CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece said the Dean of Students email required close contact, and this article has been updated to reflect that the email said to engage in outdoor activities that do not involve close contact.
Dean of Students Mark Bandas notified the undergraduate community of a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases linked to two student organizations in an email sent at 12:28 p.m. CST. More than 100 students are now in quarantine.
In the email, Bandas said that the university has required all members of the two student organizations to continue sheltering in place for the next ten days, except those who have not yet traveled back to Nashville or previously tested positive in the last 90 days.
Details were also given regarding disciplinary action from the fall semester. Eighty-five students were placed on disciplinary probation which carries with it consequences such as the inability to hold leadership in organizations or join certain student organizations. Thirty-one of these students were placed on deferred probation which means if another policy is violated during the Spring 2021 semester, the minimum punishment is suspension.
“This virus is serious,” Bandas said. “I cannot stress enough the importance of following the university’s COVID-19 protocols, starting with our requirement to shelter in place from your arrival in Nashville until receiving a negative arrival test and to fully observing the Commodores Care period through Feb. 3.”
The email further specified the Commodores Care period guidelines students are expected to follow. During this time students can attend in-person classes, pick up to-go food and supplies, seek medical attention and engage in outdoor activities that do not involve close contact.
“I assure you that we have been taking all violations seriously and will continue to do so this semester,” Bandas stated.
Beyond the threat of disciplinary action, the university urged students to “step up” and encourage their friends “to do what is right.”
This article will continue to be updated as The Hustler receives more information.