With new off-campus guidelines, Quinnipiac relies on students to practice shared responsibility


Skylar Haines, Associate Producer

 Quinnipiac released new guidelines and expectations for students living off-campus last week amidst other colleges across the U.S. shutting down or moving virtual due to spikes in COVID cases tied to large off-campus gatherings. 

Quinnipiac administration sent an email to students explaining the new guidelines of no more than 16 people being allowed to gather outside and a maximum of 10 gathered inside at a time. They also highlighted the importance of keeping Hamden residents safe, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

 Quinnipiac will be working with the Hamden Police Department to monitor off-campus behavior and both the school and the town police will take action if they witness or get reports of violations. 

 First offenses will result in probation, and students will not be able to take part in any on-ground classes or co-curricular activities for up to four weeks. 

 A second violation will be consequenced with suspension from the university for the fall semester, at a minimum. The Student Conduct Office will be responsible for handling student offenses and punishment. 

Graduate student Kim Kerremans agrees with the new guidelines. 

“I think the guidelines are completely reasonable, important, and I hope they follow through with the consequence,” Kerremans said. “I know we all want to be with our friends and have a good time but we have to have an attitude of safety first.”

However, senior Frankie Link feels as though the guidelines are extreme. 

“I understand why QU released guidelines. However, to suspend students for the remainder of the semester, at minimum as they said, is extreme. We shouldn’t be taking away a student’s education based on a mistake.” Link said

Quinnipiac administration continues to emphasize the importance of peer accountability through these new protocols.

“We are going to be successful based on student behavior, it is really all up to you all,” Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellet said. “Now it is really all about being intentional about how we engage with others…we have to be really thoughtful now.”

Many remain hopeful that the Quinnipiac Pact and this commitment to safety guidelines will hold true once the semester starts, but others are more doubtful about shared responsibility. 

“You can’t expect students to not hang out with their friends. Students are definitely going to be angered by other people’s choices, but we can’t control everyone,” Link said, “I don’t think the school should be relying on the honesty of students.”

Ellet explained that the only way this semester will be able to continue somewhat normal is if students make compromises and effort in social distancing. He and the rest of the administration have been adamant though that social distancing and de-densifying don’t have to ruin social opportunities. 

“We are all going to have to make extra efforts to be involved and connect with each other in a different way,” Ellet said. “What you gain out of college are social experiences, lifetime friends, potential connections, connections for career opportunities long term. That doesn’t have to change, it will just look different. I want students to still have that.”

The school is also relying, as outlined in the email, on students coming forward when they see other students being unsafe or breaking student protocol.

 Administration is asking students to utilize Quinnipiac’s Community Concerns Hotline to report off-campus gatherings or other behaviors against student conduct. Students can call 203-582-3770 or email [email protected], and will then be connected to the public safety office.