Fall 2021 Compliance Enforcement

The following was sent to all students, on Friday, August 27, 2021.

Friend,

As we prepare for the fall semester, public health protocols will continue to be a top priority.

As you know, Boston University students, faculty and staff are required to upload vaccine documentation or seek a medical or religious exemption prior to the start of the fall semester. The vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and, equally important, dramatically reducing the severity of the disease. We also know that the risk of disease transmission by an infected person is significantly reduced if that person is vaccinated.  With a vaccinated campus community and with, at a minimum, weekly PCR COVID-19 testing, we believe we can return our campuses to near-normal operation this fall.

We also plan to begin the semester requiring indoor face coverings on all of our campuses. While we can’t be certain of the public health challenges we may face, we are confident that our public health protocols will allow us to conduct our residential campus in the learning environment we desire.

You have a critical role to play in minimizing transmission of COVID-19 within the University community. In support of the health of the Boston University community we will require you to:

  • Follow all University health requirements, including wearing a face covering. Information available here: bu.edu/back2bu/student-health-safety/face-coverings/.
  • Complete a symptom attestation through Patient Connecteach day prior to going to campus, or, if you are a resident on campus, before leaving your room.
  • Respond to the BU medical professional who contacts you for follow up if you report symptoms of COVID-19 and follow any instructions regarding testing for COVID-19.
  • Follow any instructions from BU medical professionals if you report positive symptoms and are required to be tested for COVID-19, including remaining at your residence and minimizing contact with others until you test negative.
  • Schedule testing and report to an on-campus BU testing site based on an assigned test frequency.
  • Isolate at your residence, if you are notified by BU medical professionals or by your own primary care provider that you have a positive result from testing. If you live in on-campus housing, you will move to isolation housing.
  • Understand that you must be symptom-free for 72 hours without medication, and 10 days must have elapsed from the onset of symptoms for you to be cleared to leave isolation housing and return to your residence.
  • Follow the University’s directive to quarantine for 14 days if the University determines that you are a “close contact” of another individual in the University community who has tested positive. If you live in on-campus housing, you will move to quarantine housing. If you live off-campus, you will quarantine at your residence. *We will not require quarantine for students, faculty, and staff who are identified as close contacts but are not experiencing symptoms and are fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.
  • Understand that, based on public health circumstances, University guidance and protocols may change, potentially abruptly. You will keep informed and follow all new guidance and protocols

    The Dean of Students Office staff will enforce these rules for all students, on all campuses. In addition, this Office will provide faculty and staff information about how to notify us of non-compliant behavior by a student.

    There will be university-wide efforts to focus on compliance as we move through the semester.

    Fulfilling Health Expectations and Commitments

    If at any point you are unable to meet the health expectations and commitments outlined above, the University expects you to remain off-campus. If you do not take this step yourself, the University, through the Dean of Students Office, will prohibit you from participating in classes, residencies, and campus activities.

    Compliance with Routine and Frequent Lab Testing and Daily Symptom Attestation 

     The goal of community testing and symptom attestation is to detect cases of COVID-19 in our community and quickly move individuals who test positive into environments where they can get medical attention and prevent spread of the disease.

    If you will be traveling or away from BU for longer than 7 days, as a student, you can request a “pause” on your testing cadence for that period so that you do not fall out of compliance. To do so, please fill out the Temporary Testing Cadence Change form.

    If you do not comply with your frequent lab testing and/or daily symptom self-attestation: 

    • The first time that you are overdue with your testing and/or daily self-symptom attestation, you will receive a warning message from the Dean of Students that your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will be disabled. If you fail to schedule and complete testing, your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will be disabled.
    • The second time that you are overdue with your testing and/or daily self-symptom attestation, you will receive a final warning message from the Dean of Students and your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will remain disabled.
    • After a third time failing to schedule a test, being overdue with your testing, or failing to complete your daily self-symptom attestation, you will be suspended from Boston University and barred from Boston University’s campuses on an interim basis.
    • Should you fail to become compliant after a period of 48 hours from the date of an interim suspension, a formal suspension will be sanctioned for the entirety of the Fall 2021 semester, resulting in a serious disruption in your academic pursuit.

