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COVID-19 FAQ

As the university responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19) to promote the safety of our community, Community Standards staff, and all other departments in the Dean of Students Office will primarily be working remotely. Scott Hall is currently closed. We will continue to update this page as our circumstances may change.

If you have additional questions after reading this page, please contact the Office of Community Standards at community-standards@northwestern.edu or call 847-491-4582 and one of our staff members will do their best to assist you.

Is the Office Open?

Scott Hall is currently closed, but staff are available during normal business hours by phone, MicrosoftTeams, or email.

staff contact list

Name

Email

Phone

Ron Alexander

ronald.alexander@northwestern.edu

 847-491-2007

Lucas Christain

lucas.christain@northwestern.edu

847-467-5078

Heather Cohen

heather.cohen@northwestern.edu

847-467-5072

Christine DePilla

christine.depilla@northwestern.edu

847-467-5939

Paula Evans

paula.evans@northwestern.edu

847-491-4582

I need to report an incident or make a complaint.

As always, we ask you to submit an incident report or complaint on the NUhelp website via the Community Concerns Report form. You may use this form to report an incident or alleged violation by a Northwestern University student of the Student Code of Conduct.

Although this form allows users to submit a report without providing their name or contact information, please understand that our options for acting on anonymous reports are limited. At a minimum, we ask reporters to provide contact information so that we can verify the authenticity of the submission.

To report incidents or alleged violations of the university’s policy on sexual misconduct, please use the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form

Our first concern is the safety and well-being of our students. If you or anyone you know feels unsafe or is in danger, please call 911 or NUPD at 847-491-3456 (Evanston) or 312-503-3456 (Chicago).

Who can I contact with questions about COVID-19?

You can contact the COVID-19 Resource Center at 847-467-4111. You can also visit the COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.
Accountability

COVID-19 Expectations for Students

Northwestern has developed expectations for all enrolled students who return to campus or participate in any University program (even remotely). Please visit COVID-19 Expectations for Students  page for an overview of these expectations.

What are the different “ranges” of incidents and responses?

  • Unintentional/Accidental Low-Level Concerns may include single incidents of:
    • Failing to wear a face covering or mask in a required location
    • Not social distancing
    • Failure to submit the daily symptom survey
    • Repeatedly violating lower-level expectation will result in formal student conduct follow up
  • Moderate disregard of expectations, which may result in disciplinary probation and other sanctions may include:
    • Violating guest policies in on-campus housing
    • Participating in a gatherings that violate Restore Illinois guidelines, Evanston Public Health guidelines, and the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct 
    • Participating in in-person activities after knowingly being exposed to COVID-19
  • Severe Disregard of expectations, may result in interim restriction from campus up to separation (suspension or expulsion):
    • Hosting a gathering on or off campus that violates Restore Illinois guidelines, Evanston Public Health guidelines, and the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct 
    • Refusing to or failing to participate in required screening or testing
    • Failing to isolate or quarantine after being instructed to do so
    • Failure to report a COVID-19 diagnosis 
    •  Intentionally engaging in behavior that may spread COVID-19
  •  In all circumstances the Office of Community Standards will work to engage in educational follow up that reinforces expectations, ranging from advisory letters to online education sanctions.

What if I don’t comply with Quarantine/Isolation Expectations?

  • Failure to comply with quarantine and isolation expectations is considered severe disregard of the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct because of the potential it has to spread the COVID-19 virus. Students who violate these expectations may face restriction from campus and severe disciplinary consequences such as suspension or expulsion. For residential students, visit the Quarantine and Isolation Housing page for additional information.

What is an "advisory letter"?

An advisory letter is outreach from the Office of Community Standards making a student aware that a report with limited or unsubstantiated details was submitted to the OCS. The letter does NOT constitute a formal response or student conduct finding for violation of University policy. Instead, the letter is intended to be an educational reminder of Student Expectations and the COVID-19 Code of Conduct. This letter does not create a student conduct record.

I received an Acceptance of Responsibility (AOR) letter. What do I need to do?

Review the letter carefully to understand the allegations outlined in the letter. Follow the specific prompts in the letter which guide you through the process of either accepting responsibility for the alleged violation(s) of University policy or rejecting the AOR proposal. Students who reject the proposal should do so through completing the form linked in the letter. Students rejecting the proposal may also submit documentation (if available) using that same form. The documentation will be used during the administrative hearing. If there are questions about this process, please contact community-standards@northwestern.edu with questions.

What is COVID-19 Amnesty?

COVID-19 Amnesty offers amnesty for students who self-report COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, participate fully in contact tracing, and follow any directives they receive from Health Services as it relates to Quarantine/Self-Isolation. A student who receives amnesty will not receive disciplinary sanctions for any violations to the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct but will be required to complete an educational intervention. 

Amnesty does not apply to students who host social gatherings that violate Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct. However, following the steps listed above could be evaluated as a mitigating factor in the student conduct process. It may also be viewed as a mitigating factor for students who don't self-report, but participate fully in contact tracing and follow all Health Services directives. 

Do I still need to follow the COVID-19 expectations if I have received the COVID-19 vaccine and/or have tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes, any student who has tested positive for COVID-19 and/or has received the COVID-19 vaccine is still expected to follow the COVID-19 expectations.
Off-Campus

How will off-campus concerns be addressed?

Off-Campus concerns will be addressed as has been done in the past. Information received  from the City and through University reporting structures will be responded to with consideration for the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct, which may apply to student behavior off-campus. The OCS staff, along with additional Northwestern staff, will work in partnership with the city to educate and reinforce community expectations with respect for the City of Evanston and Northwestern’s scope and reach.

What do you mean by a "gathering”?

Current Chicago and Evanston  public health guidelines require gatherings be limited to 50 people or 50% of room capacity in Evanston and 25% of room capacity in Chicago.  However, all gatherings regardless of size must safely allow for sufficient space for social distancing.

How can I find out what 50% or 25% of capacity would be for my residence?

  • Check with your landlord or property manager for any occupancy restrictions, or check your lease for any information.
  • You should also apply public health guidelines on your own. If you cannot maintain 6’ of social distancing between people in the space, you are beyond a safe capacity.

Do guests need to  practice social distancing and wear face coverings while inside my private off-campus residence?

Public health guidance recommends that individuals should stay at least six feet from those outside their household, and wear a face covering in public settings (indoors and outdoors) when you are unable to practice social distancing with individuals outside of your housemates.

Are there any resources that can help me if I want to host a safe gathering at my off-campus private residence?

The CDC Website provides recommendations for hosting gatherings. The Illinois Department of Health website (IDPH) also provides small social gathering safety tips. Individuals should always be wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing with individuals outside of their residence.
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