August 19, 2020
We hope the first week of your semester is off to a strong start. We write today to remind you of our collective obligation to ensure that we maintain a safe environment for everyone in our university community and in our surrounding neighborhoods.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
We recently shared that in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are requiring all students who have contact with the university community (including off campus) to follow clear safety guidelines . Your health and the health of our entire community depend on these measures. Failure to follow the University’s guidelines endangers those around you and will not be tolerated. While we appreciate that the majority of you are complying well, it has become clear that many others are disregarding these requirements. While we understand that maintaining social distance and spending time alone can be difficult – and not what any of us had hoped for – you are not permitted to host or attend large in-person gatherings.
We are at a critical juncture where our individual and collective actions can change the course of our future state, and recent student exposure and illness has been traced directly back to large group gatherings. When the University receives a report of students and student organizations who are not complying with these measures, or otherwise behaving in a way that poses intentional or unintentional health risks to the larger community, these individuals and organizations will be held accountable:
- The University will take the names of students who are attending these gatherings, not physically distancing or wearing face coverings, and will follow-up with them directly for discipline.
- Students may be barred from accessing university premises for the rest of the semester, including the USC Village. Tuition refunds will not be granted to students whose coursework is affected as a result.
- To the extent failure to comply with this guidance constitutes a violation of the University’s Student Code of Conduct, students may be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including probation, suspension or expulsion, and student organizations may lose their recognition.
- If the failure to comply with this guidance also goes against County or City rules, students may be, separately, found responsible by government authorities, and subject to monetary fines.
Now, more than ever, it is essential that we all take responsibility for our behavior. Our individual actions can have a profound effect on our entire community, and the choices we make carry very real consequences. We have faith that you will respect one another and adhere to the protocols we have put in place.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Winston B. Crisp
Vice President for Student Affairs