University of Colorado Boulder students who do not wear masks in public, adhere to social distancing or follow public health orders could be disciplined under the campus’ updated code of conduct, including being put on probation or suspended in the worst cases.
CU Boulder leaders released more information about campus’ fall plan this week, including clarifying what will be required of students and consequences for not following those rules.
CU Boulder’s code of conduct now requires that students follow public health orders, the campus’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy and university expectations for social and physical distancing on campus, that they wear a face covering over their nose and mouth outside of their home and that they follow guidelines for events and social gatherings.
The campus’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy, also released this week, includes requirements that students, faculty, staff and campus visitors maintain a six-foot distance when possible, wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth, clean their local work area, practice hand hygiene and ensure public gatherings follow those guidelines.
The policy also requires people to follow public health orders, to stay off campus if they are sick and for on-campus students to alert the campus health center.
“This policy sets the overarching requirements around which we will base all decisions about the return to campus this summer and fall,” said Dan Jones, associate vice chancellor for integrity, safety and compliance, in a statement. “We will depend upon the members of our community learning and following these requirements and ensuring that they are taking the steps necessary to protect themselves, their fellow students and coworkers and the Boulder community. We will succeed if everyone does their part to make the campus safe for living, learning, and working.”
Students referred to the campus’ code of conduct process will go through several steps, including “educational interventions.”
Those include motivational interviewing — asking students how their actions relate to their values, how their choices impacted other people and how it hindered their academic goals — and restorative justice offered by the health promotion and restorative justice programs on campus, said Devin Cramer, Interim Assistant Dean of Students.
Changing the code of conduct is one approach CU Boulder is taking to create a sense of shared responsibility among students, Cramer said.
“Educating our entire campus community about the new expectations for the fall is our primary strategy when it comes to creating a safe environment,” Cramer wrote in an email. “We expect most students, staff, faculty and visitors will have no issue following campus guidelines and local orders, and it is important that all community members do their part.”
Updating the code of conduct also enables CU Boulder to hold students accountable, Cramer said, and gives them chances to change their behavior through different sanctions.
“We specifically added language about face coverings to provide clarity to students about when and how they are expected to be worn,” Cramer said. “We added specific language about gatherings to send a clear message that we expect students to abide by public health orders and campus guidelines when they plan events, on or off campus.”
Extreme cases of code of conduct violation could mean students are put on probation or suspended. Probation leads to a written statement that a student’s behavior was inappropriate and a timeframe for remaining on probation, as well as the condition that further code of conduct or probation violations can lead to more disciplinary action.
Students who are suspended are required to leave the university and are not allowed on CU property during the suspension. Suspended students must apply for readmission.