Journal Times editorial: Don’t harshly punish college students for normal behavior | Editorial

Emma Wells, a parent from Maryland with two sons in college, one a sophomore at WPI, said she feels misled by the school. Over the summer, WPI emphasized the welcoming environment it would create despite the challenges of social distancing, but downplayed the severity of the rules and their consequences, she said.

“I’m not going to say a high-end prison, but it’s really strict, you can’t hang out with anybody,” Wells said.

Her son was recently asked to leave WPI housing after he and four of his roommates were found socializing and drinking in their on-campus apartment with five female classmates. The five male students were kicked out of housing, while the women were asked to write an essay, she said. The school, which said it could not comment on the matter, has allowed Wells to appeal the decision and she is waiting for the response.

Are universities really going to punish college students for acting like college students? Are they then prepared to go all the way on enforcement? Will each school hire someone to track each student with a tape measure to make sure the student stays 6 feet from every other student?

It’s the punishment of the Northeastern students we find the least defensible.

If you, the administrators at Northeastern, want to kick those students out, that seems harsh, but that is your prerogative.

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