• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 19 comments on Six Students Given Deferred Suspensions after Weekend Party

  1. I wrote a comment on the original story asking BU Today to be more balanced in their reporting as I felt strongly that it wasn’t good journalism (strong emphasis on provoking public interest at the expense of the facts, etc.). With the ‘verdicts’ in from what appears to have been a fair due process of investigation the facts certainly don’t support the original sensationalistic story.

    Kenneth Elmore – you were originally quoted as saying:

    “There were 25-plus people with alcohol, close together, with no masks or their masks pulled down around their chin,” and yet now you’re saying that what looked like one large gathering was actually four or five smaller groups who did not know each other….quite a different perspective once the facts have been determined.

    Perhaps you should consider moderating your own comments prior to facts being known. By all means be quoted but be fair and balanced in what you say – it makes a difference, is good leadership and you’ll garner more respect.

    Learn your own lessons from this ‘BU Today’ and Mr. Elmore…I’m sure the students involved have!

    1. Give him some respect. That is very harsh.
      I am sure you would not appreciate being lectured to in public like this.
      Take a dose of your own advice and make your own words “balanced”. Or do your own standards not apply to you Anon? Is all you have is negativity towards him? Is that “balanced”?
      Judge yourself before judging others.

      As a BU grad and BU parent, I do not appreciate this treatment of our Dean of Students.

  2. Just as one of the comments pointed out the lack of balanced reporting, wow this article is a mess. It gives 0 idea of what the scene actually looked like; the facts are all jumbled up.

    So they weren’t wearing masks? Oh no they were just slightly removed? Oh it was a party of 20? Oh no, they were all just groups of 4-5 people?

    The change in story from labeling it as a party of 20 to a gathering of groups; well which is it? A party of 20 is very different from a gathering.
    Punishment for ignoring COVID guidelines is important, especially being a college student, but when you’re mixing fact and fiction to manipulate readers, shame on you. That is not journalism, period.

  3. “Deferred Suspension” you say? BU is joking right? These students knows better and the guidelines requirements. Still, they did not follow the precautions in place and was given a slap on the wrist.

    In a COVID-19 Global Pandemic world is not the time to baby any students. They should of been sent home to finish out rest of the school year at home. Any student who cannot follow the rules need to go home. This deffered suspension does not teach them responsibility and accountability. COVID-19 is a serious life threatening illness.

    Students if you all think you are too grown to follow the rules. Go home and STOP putting others in danger. Some of you are being too selfish. BE RESPONSIBILE and DO the RIGHT THING! Under no circumstances should BU play with this. Any student that does not follow the guidelines requirements need to leave campus. Guess what?! That includes my child.

    1. Good point, Parent!

      I myself, am sick and tired of hearing people say “These kids are being punished for being kids.” That’s total baloney, imho. An 18-20 year old is a young adult, who’s old enough to vote, serve in the military, marry/buy a house/receive medical treatment without parental consent, be tried for and charged with whatever they’ve been arrested for in an adult court, and to serve an adult prison sentence in an adult prison. Therefore, they’re old enough to follow and obey rules that have been put in place for their own health and safety, as well as everybody else’s. Sure, they’re young, but old enough to know better.

  4. As BU tiptoes through the minefield that currently is daily life, actions like a deferred suspension for Covid violations should make everyone wonder if we can really expect any kind of fundamental changes at BU. BU can create a committee for just about anything, but if BU refuses to adhere to the recommendations from their self-appointed experts, then why bother? Sure the committee members get another line for their CV, but what protection does the community get? The thinking of: If these were normal times, certainly does not apply this year, as we ARE NOT living in normal times. Covid violations warrant a one-way trip home, not a second chance. BU is not graduating citizens prepared to change the world. BU is sending out pseudo-adults who expect changes to be made to suit them. The hand-holding needs to stop. Expectations are just that, they are expected. Shame on you BU for jeopardizing so many for so few.

  5. I thought NCAA rules state that varsity athletes are supposed to be treated like normal students. It’ll be interesting to see the next time this happens to non-athletes and how quickly those students will be made an example of.

