A majority of parents are concerned their children won’t follow public health guidelines when they return to college campuses, according to a national study done by telehealth solutions provider TimelyMD.
And just a few days after opening, one institution already has reported they had a breach of state quarantine regulations.
Syracuse University announced it has placed a group of students on interim suspension after they violated a mandatory quarantine, according to a report from student newspaper The Daily Orange and other local media outlets.
Sarah Scalese, the university’s senior associate vice president of communications, declined to provide further details of the suspension or the violations themselves, citing federal privacy laws. It is unclear when and where the quarantine violation occurred – though the Daily Orange student newspaper reported that it did happen on campus.
“Our students are expected to comply with the Code of Student Conduct, the Stay Safe Pledge and executive orders issued by the New York State Governor’s Office and the Onondaga County Health Department,” Scalese said in a statement. “Creating a safe campus environment is all of our responsibility, and Syracuse University will not tolerate any actions – on the part of students, faculty, or staff – that jeopardize the health of our community. Students who violate these requirements will be met with appropriate sanctions.”
With 22,800-plus students, Syracuse University has taken robust measures to try to ensure the health and safety of its student population as they return this fall. The first on-campus arrivals, 400 freshman, came Sunday and were told to quarantine for 14 days.
Among the many mandatory procedures outlined for a safe return to campus, the university has required students provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test 10 days before arriving and is monitoring each student through their identification cards to ensure they are meeting protocols.
In addition, Syracuse is requiring that students, faculty and staff wear face masks “in the presence of others and in public settings where social distancing measures (more than six feet of separation and 50 percent utilization of space capacity) are difficult to maintain.”
The state of New York also mandates any student from “hot spot” states where Covid-19 infection rates are high or those who are coming from outside the U.S. must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving to any university campus. Students who reside in Greek housing must also abide by the self-quarantine mandate by Aug. 8 if they want to return to campus when classes begin.
However, there is an overarching concern that breaches will occur this fall at Syracuse, which despite its academic prowess was dubiously named the No. 1 party school in the nation by The Princeton Review in 2019 and has cracked the Top 10 for eight years running.
There are similar concerns nationwide about students not adhering to state and university rules during the pandemic.
In a randomized survey done by TimelyMD of 591 parents and legal guardians of students enrolled at two-and-four-year colleges in late July, 50% believe an outbreak is likely on their child’s campus. Less than half (46%) believe institutions are prepared to handle the outbreak. Only 54% of those surveyed believe that schools have made health and safety a top priority.
“The coronavirus has amplified parents’ desire for administrative oversight and more student support services,” said Luke Hejl, TimelyMD chief executive. “Now more than ever, parents want colleges and universities to take care of their students.”
Three simple but effective recommendations offered by Hejl and TimelyMD:” on-campus enforcement of social distancing, regular COVID-19 testing, and access to 24/7 telehealth resources for physical and mental health.”
Chris Burt is a reporter and editor for University Business. He can be reached at email@example.com