Northeastern University announced Friday that 11 first-year students have been dismissed after they were found gathered in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston earlier this week in violation of university and public health protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
"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."
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
The students and their parents were notified Friday they must vacate the Westin within 24 hours. Any payments they have already made are not refundable.
All of the students have the right to contest their dismissal at a hearing, the university said.
Before leaving, the students are being required to undergo COVID-19 testing at Northeastern. Anyone testing positive will be moved into special housing at the university until they recover.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The Westin Hotel is one of several Boston hotels being used to house students at local colleges and universities due to the pandemic.
The 11 students who were dismissed were all enrolled in the N.U.in Program, a study abroad experience for first-year students. Over 800 students in the program are currently staying in 2-person rooms at the Westin, which is located less withing a mile of the Northeastern campus.
Northeastern said the gathering of 11 students was discovered Wednesday night by two N.U.in staff members who were on call and making rounds of the building. The staff members took down the students' information and sent them back to their individual rooms.
Less than two weeks ago, Northeastern threatened to expel any students not following COVID-19 guidelines after an Instagram poll asked incoming students whether they planned to party when they arrived on campus. Official letters sent to 115 students threatened to rescind their admission if they didn't send a reply acknowledging that they would comply with the school's code of conduct.