  6. The university giving these students nothing but warnings just sent the message that students are free to gather in large groups and party and it’s fine because they aren’t going to get in trouble. These students put the entire BU community and surrounding Boston community at risk. There were students that ran away beyond the 20 caught meaning they were a group of 25+ breaking the rules Elmore stated in an email at the beginning of the semester. There were not 4-5 small groups of freshmen who all coincidentally gathered at the same place all drinking. It was one large group. Nobody at parties knows every other person there, they know their friends. That’s like saying a frat party gets busted but it’s not actually one large group it’s 4-5 small groups of friends who all know each other, they all just ended up there together at once. No. The frat party is one large group and so was this gathering regardless of whether or not everyone knew each other. This is a weak and unsurprising response from the university. Just admit the university is afraid of facing backlash like Northeastern did.

    1. Agree! Very disappointed in BU’s response. Two things I have learned, firmly believe in and have practiced as a parent – if you say you are going to do something or there is going to be a consequence, then you follow through with what you said or with said consequence, otherwise your words mean nothing. Two, it is imperative that we all take responsibility for our actions. BU has set a sad precedent with this decision. What was the point of all the work that they did to create a safe learning/work environment if they are not going to enforce the rules that they created to protect this environment.

  7. Frankly, I think that all of the 20 BU students who had that party and flouted the rules for mask-wearing and social distancing, and the rules against having large gatherings of people, especially indoors, should’ve had the same sort of punishment that the 11 Northeastern University students got for the same reason—suspension for the rest of the semester with no refund of their tuition.

  8. Northeastern did the right thing, expelling students for such infractions. These freshman put all students and faculty at risk and get a slap in the hand. So disappointed. I expected more for the pricey tuition. Way to set the bar low.

  9. Yep, Northeastern made national news for holding 11 students accountable for having a gathering. The students had to pack their bags and weren’t even allowed to take classes remotely. BU makes committees and gives slaps on the wrist. I’m not surprised, It’s a horrible precedent too. When do they start enforcing the rules ? How will that go over after others got “deferred suspension.” That’s a terrible way to start. The Dean’s have been working hard and support a clever slogan made by the students, but PLEASE stop endangering my child. I took a risk sending her back, but it was based partly on enforcement of rules. Please do better!

  10. BU is going too soft. Enforcement is not strong enough to be a deterrent for these irresponsible students. All such students should have been expelled from BU and sent home. The idiotic act of few is jeopardizing the hard work of the rest (faculty, staff and students) and jeopardizing the health and life of all. How can these students be so dumb?

  11. This is a thoughtful and detailed discussion. I don’t believe there are any easy answers. I do wish, though, that we could somehow hold our nation’s President to the same high standards that our students are required to uphold.

    And yes, my comment is somewhat facetious. But also quite genuine: Because our nation’s leaders are showing flagrant disregard for public health, it complicates the situation at local levels. BU (and many other institutions) have had to set up a comprehensive public health infrastructure in part because of the lack of genuine leadership on a Federal level. And the more the President uses his bully pulpit to encourage people to disregard the advice of epidemiologists, the harder it is for all of us.

    1. Ok, it’s Trumps fault. Got it. Most of these kids despise Trump. I can’t believe this comment. That has nothing to do with kids not caring about the rules. This happened weeks ago. When do we start holding the kids accountable and stop blaming it on everything and everyone else.

      1. Here’s the rub, however: Most of these students may despise Trump, but you know what? They’re acting exactly like him, at the moment. Donald Trump has emboldened and encouraged this kind of irresponsible behavior here in the United States, generally, due to his deliberate mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and his lying to the American people back in December and January (when it was still easy to contain and control), stating that the Covid-19 pandemic was under control, when, in fact, it wasn’t.

        As the saying goes: Many people become what they despise and fear the most. These BU students who acted so irresponsibly are no exception, imho.

      2. Unfortunately, however, Donald Trump and his Administration in Washington have emboldened and encouraged this kind of irresponsible behavior on the part of people here in the United States, generally. These college students understand, but they just don’t care. This may have happened several weeks ago, but you know what? Often enough, people start acting like who they fear and despise the most.

        1. Ok, so the kids should not be held accountable because they become what they despise the most. Once again, making excuses for the young adults. With these comments, it doesn’t surprise me why there are kids who don’t think the rules apply to them, it’s the parenting.
          My daughter adheres by the rules because it makes sense to say safe and keep each other safe. Plus she wants to stay in school. Those are her ONLY reasons.

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