estabrook, Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, issued a letter to students concerning unsafe behavior. Students were reminded that being a member of the Northeastern community is a privilege. It comes with an understanding that student conduct mirrors Northeastern University’s respect for and adherence to standards for the common good. As indicated in the enrollment information available to students via Northeastern University’s Terms of Admissions, Northeastern University reserves the right to rescind students’ offer of admission if they engage in conduct that is inconsistent with Northeastern’s mission or its expectations of admitted students. On August 28, a further letter was sent to all Northeastern University students warning them that any student who host or attend an unsafe (no masks and without healthy distancing) gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus can expect suspension.

If you see members of the Northeastern community not respecting the guidelines outlined, please report the behavior. The more information you can provide, the better able we are to follow up with appropriate consequences. Northeastern has established a confidential tip line for reporting off-campus behavior that does not follow health and safety guidelines. Members of the Northeastern community and our Neighbors can report student non-compliance with University COVID-19 Protocols and Expectations by calling 617-373-TIPS (7477), 24 hours a day. If there are cases of late-night parties or large gatherings, please call 911, so the incident is documented with local law enforcement and then contact the Northeastern Tipline. You can also fill out an Incident Report with Northeastern. Please give as much information as possible, including supporting documentation such as pictures or videos. To succeed, we have to work together.

We will not be taking these incidents lightly, and there will be consequences for students breaking their code of conduct. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or 617-373-5810.

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