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Middlebury College bars 22 students from campus for violating COVID-19 policies

Middlebury College's campus in Middlebury, Vt.
Middlebury College's campus in Middlebury, Vt.Wilson Ring/Associated Press

Middlebury College has barred 22 students from campus for violating its COVID-19 policies, administrators said Tuesday night.

The Vermont college received reports Thursday that students had violated the policies and “immediately investigated to determine the facts,” the college said in a brief statement that did not specify the violations.

The students had clustered in groups that exceeded the campus limit of 10 people per indoor gathering, according to The Middlebury Campus, the student newspaper, which first reported the violations.

Administrators found that the 22 students had violated “policies related to COVID-19 and took swift and immediate action, including removing students from on-campus housing and disallowing the students from visiting, studying, or taking courses on campus,” the college said.

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“This is disappointing given the high level of compliance our students have demonstrated to this point, allowing us to advance to Phase 2 of our reopening,” the college said. “These were difficult decisions to make, but there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our community. Students removed from campus because of COVID-19 violations are ordinarily eligible to return in the following semester.”

Asked whether students would be refunded, a college spokeswoman said she could not discuss information about individual students and referred to the college’s policy on students removed for violating coronavirus policies.

“Students removed from campus housing will not receive a refund for unused room and board fees, absent exceptional circumstances of economic hardship,” the policy states. It says students removed from campus will be allowed to attend classes remotely, if they are offered online.

Many schools and colleges have sanctioned students after gatherings that violated size limits or experienced outbreaks that forced them to shutter classrooms and move to remote learning.

Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students early this month after they were caught violating social distancing rules. Days later, Boston College shut down its women’s and men’s swimming and diving program for a minimum of two weeks after at least 13 team members tested positive for COVID-19.

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In Rhode Island, at least 165 Providence College students have tested positive for the virus, prompting the college to issue a stay-at-home order to all students until at least Sept. 26.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.