Emory University received over 300 complaints of students in violation of the COVID-19 community compact, according to a March 9 email to the Wheel from Senior Director of Communications in Campus Life Tomika DePriest.
The violations included failing to wear a mask, socially distance and test. The University estimates 280 students received warnings and “somewhere between 30-50” had to repeat the campus onboarding process. One student was removed from campus housing.
The University declined to provide the number of COVID-19 compact violations within Greek Life or if certain chapters have faced sanctions.
“There is currently a review underway by not only the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and the Office of Student Conduct, but also other University offices that advise specific student groups identified as potentially non-compliant with Covid-19 protocols,” DePriest wrote.
The number of violations was provided after over a month of correspondence spanning February and early March between Wheel reporters and multiple Campus Life departments.
Specifically, Wheel reporters asked for the total number of violations, consistent violations, the nature of the penalties and case numbers in Emory Greek Life.
“Emory doesn’t have the same data referenced in comparison by the Wheel staff because in the fall its public health approach prioritized education and helping the community better adopt measures to stay safe and healthy versus a punitive model,” the email read.
Peer institutions including Duke University (N.C.), Harvard University (Mass.), Dartmouth College (N.H.), Vanderbilt University (Tenn.) and Cornell University (N.Y.) have publicly released information about students and organizations who were sanctioned for violating COVID-19 guidelines.
In January, Harvard released an interim report of COVID-19 violations during the fall that detailed how many students were removed from campus housing, a figure Emory has not provided despite several inquiries. Harvard’s report also detailed the differing forms and tiers of violations students could face.
At Emory, students who miss screening tests will face restricted internet access to entertainment sites such as Netflix and Hulu. The March 9 email added that additional consequences include restricted building access, parental notification and a revocation of housing privileges.
Violations can be logged through a webpage form, which is managed by the Emory Compact Response Team.
Assistant Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Joshua Gamse stated in a Feb. 26 email to the Wheel that the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life is “investigating contact patterns and will shift to better understanding personal and group compliance failures in the future.”
He did not respond to multiple questions about the number of COVID-19 cases within Greek Life or if certain chapters have faced sanctions.
To better understand compact violations on campus, Wheel reporters contacted various members of the Office of Student Conduct and Compact Coordinators in Residence Life, which were eventually directed to Senior Director of Residence Life Scott Rausch, DePriest and Director of Student Conduct Julia Thompson.
Thompson did not specifically address queries relating to the number or each type of violation that occurred. She further declined to provide how many students were removed from campus housing in a Feb. 17 email. Thompson did not explain why this information, which was provided to the Wheel in the March 9 email, could not be publicized at the time.
At the end of its fall semester, Dartmouth College removed 86 students from campus housing, with Provost Joseph Helble announcing the penalties in a livestream to students, according to reporting from the campus student newspaper The Dartmouth.
Emory has not publicly announced such violations data to the student body at large during the 2020-21 school year.