11 freshmen at Northeastern were dismissed for violating COVID-19 rules. Their $35,000 tuition won't be reimbursed.

Northeastern university
Northeastern University dorm West Village E Hall is being prepped to use for emergency housing in Boston on April 9, 2020.
  • A group of Northeastern students was dismissed for violating the university's coronavirus rules after they were reportedly caught gathered in a room without wearing masks or socially distancing.

  • Tuition and room fees for the 11 students won't be reimbursed.

  • The students also won't be able to take their courses online but are eligible to return to school in the spring.

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Eleven first-year Northeastern students were dismissed for violating the university's coronavirus rules after reportedly being caught without wearing masks or socially distancing when gathered in a room.

"The students have been informed that they are no longer part of the Northeastern community for the fall semester. They have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing," a statement on the university's website read.

The statement added that the students would have to take a coronavirus test before they leave. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, those who test positive will have to stay in "wellness housing" on campus until they recover.

Related: 15 college students on how COVID-19 derailed their lives

"Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously," said Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern. "Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those people who do not follow the guidelines — including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing your hands, and getting tested — are putting everyone else at risk."

The 11 students were found in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston on Wednesday. The Boston Globe reported that the Westin Hotel was being used as a temporary dormitory this semester and each room is meant for two people.

Program staff found the students when they were making rounds in the hotel. It is not yet clear why the students were gathered in the room.

The students were part of a special one-semester program for first-year students and according to Globe, the prepaid $36,500 cost for the semester won't be refunded. Students won't be able to take courses from home but are eligible to return in the fall.

Additionally, housing fees won't be refunded to the students.

Other students told the Globe that the dismissal sent a strong message from the university about taking coronavirus seriously.

"I was upset because it's just really stupid to go around and still have these social gatherings. Those kinds of things are just going to ruin everything for everyone else," Darren Ng, a first-year from New York City told the Globe.

WBTS reported that just two weeks ago, university officials sent letters to 115 students and their parents that threatened to expel any student who didn't abide by coronavirus social distancing guidelines after the students posted online that they intended to party.

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