Our ability to make campus as safe as possible depends on you. Specifically, we need you to prioritize the health of the community in every decision you make. Most of you are doing this, and I commend you for it.
That said, we are aware of recent social activities hosted by students in violation of university and county health regulations — activities that put our community’s health at risk. As a result, we have issued 10-day public health bans to members of the following five fraternities: Delta Tau Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Phi Epsilon.
We are disappointed in the poor judgement demonstrated by these individuals. As we have communicated to you many times during the past year, the university will not tolerate selfish and irresponsible behavior that jeopardizes the safety of our community.
Given these recent developments, I want to remind you of the potential penalties for students who fail to comply with health guidelines.
Public health regulations and sanctions
The university, city and county continue to enforce health regulations related to masks, physical distancing and large gatherings, both on and off campus. These guidelines apply to everyone, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or have recovered from a previous case of COVID-19.
Any student who does not follow public health regulations – either on or off campus – may face student conduct action through KU, including a 10-day public health ban from campus and possible suspension. Any registered student organization that violates health protocols may be sanctioned as a group.
Additionally, disregard for city or county guidelines could lead to civil or criminal penalties. These penalties could appear on a background check when you apply for graduate school or your first job after graduation.
Immunity from COVID-19
Some students have inquired as to why they need to comply with health guidelines if they have already recovered from a case of COVID-19. The answer is, while experts believe many individuals gain temporary immunity after recovery, it is unclear how long that immunity lasts. Additionally, research indicates immunity varies from person to person.
Doing your part
Remember, you can help keep campus healthy by following this simple guidance: Wear your mask at all times. Maintain six feet of distance from others. Wash your hands. Stay home if you’re not feeling well. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed, follow the instructions given to you by health officials.
And if you see someone who isn’t doing these things — step up. Talk to that person and ask them to take appropriate action, or report that individual’s behavior to us at unmasked.ku.edu.
Thanks to your commitment last semester, we had no known cases of transmission within our classrooms. But we cannot get complacent. Now is the time to renew our commitment to safety so we can have another successful semester. I know I can count on you to make this happen.
Tammara Durham, Ed.D.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs