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Six individual students, 4 campus organizations suspended due to COVID-19 policy violations

<p>From a reporting hotline to student influencers, Duke has put a variety of measures in place to encourage safe behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p>

From a reporting hotline to student influencers, Duke has put a variety of measures in place to encourage safe behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four campus organizations have been placed on suspension since Aug. 7, and six individual students have received “interim suspensions for “flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact pending an administrative hearing, including for hosting gatherings and failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students,” Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, and Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education, wrote in a Friday email to undergraduates. 

The email does not say which organizations were placed on suspension. 

As a result of COVID-19 violations, "some students have lost their right to remain on campus and must work remotely for the remainder of the semester. Some also face charges that could result in their suspension or permanent expulsion from Duke,” McMahon and Bennett wrote in the email, which also included updated numbers for less-significant violations of the Compact. 

Nine cases of flagrant violations are pending review, according to the email. Additionally, there have been 21 Administrative Action hearings for individuals and groups, with results including suspension of activities and loss of campus privileges.

McMahon and Bennett also wrote that some students have “disrupted local communities by hosting off-campus gatherings in apartments or rented properties” and that students might face disciplinary action if they host or attend such events. 

In total, 293 students have been referred for “educational interventions” for smaller-scale violations of the Duke Compact, the email stated. These will not be on the students’ permanent disciplinary records.

The Office of Student Conduct or Housing and Residence Life have imposed sanctions in 104 cases, and these sanctions will go on a student’s conduct record and may be reportable to future employers or graduate schools.

“We don’t want students to spread the virus to one another, to staff, faculty, or members of our Durham Community. We don’t want you to lose the opportunities for which you’ve worked so hard,” McMahon and Bennett wrote. 

Noting a recent increase in COVID-19 transmission rates “globally, nationally and here in the Durham area,” McMahon and Bennett congratulated undergraduates on their efforts to comply with the Duke Compact and take health and safety precautions on campus. 

“We are likely to see some additional cases in our own community, but we are collectively working to keep those to a minimum,” they wrote. 

Duke recorded only six positive student COVID-19 tests between Sept. 19 and 25, out of more than 12,000 tests on students. 

“We are proud of your leadership as students, we know you share our gratitude for the efforts of our extraordinary faculty and staff,” McMahon and Bennett wrote.

This is a developing story and will be updated if new information becomes available. 

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