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Town of Chapel Hill to discuss stronger measures for violations of state ordinances

"... We expect the review process to take some time," said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson

Students Rush Franklin
UNC fans rush Franklin Street after UNC's basketball team triumphs over Duke despite COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

Update 7:18 p.m. Local government officials will meet with UNC leadership Wednesday to discuss stronger measures for preventing violations of local and state ordinances from UNC students, according to a Monday press release from the Town of Chapel Hill.

The Town was “hopeful that students would do the right thing” due to messaging from UNC and a limited number of students on Franklin Street during Halloween, according to the press release. However, the press release said prior planning efforts allowed the Town to get the hundreds of students rushing Franklin Street off in about 30 minutes without conflict. 

Police officers were on the scene from the start of the rush, though it appears there was no coordinated law enforcement effort to disperse the crowd until about 30 minutes into the event.

“We will continue to think differently to avoid such gatherings in the future,” the press release said. 

The press release also said Orange County and Chapel Hill leaders are calling on students who rushed Franklin Street to quarantine and test regularly. 

“If you were out on Saturday night celebrating the basketball game, it is advised that you self-monitor for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 and get a test on day six following potential exposure at this mass gathering,” Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart said in the statement. 

The Chapel Hill Police Department will be working with UNC to assist with any information gathering to follow up with students who were in violation of community standards. 

Undergraduate students must test twice a week if they have in-person classes, live in campus housing, live with 10+ people or live in Granville Towers. They must test once a week if they live in Chapel Hill or Carrboro.  

Repeat violations of state executive orders can carry up to a $1,000 fine and 60 days in jail.

The Office of Student Conduct has received over 300 referrals of COVID-19 community standards violations following the rush on Franklin Street over the weekend, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson said in a statement Monday. 

Each referral is reviewed to assess if a violation of the community standards occurred. 

"Because of the volume of referrals, we expect the review process to take some time," Johnson said in the statement.

For the reported violation, a hearing officer designated by Student Conduct will assess the report, hold an initial review of the allegations and meet with the student. 

If the student is found to have violated the community standards, depending on the severity of the violation, consequences could include: 

  • A warning
  • Restrictions on access facilities
  • Loss of campus privileges
  • Removal from housing
  • Disenrollment

The determinations of these referrals will be included in the community standards conduct reports, which are released at least once every quarter. 

The latest report, reflecting referrals between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, showed that UNC received 179 reports of potential violations. Of those reports, 88 cases resulted in developmental action and nine cases resulted in removal from Carolina Housing.

Between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, UNC received 456 reports. 

Johnson said UNC does not endorse social media as a medium to report violations of the community standards, and the University does not monitor social media accounts for violations. 

"Instead, we encourage our community to call the police immediately (callers may choose to remain anonymous) if they witness activities that are not in compliance with the COVID-19 Community Standards, as incidents are more challenging to investigate after they occur, or refer behavior to Student Conduct," Johnson said in the statement. 

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UNC's full COVID-19 administrative process can be found here |