January 27, 2021
With the new semester underway, unfortunately we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases among our undergraduate student population. We believe this is, at least in part, directly attributable to violations of COVID-19 safety protocols put in place by the city of New Orleans during the current Modified Phase One period. Large groups of unmasked students congregating in local bars and off-campus parties are the most obvious source of these cases.
While the bar owners may have some responsibility in flouting city ordinances, first we must look to ourselves and ask why, when the vast majority of our students are making the necessary sacrifices to protect themselves and others, a segment of our students refuse to do so. By their actions, this small segment of students has displayed reckless disregard for others. This type of behavior is the antithesis of everything Tulane stands for and attempts to impart to its students. As a result of their actions, nearly a dozen students are facing suspension or expulsion from the university. This includes both the hosts of parties and other gatherings as well as attendees. We have also placed six Greek organizations on interim suspension due to reports of misconduct related to COVID-19 behavioral expectations.
While you may feel that it is okay to frequent off-campus bars that are not following the city’s COVID policies because no one is shutting these places down, let me assure you – it is not. Your actions threaten not only the health and safety of our city, but the educational and economic future of the citizens of New Orleans. Students patronizing such establishments or attending large parties are equally culpable and will face consequences, including suspension or expulsion. Party buses are also currently not allowed in Orleans Parish and no student should ever rent or board one. A detailed overview of student conduct expectations was shared in the message that I sent last week and is posted on the COVID-19 website here. Another weekend is approaching, if you violate our expectations for your behavior and endanger our community, you will not be permitted to continue your education at Tulane.
We know and understand that you all are tired of following COVID restrictions – everyone is – but please do not think for one minute that we are not serious about this warning. We were able to have a successful semester last year, in large part, because of student cooperation with our COVID safety protocols. We must return to the behavior that will make this semester a success, too.
Dean of Students