Education

SDSU issues warnings, possible probation, suspension, and expulsion for students violating COVID-19 policies 

Written by Justin Culetu 

After months of continuous spread of COVID-19, San Diego State University has issued over 1,400 warning notices to students who are believed to have violated the university’s policies on slowing the spread. 

Per the executive order on student conduct, students have been alerted by the university of possible probation, suspension, and even expulsion for violating their protocols. Off-campus students are not exempt despite the fact that many of them haven’t stepped foot on campus since last spring when the school switched to virtual learning. 

The institution has been issuing these warnings since September according to a university representative. After confirming hundreds of positive cases during the fall semester, these notices have continued to be sent out in large quantities. 

A freshman student reported having gotten a letter from the university regarding possible suspension and expulsion due to a late returned negative COVID test. The problem with this is that there was nothing she could do to speed up the process. The student received her negative test from an off-campus testing site approved by the school and was told that the result would be sent directly to the university’s database. Unfortunately, the result was turned in late by the testing site. She was then asked to sign a form acknowledging her suspension, which she rightfully refused. Due to the fact that the suspension entailed that she could not be involved in school activities and other extracurriculars, the student consulted her judicial officer to hopefully resolve the case. 

A sophomore student also stated that she is facing a possible suspension for reporting her positive COVID case to the housing authorities four days after she tested at an on-campus testing site. Even though she self quarantined in her single dorm, and was tested on campus, the housing authority was upset that she did not report her positive case immediately. The word “immediately” is not defined anywhere in the school’s paperwork. 

Meanwhile, it does not appear SDSU has issued citations to students who attended social justice protests throughout the pandemic.

One former SDSU student said, “The double standard set by the university is obvious and unfair. Hundreds of students got a free pass on COVID-19 rules for social justice and BLM protests, meanwhile, others have been cited for far smaller, less dangerous gatherings. How are we supposed to know what we can and can not do when the university is selectively enforcing its rules?” The student continued, “And the university’s procedure for disciplinary actions is unfair, students have few rights and it can be difficult to dispute alleged offenses.”

As we enter the Spring semester and COVID-19 vaccine distribution has begun, it remains unclear how much longer SDSU will continue to police students for COVID related offenses.