Get these 6 student back on campus
Get these 6 student back on campus
Dear Mount students, staff and faculty ,
On September 25th, six students from the College of Mount Saint Vincent were having what was considered “a gathering”. One student posted on social media, two five second videos of this “gathering”. The College acted immediately and suspended these six students for the remainder of the fall semester. Therefore, these students were found guilty without the benefit of an investigation. The reasoning behind the suspension pertains to the students hanging out in a dorm room without a proper face covering and social distancing measures. Regardless, these students have been in close contact before their suspension, including eating with each other, doing extracurricular activities, and residing in the same residence hall with one another.
One out of the six students resided in a different residence hall, but was a part of the “germ bubble” or the group of people that were trusted without their face covering.
College policies were vague and not clear and they were not being enforced by the college officials and the other staff on campus. The students were told many different rules by authority that all conflicted with the college policies.
The College NEVER disclosed to the student body it would have to observe the college’s vague and differing policies while students were in their own rooms. The policies stated that they ONLY applied to students in public locations.
The College’s Mission Statement states, in part: “In the spirit of Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton, we foster an understanding of our common humanity, a commitment to human dignity, and a full appreciation of our obligations to each other.” How can this be taken seriously if the Administration DID NOT INVESTIGATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES and proceeded to disregard these students’ privacy by sending an email to the entire student body informing them of the suspension even before ANY appeal process took place.
After waiting a week without going to classes for the appeal to go through, it was ultimately decided that these students were denied acceptance back on college grounds for the entire fall semester. This was done without informing their respective faculty who proceeded to contact these students to ask them why they were not attending class. The Administration believed that it was proper to send an email blast to the student body announcing these students’ guilt prior to investigation, but left them in academic peril by not contacting the faculty? Is this the way the Administration believes is best in seeking the development of the whole person?
That Friday, the students decided to have an intimate gathering in their room. As the students received their sanction, they were told by the Assistant Dean that they didn't “comply with college safety protocols and put our campus community at risk.” Nevertheless, the College didn’t find it necessary to test students for the virus prior to moving on campus, but instead prefers students to take only a mandated daily survey before entering campus or leaving their designated residence hall.
The College’s failure to take the necessary precautions such as testing negative for the virus puts the community of the college students' health at risk. Yet the College believes that it is acting properly by doling out SEVERE PUNISHMENT WITHOUT INVESTIGATION?
Although these students knew they were no harm to the community, these six students in particular went out of their way to get tested for the virus, all of whom received negative results, but are still being reprimanded for “putting the campus community at risk.”
The PUNISHMENT DOES NOT FIT THE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS CASE! These students are being denied their education, will not graduate with the rest of their classmates on time, and will have to pay for another semester at the college. On the other hand, the sanctions that the individuals received for a gathering of only 6 students is harsher punishment based on the size of the group compared to other incidents in other institutions in the United States. Colleges across the U.S are suspending students who have been seen in a group gathering larger than 20, while other schools such as Montclair State University and SUNY Plattsburgh have been suspending students for only 2 weeks to allow the quarantine mandate.
These are uncertain times. Neither Administrators nor students have lived through a pandemic like this before. The students know that what they did was wrong in retrospect. However, do the SANCTIONS doled out before an investigation and the breach of the students’ privacy by the College’s email blast rationale?
As role models and seniors of the community, the decision to suspend these students should have been heavily influenced by their leadership positions, their relationship with prospective major departments and faculty and administrative work not only as students, but as student workers. None of these six students are on academic probation and they all received “Dean’s List” in their past semesters. These students care about their education and are passionate about the CMSV community. They made an honest mistake. But so did the Administration.
In these confusing and difficult times everyone makes mistakes. Please be mindful that these sanctions handed down to these students were given in spite of the fact that this was each of their first infractions throughout their college career. This petition alongside their commitment to finish off the semester and graduate on time are the only factors that can get these students back on campus. Please help us to right these wrongs and sign this petition, so these students can pursue their professional careers that they have worked so hard and for so long to pursue. Remember “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37