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Revised Sanctioning for COVID Related Violations

As announced on February 25, 2021, we are at a critical moment in stemming the spread of COVID-19, and the increasing number of variants, in our own community, in large part due to apparent lapses in following the Green and Gold Promise. As a result, to enable us all to remain on campus and offer an in-person semester, alleged violations of the Green and Gold Promise related to student gatherings, failure to social distance, refusal to wear a mask, and other behaviors that pose a heightened health and safety risk will be reviewed for suspension.  This sanction is not automatic, and when mitigating circumstances warrant, sanctions may include restricted access to campus and a shift to remote engagement (subject to course modality), a fine, probation, appropriate reflection exercises, and/or parental and academic unit notifications. Students will be provided notice of the allegations in advance of a hearing, have an opportunity to share their side of the incident during the hearing, and, after a decision, students may avail themselves of a formal appeal process.

Specific to COVID-19 testing, as of March 1, students are now required to test twice weekly, three days apart until March 13. Students receive notifications and reminders related to testing requirements. Sanctions for a first missed test will result in a $250 fine and a probationary status with the Center for Student Conduct through the duration of the pandemic. A second missed test, or failure to test after the initial notice, will result in a review for suspension through the hearing process detailed in the Code of Student Conduct. First missed test sanctions are administratively imposed, without a hearing, and subject to appeal.

Now is not the time to let our defenses down but rather to recommit even more strongly to our shared goal of another successful semester. The risks presented at this time are incredibly high.

Our Collective Obligation

We understand that participating with the campus community is going to look different for a while and that this will have a resulting impact on your student experience. We are nothing but appreciative of all the sacrifices you are willing to make that will allow us to live and learn together as we stay committed to keeping outbreak numbers in Vermont as low as possible.

The Green and Gold Promise clearly articulates the expectations that UVM has for you as we intend to remain compliant with all COVID-19 recommendations from the federal CDC, the State of Vermont, and the City of Burlington. Please take the time to review this promise that you've signed.

The Center for Student Conduct is tasked with resolving any reports of undergraduate or graduate student behavior that may be in violation of the expectations stated within the Green and Gold Promise. We will respond to reports for behavior documented both on and off campus.

The Larner College of Medicine Office of Medical Student Education (OMSE) is tasked with resolving any reports of medical student behavior that may be in violation of the expectations stated within the Green and Gold Promise. OMSE will respond to reports for behavior documented both on and off campus. Conduct implications for violations of the Green and Gold Promise for medical students are provided in the Medical Student Handbook.

Behaviors of Concern

The Code of Student Conduct [PDF]  outlines policies that potentially relate to violations of the Green and Gold Promise. Most notably:

c. Public Order/University Order Offenses:

  1. Creating a fire, safety, or health hazard.
  2. Impeding or obstructing an investigation, or failing to identify oneself or to
    comply with the directions of University officials, their authorized agents, or
    local police agencies
    acting in the performance and scope of their duties.

Additionally, behavior that directly impacts the health or safety of another person (e.g. deliberate coughing or spitting in the direction of another) will likely intersect with the Code in a more severe manner:

2. Prohibited Acts

    a. Offenses Against Persons: Any conduct or action that

  1. causes physical harm or endangers the health or safety of any person; or
  2. places another person in reasonable apprehension of physical harm or danger
    to their health or safety or to the health or safety of another, including through
    written or verbal conduct or implied threats.

Reporting Concerning Behavior

We all have a shared obligation for upholding the expectations of the Green and Gold Promise. If you're not comfortable, in the moment, with interrupting behavior you feel places you or our community in jeopardy, please contact UVM Police or Residential Life staff.

If you wish to report an incident yourself, you may submit an online incident report directly to the Center for Student Conduct. Please realize that your report, including your name, will become available to the respondent during any resulting conduct hearing.

Submit an Online Incident Report

Possible Sanctions for Violations

The Center for Student Conduct will administratively impose sanctions, without a hearing, for initial cases where students have failed to take any required COVID-19 test. A second offense (or failure to test after the initial notice) will result in review for immediate suspension through the hearing process detailed in the Code of Student Conduct.

In all cases where violations of the Green and Gold Promise are alleged, not just those related to missed tests, administrative actions may be imposed to address the significant health and safety concerns raised by those alleged violations, including restricting access to campus.  The Center for Student Conduct is a designee of the Dean of Students when imposing administrative actions.

A shortened appeal window will apply to all violations of the Green and Gold Promise.

Please note that, in compliance with the February 25, 2021 memo, all violations of the Green and Gold Promise, except for a first missed test, will be reviewed for suspension by the Center for Student Conduct. This is true for what were formerly considered either egregious or non-egregious violations.

 

  • Image of a safety reminder sign on the exterior door to the Davis Center

    Anticipated Questions

    How will I know if I've been documented for a Green and Gold Promise violation?

    Ideally, the person making contact with you regarding concerning behavior (Residential Life staff, Faculty/Staff, UVM Police, Burlington Police) will inform you that a report will be submitted to the Center for Student Conduct. Please realize that anyone can submit a report to our office. Our goal is to notify you of any resulting charges within 24 hours of our receipt of the report (note that it may take a few days from the time of the incident for a report to reach our office).

    What will a hearing be like?

    The Center for Student Conduct reviews all reports submitted to our office. If the report reviewer determines that documented behavior (if ultimately deemed to be accurate) would violate any UVM policies we will notify you of your scheduled hearing via your UVM e-mail account. The hearing is your opportunity to review all documentation, provide any testimony you feel to be relevant while responding to the alleged violations, and to discuss  your perspective of the incident with a hearing officer. Please review our tips on how to best prepare for your hearing.

    Why is the Center for Student Conduct responding to reports documenting off-campus behavior?

    As articulated within the Applicability of the Policy section of The Code of Student Conduct [PDF], the Code "applies ...  to off-campus conduct when it is reasonably perceived to pose a significant risk to the safety of the campus community or of disruption to the programs of the University, [or] an imminent threat of harm to the safety of the student or others ..." Given the concerns pertaining to the pervasive spread of the COVID-19 virus and the ease by which off-campus behavior could so quickly impact on-campus students and the immediately surrounding community, we will respond to any concerning behavior reported to our office, even off-campus behavior.

    Am I required to wear a mask outdoors?

    Yes. The expectations articulated within the Green and Gold Promise clearly articulate this requirement.

    If I quickly respond to a request to wear my mask, could I still be charged with a violation?

    Yes. The response to violations intends to be very consistent and without exception. We are living in the most densely populated region within a state that has been very committed to keeping infection rates as low as possible. Many within the surrounding community have valid concerns for the sudden and significant influx in population that returning UVM students bring to the region. We have a collective obligation for acknowledging and responding to those concerns. Please commit to keeping your social gatherings as small as possible. Please become very practiced at always wearing your mask and returning to the wearing of your mask immediately after eating or drinking.