    The above sanctions are considered administrative actions, not judicial sanctions. However, if you enter campus property after your receiving an interim suspension, you will be subject to University judicial action, which may result in discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion.

    Isolation or Close-Contact Quarantine Compliance

    If a student – graduate or undergraduate – living in an on-campus University student residence, tests positive, they will be moved into isolation housing on campus and have meals and supplies delivered. Students in designated quarantine housing will have a private room and private bathroom and will have meals and supplies delivered to their units.

    *We will not require quarantine for students, faculty, and staff who are identified as close contacts but are not experiencing symptoms and are fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.

    If a student living off-campus tests positive, they will be provided instructions on how to safely isolate in their own local residence.  If an off-campus student is identified as a close contact, they will be provided instructions on how to safely quarantine in their own local residence, if necessary. For any student in quarantine or isolation, Student Health Services will provide regular telehealth visits.

     If you do not comply with isolation and quarantine protocols: 

    • The first time that you do not comply with isolation or quarantine protocols, you will receive a message from the Dean of Students that your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access has been disabled.
    • The second time that you fail to comply with isolation or quarantine protocols you will be suspended from Boston University and barred from Boston University’s campuses on an interim basis.
    • Should you fail to become compliant, immediately, a formal suspension will be sanctioned for the entirety of the Fall 2021 semester, resulting in a serious disruption in your academic pursuit.

    The above sanctions are considered administrative actions, not judicial sanctions. However, if you enter campus property after your receiving an interim suspension, you will be subject to University judicial action, which may result in discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion.

     Face Coverings or Mask Compliance and Compliance with Testing and Attestation in Classrooms and other Public Spaces

     Compliance with Testing and Attestation

    If you are up to date with testing and attestation you will receive a green-colored badge that appears on your mobile device:

    • Faculty may ask all students in their classes or labs to show them their badge (on your mobile device) prior to starting class.
    • If you are unable to show a green badge, you may be asked to leave class or lab, to rectify any issues with your testing or attestation before your next class. If you are asked to leave, you should not return to that class or lab session and must resolve any issues you have with testing or attestation before attending the next class or lab session.
    • If you refuse to leave the class or lab, the faculty member will inform the class that they will not proceed with instruction until you leave the room.
    • If you still refuse to leave the room, the faculty member may dismiss the class and contact your academic Dean’s office for follow-up.

     Compliance with Face Coverings or Masks

    These steps will be followed if you come to class and are not wearing a face covering or mask:

    • You will be asked to put on your face covering or mask (be sure to bring and wear one)
    • If you refuse to put on a face covering, the faculty member will inform the class that they will not proceed with instruction until you use your face covering or mask or leave the classroom or lab.
    • If you refuse to wear a face-covering or mask or to leave the classroom or lab, the faculty member may dismiss the class and contact your academic Dean’s office for follow-up.

    Please also note that we have a limited exception to our indoor mask requirement for academic and programmatic activities. You may experience an individual faculty member, lecturer, TA, or student, speaking at the front of a classroom, choosing to remove their mask while they are speaking. You may also observe mask exceptions in place during programmatic activities that are substantively impeded by masks; such as theatre productions, performing arts classes, and athletic competitions.

     Compliance in Public Spaces

    Staff concerned with your compliance with face-covering requirements may follow the same protocols as faculty in classrooms and labs. They may ask you to leave a space or close the space entirely because of your non-compliance with these protocols. And, you will be referred to the Dean of Students for follow-up action, which may include University discipline.

    We are committed to offering the best environment for your living and learning. To succeed, we need your help. We all must be responsible and respectful.  All of us — students, faculty, and staff — own the responsibility of keeping COVID-19 at bay on the Boston University campus.  We are counting on you to do your part.

    Be well,

     

    Kenneth Elmore
    Associate Provost and Dean of Students

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