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Aquinas College president warns in-person classes cannot continue if students attend large gatherings

Aquinas College receives grant for ESL and Bilingual education
Posted at 9:07 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 21:07:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Aquinas College warned students that if they continue to violate health and safety protocols, in-person classes will not be able to continue and residence halls will not remain open.

President Kevin Quinn says in a letter to students that although most have been following the rules, college officials have learned of some students attending large gatherings.

The college’s Campus Safety Office will be working with Grand Rapids police to enforce policies off-campus and will ticket offenders, Quinn said.

“It is definitely a different fall this year, and some of the usual activities are out of bounds until the pandemic is under control,” Quinn said. “It's not fair. But as Saints, we understand that not everything is about us -- we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Read the full letter:

Dear Aquinas Saints,
Over the past few months, AQ faculty and staff have been working very hard to make the campus as safe as possible for in-person living and instruction. By now, you should be very familiar with the Saints Together protocols, especially about daily screening, mask wearing, social distancing, and good hygiene. Thank you to the majority of our students who are modeling these behaviors.

You probably have heard by now about a number of colleges and universities that had to shut down in-person instruction. In each of these cases, students chose to attend crowded gatherings. They took risks with their health that have had serious repercussions not only for them, but for their entire institution.

We are concluding the first few days of classes, and we have heard reports of students violating our health and safety protocols.

Let me be clear: the College will NOT tolerate these violations.

If our community does not live up to our health and safety standards, I will not allow in-person classes to continue and will not allow residential spaces to remain open.

I am serious about protecting this community, and you should be too. We will take disciplinary action against anyone who puts the health and safety of this community at risk. Disciplinary action includes going through the judicial sanction process under the Student Conduct Code and may be included in a student’s permanent record or may result in removal from campus.

I have also asked our Campus Safety Office to work with the Grand Rapids Police Department to vigorously enforce ordinances off campus, shutting down and ticketing offenders. If we learn that you have hosted such a gathering, the College will pursue serious disciplinary action.

It is definitely a different fall this year, and some of the usual activities are out of bounds until the pandemic is under control. It's not fair. But as Saints, we understand that not everything is about us -- we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.

PLEASE monitor your health, wash your hands, wear your masks, practice social distancing and do not go to gatherings that will attract a lot of people. Remain vigilant. One decision -- such as attending a party or not wearing a mask -- can and will have a lasting effect on you and others.

In the end, we can't just discipline our way to safety. That is not enough. It depends on YOU and your choices. And I hope that you continue to choose to be a Saint.

Sincerely,

Kevin G. Quinn, Ph.D.

President

Report individuals who are in violation of the health and safety guidelines to the Campus Safety Office at (616) 632-2462 or cso@aquinas.edu.