CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - The fall semester only just began, but 25 college students in St. Lawrence County have have already been sent home.
Officials at Clarkson and St. Lawrence universities said the students violated the rules that were set up to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At Clarkson, officials said 14 students committed “grievous violations” of the code each student signs called the “Clarkson Commitment.”
The code outlines the rules “that are in place to protect the University and greater Potsdam community during a global pandemic.”
A Clarkson official said not only were some students not following the rules, they apparently had no intention of ever doing so.
“They just demonstrated they were not going to be willing to continue the semester consistent with those provisions in place to protect the university and the greater Potsdam community,” said Clarkson spokesperson Kelly Chezum.
St. Lawrence University sent 11 students home for violating COVID-19 rules.
“We have required more than ten students to move back home and study remotely for the rest of the semester due to Laurentian Pact infractions,” an SLU spokesperson said in an email. “We have received several rules violations reports thanks to our diligent campus and local community members, and every person has gone through our full COVID-19 conduct process.”
The students at St. Lawrence and Clarkson remain enrolled but must study on-line and off-campus. It’s not all that surprising to students attending area colleges.
“I was honestly a little bit shocked at first, but in a way not surprised just because it has been a crazy time,” said
Hannah Priest, a SUNY Potsdam junior.
At SUNY Potsdam, there have been warnings so far, but no disciplinary action. Officials are hoping what’s happening at Clarkson, SLU and other schools can serve as a warning.
“I think as students hear about those things and see those things, they’ll re-examine their own behavior and hopefully make good choices,” said Patrick Meldrim, SUNY Potsdam director student conduct and community standards.
Many of the reports about student misbehavior are coming from students themselves. And there’s another way it can come to light.
People living in college towns also play a role in enforcement. Colleges have established ways for citizens to complain if they think students are violating COVID-19 protocols.
People can use email to report what might be COVID-19 protocol violations for Clarkson, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.
St. Lawrence University and and SUNY Canton maintain a web portal for complaints.
To inform colleges of COVID-19 concerns:
SUNY Potsdam: email@example.com
SUNY Canton: firstname.lastname@example.org