August 21, 2020 - COVID-19 Off Campus Gatherings and Consequences
Based on the current COVID-19 public health crisis, this serves to inform you of an update to the COVID-19 Student Expectations rules, relating to gatherings both on and off-campus.
As a result of serious concerns communicated to local colleges and universities by Allegheny County government officials and the Allegheny County Health Department regarding off-campus programs and social gatherings involving students, which pose a hazard to safety, the following policy update is effective immediately, through January 1, 2021. This policy will be reevaluated for the Spring semester.
Effective immediately, there is a ban on all off-campus programs and social gatherings. This includes all off-campus residents living independently apart from their families. All social interaction in off-campus housing may only include housemates and family members. Housemates and family members occupying the same living space will be considered a POD. PODs create a limited social group for safety purposes. Members must limit their interactions to those with whom they share their house or apartment. All other social gatherings are prohibited and constitute a violation of the COVID-19 policies for students.
University officials understand that this policy will impact the social lives of our students. However, students must recognize the necessity of preventive measures for what we hope will be a short-term inconvenience that will ultimately serve the greater good of keeping themselves and others safe and healthy within the University community and the larger community of Pittsburgh.
The University will investigate all possible violations of this ban. If found responsible, the following sanctions will be issued for off campus residents as well as any identified Duquesne student found attending an event:
- First Offense - Probation for up to one year and offenders will be prohibited from the University Campus. (All coursework will be completed only remotely and the offenders will be restricted from all University activities).
- Second Offense - Suspension from the University.
Any registered student organization, including Greek Life and professional organizations, found responsible for violating the ban are additionally subject to immediate suspension of the organization.
Similarly, any violation of the visitation policy established for the Residence Halls pursuant to the COVID-19 rules will be subject to the same sanctions as listed above for individual students.
Any on-campus violations of the COVID-19 Student Expectations rules regarding wearing a face covering and social distancing will result in an assignment regarding the crucial importance of such rules and an official warning that the next incident of non-compliance will result in being prohibited from campus and completing courses remotely.
Please know that the University shares the serious COVID-19 concerns as expressed by Allegheny County officials and the Allegheny County Health Department relating to university campuses and the surrounding neighborhoods. The University administration is doing everything possible to provide a productive and safe experience for our students, faculty and staff. However, our efforts rely in a large part on students taking personal responsibility regarding social distancing and safety precautions, which include avoiding parties and inappropriate social gatherings both on and off campus.
We can make this work if every student does his or her part. Thank you in advance for taking these rules seriously and for encouraging your friends and classmates to do the same, so that we can remain on campus this semester in a safe and healthy way!