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The message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Friday, October 2, 2020 

Dear undergraduate students,

Wherever you are as we reach the halfway point in the fall semester, we hope you are well this Friday. We are writing to share some updates on conduct case volume and outcomes for individual students and organizations.  
Over the past week, rates of COVID transmission have increased globally, nationally and here in the Durham area. We are likely to see some additional cases in our own community, but we are collectively working to keep those to a minimum. We appreciate that thousands of Duke students in Durham and around the globe are taking action daily to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We continue to appreciate the dedication and efforts we see in the Blue Devil community. We are proud of your leadership as students, we know you share our gratitude for the efforts of our extraordinary faculty and staff. 
At the same time, we have seen a handful of situations where some students are flagrantly violating the Duke Compact and our expectations for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because this conduct could easily lead to an increase in viral transmission on campus and in the community, these students have lost their opportunity to remain on campus. Some may even lose their chance to graduate from Duke.

We don’t want students to spread the virus to one another, to staff, faculty, or members of our Durham Community. We don’t want you to lose the opportunities for which you’ve worked so hard.

Some important reminders:
  • While North Carolina regulations have recently changed, all Duke students are still required to adhere to University requirements limiting informal gatherings indoors or outdoors to 10 persons or fewer.
  • We are aware that some students have disrupted local communities by hosting off-campus gatherings in apartments or rented properties. Students may face disciplinary action if they either host, or attend these events.

As a reminder, enforcement of Duke’s policies is a part of our COVID response. These efforts are nuanced and hold students progressively accountable depending on the severity of the violations. Since August 7, we have taken the following actions:
  • 21 — Administrative Action Hearings held (for individuals and groups) recommending interim actions such as suspension of activities, loss of campus privileges, remote learning, etc.
  • — Campus organizations placed on suspension
  • — Individual students issued interim suspensions for flagrant violations of COVID policy expectations and the Duke Compact pending an administrative hearing, including for hosting gatherings and failing to follow quarantine and isolation protocols to protect fellow students.
  • 104 —  Sanctions implemented by either Office of Student Conduct or Housing and Residence Life - these actions are part of a student’s conduct record and in some cases reportable to graduate schools, study away programs, and employers
  • 293 — Students referred for educational interventions for less severe infractions of the Duke Compact - these outcomes are not part of a students’ disciplinary record
  • 9 — Pending cases under review for potential administrative action involving more flagrant misconduct and persistent non-compliance by individuals.

As a result of these violations, some students have lost their right to remain on campus and must work remotely for the remainder of the semester. Some also face charges that could result in their suspension or permanent expulsion from Duke.

The University updates the COVID testing tracker every Monday. We will provide another update on student conduct on October 30th. 

We are in this together. Please keep supporting one another in doing this right.

Thank you and go Duke,
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Gary G. Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education  
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