Lawyer accuses Northeastern of creating ‘private prison’ with ‘untenable rules’

Parents of nearly a dozen Northeastern students suspended for breaking the school’s COVID-19 rules have

Parents of nearly a dozen Northeastern students suspended for breaking the school’s COVID-19 rules have hired a lawyer, who says the Boston-based university is deliberately setting out to humiliate the students and their families.Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students after the school said they were discovered together in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston earlier this month. The school said the gathering violated the university and public health protocols that prohibit crowded gatherings.Brett Joshpe, the lawyer representing the dismissed Northeastern students, said the first-year students had all tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times and were watching a basketball game with masks on.”They were not partying as some have suggested, and Northeastern has deliberately set out to humiliate these students and their families by speaking to the media before they even had a chance to deliberate on the facts and evidence,” Joshpe said in a statement. “Northeastern has essentially created a private prison for its students with inconsistent, illogical, unclear, and untenable rules and guidelines.”The students were enrolled in the N.U.in Program, a study-abroad experience for first-year students. The gathering of 11 students was discovered by two N.U.in staff members, who were on call and making rounds of the building, the school said.At a press conference earlier this week, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker defended the decision made by the university to dismiss the freshmen students for the fall semester for violating campus social distancing guidelines after they were discovered in the same hotel room. “The rules were the rules. They were established upfront. Everybody attested to them and they broke them,” Baker said. He said he feels “feels terrible” for the students and their families, but added that the college experience has changed.“It’s really important, especially during this time when kids are coming back to school, that everybody appreciate and accept the fact that college is just not going to be the way it was last year or the year before,” he said.The school also said the students would not be reimbursed for tuition and fees for the fall semester.”While the school may believe that it is protecting peoples’ health and safety, it is actually making it more likely that students will resort to risky behavior by leaving campus and taking public transportation,” a statement from the lawyer representing the students said. “The fact that Northeastern thinks it is entitled to a $400,000 tuition windfall without these students taking a single class is outrageous. It is very unfortunate — although telling — that some politicians, like Gov. Charlie Baker, have defended the institution rather than hardworking families being robbed of $36,500.”There are 818 N.U.in Program students staying in two-person rooms at the Westin, less than 1 mile from the Boston campus.

Parents of nearly a dozen Northeastern students suspended for breaking the school’s COVID-19 rules have hired a lawyer, who says the Boston-based university is deliberately setting out to humiliate the students and their families.

Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students after the school said they were discovered together in a room at the Westin Hotel in Boston earlier this month. The school said the gathering violated the university and public health protocols that prohibit crowded gatherings.

Brett Joshpe, the lawyer representing the dismissed Northeastern students, said the first-year students had all tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times and were watching a basketball game with masks on.

“They were not partying as some have suggested, and Northeastern has deliberately set out to humiliate these students and their families by speaking to the media before they even had a chance to deliberate on the facts and evidence,” Joshpe said in a statement. “Northeastern has essentially created a private prison for its students with inconsistent, illogical, unclear, and untenable rules and guidelines.”

The students were enrolled in the N.U.in Program, a study-abroad experience for first-year students. The gathering of 11 students was discovered by two N.U.in staff members, who were on call and making rounds of the building, the school said.

At a press conference earlier this week, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker defended the decision made by the university to dismiss the freshmen students for the fall semester for violating campus social distancing guidelines after they were discovered in the same hotel room. “The rules were the rules. They were established upfront. Everybody attested to them and they broke them,” Baker said.

He said he feels “feels terrible” for the students and their families, but added that the college experience has changed.

“It’s really important, especially during this time when kids are coming back to school, that everybody appreciate and accept the fact that college is just not going to be the way it was last year or the year before,” he said.

The school also said the students would not be reimbursed for tuition and fees for the fall semester.

“While the school may believe that it is protecting peoples’ health and safety, it is actually making it more likely that students will resort to risky behavior by leaving campus and taking public transportation,” a statement from the lawyer representing the students said. “The fact that Northeastern thinks it is entitled to a $400,000 tuition windfall without these students taking a single class is outrageous. It is very unfortunate — although telling — that some politicians, like Gov. Charlie Baker, have defended the institution rather than hardworking families being robbed of $36,500.”

There are 818 N.U.in Program students staying in two-person rooms at the Westin, less than 1 mile from the Boston campus.

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