COVID-19 Policies

Pandemic Safety Policy for Student Behavior

With COVID-19, students' experiences at Tufts will look different than it has in the past. Our goal is to mitigate risk of members of our community contracting COVID-19, while also providing an engaging college experience. Our community’s health and safety depend on all members abiding by certain standards. We’re asking for your help to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 by following these new policies. The new policies create precautions that could mean the difference between Tufts staying in-person or having to go fully remote again. We believe that our community members all want to be part of the reasons we can stay in-person, and we need your help and commitment to do so. Below is information regarding the new Pandemic Safety Policy for Student Behavior. Any changes to this policy will be announced via email and updated on coronavirus.tufts.edu.

Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students

This Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students is a published university policy, and all students who participate in the 2020–21 academic year in person are required to follow it. If the student chooses to attend Tufts University in person this year, the student is agreeing to follow all of the expectations specified in the Guide, including the requirements to wear a mask; practice physical distancing; participate in the SARS-CoV-2 testing program; submit daily health reports; cooperate with isolation, self-quarantine, and contact tracing; follow directives prohibiting large gatherings; and abide by residence hall guest policies. Students who do not attend in person are required to follow the applicable parts of the Guide if they are on campus or if doing so is otherwise relevant for the university community. All students are also required to follow the directives of faculty and staff at all times related to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, including testing, health and safety practices, and any preparation needed to mitigate risk of contracting the virus in a classroom, lab, studio, or academic setting. All students are advised to carefully reflect on the degree to which they are willing to commit to following these policies as they decide whether or not to participate in the fall semester in person. Failure to follow the guidelines specified in this document will constitute a violation of university policy and may result in disciplinary action.

Possible Outcomes for Violations

In addition to the enactment of new policies, the assignment of sanctions has been updated due to COVID-19. Our sanctioning philosophy has long reserved the most severe consequences for the rare cases where an individual’s violation of policy has impacted the safety of themselves or others, or otherwise constituted a major violation of university policy. During a pandemic, certain violations of policy constitute a greater risk to the health and safety of others than they would in the absence of a pandemic. For example, hosting a large social gathering that causes excessive noise outside a pandemic is a disruption to the neighbors, whereas during a pandemic this same behavior risks spreading a potentially lethal virus to many people. Because the impact on the safety of others is greatly increased during a pandemic, so too is the appropriate sanction.

The outcomes for violations of the Pandemic Safety Policy and other health-related policies that would have had less severe consequences in the past will result in increased sanctions, including temporary or permanent separation from the Tufts community. Additionally, students may also receive a summons, fine, or other actions from the municipal authorities.

Pandemic Amnesty Policy

As members of the Tufts community, students have the responsibility to care for and respect their community. In situations where students seek assistance for a gathering due to COVID-19 safety concerns, Tufts will treat the students’ gathering as a health and safety matter, not a disciplinary incident. The policy, which is intended to reduce barriers to getting help, extends to the student(s) and their housemate(s) and to student organizations who call for help. Students are expected to proactively seek help, stay until help arrives, cooperate with the responding staff, and cooperate with any follow-up from the Dean of Student Affairs Office and/or any medical staff. Students who are alleged to have violated other Tufts policies are not entitled to amnesty for their non-COVID-19 related misconduct. Students who report that they went to a large gathering or a gathering in which COVID-19 safety policies from the Fall 2020 Campus Guide were not practiced to medical staff for purposes of contact tracing will also be covered under the Pandemic Amnesty Policy. 

When a student has violated the Fall 2020 Campus Guide but is excused from disciplinary action by the Pandemic Amnesty Policy, the student may be required to complete follow-up educational requirements. However, no disciplinary findings or records will be created and no disciplinary action will be taken. When a student organization has violated the Fall 2020 Campus Guide but is excused from disciplinary action by the Pandemic Amnesty Policy, the organization may be required to notify its advisor, provide educational requirements to its members, and/or change its processes for hosting events. However, no disciplinary findings or records will be created and no disciplinary action will be taken.

There are limitations to this policy and student action must meet the criteria in order for amnesty to apply. The Pandemic Amnesty Policy only applies to violations of policies relating to the Fall 2020 Campus Guide, and therefore does not preclude Tufts from taking disciplinary actions to address other serious or flagrant violations of Tufts policy including, but not limited to, violence, sexual assault, harassment, serious property damage, hazing, or the manufacture, sale, or distribution of prohibited substances. It also cannot preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities. The authority to determine if the criteria for Amnesty have been met rests with the Director of Community Standards or their designee. That determination is final.