Coronavirus in TN: Four UT students face suspension, expulsion for violating student code of conduct


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman says the university has “initiated disciplinary proceedings against four students for violating the Student Code of Conduct by endangering the health, safety and welfare of others.”

The incident is related to the university’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Three of those students are involved in these disciplinary proceedings for hosting off-campus gatherings with no social distancing or consistent mask use, according to UTK officials, while the fourth student indicated that they were aware they had tested positive for COVID-19 but knowingly left self-isolation to gather with others off-campus.

“If the facts reported to the university are accurate, these students will face at least suspension from the university, and potentially greater penalties.”

Donde Plowman

Plowman says that she communicated last week with students that if they do not comply with the Student Code of Conduct, they will be held accountable for their actions.

“Causing physical harm to any person; endangering the health, safety, or welfare of any person; engaging in conduct that causes a reasonable person to fear harm to their health, safety, or welfare; or making an oral or written statement that an objectively reasonable person hearing or reading the statement would interpret as a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.”

Excerpt from the Standards of Conduct Overview – Student Code of Conduct

Plowman says that the majority of students continue to take COVID-19 safety precautions seriously, and she believes in the Volunteers.

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