The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign has retreated away from dismissing an international postgraduate student for not complying with the University's compulsory-19 test policy, after more than 18,000 people, signed a petition on behalf of the student.

The high profile box shines a focus on how universities are using their disciplinary codes to punish non-compliance with security and security protocols related to Covid. UIUC says that to date, it has dismissed 51 students for periods that generally vary from one to four semesters for Violations related to Covid, with dismissal reasons, including "leaving isolation or quarantine without permission", "Large and insecure meeting accommodation "," Manipulating with Covid systems to ignore the requirements "and" Meeting of non-compliance of the egregious test ". Repeated violations of less severe crimes can also be reasons for dismissal.

The graduate student, Ivor Chen, was initially dismissed from college for a year for not meeting the Covid trial requirements of the University, according to Representatives. From the UIUC Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) that advocated Chen's name. The policy that requires COVID tests twice a week for undergraduate and graduate students, one of the strictest student testing protocols, applies to students living on campus and the surrounding communities of Champaign, Savoy and Urbana , even if you are taking a fully remote class schedule.

Chen, a fourth year doctorate. Candidate studying physics, he lives in an apartment outside the campus in urban with his mother. Its representatives in GEO say that it mischieved the test requirement and assumed that it would not have to come to the campus for the tests, as it was working at 100 percent remotely, which limited their excursions outside their home and not coming Regularly to the campus. As a result, he did not participate in the university's biweekly testing program and a total of three times was tested during the autumn semester.

According to an appeal document prepared by the GEO, a union work that represents teaching assistants and graduate assistants, Chen arrived at an examination center for a scheduled exam on December 11, without realizing it That the center was a university property and that it would need a recent negative Covid test to enter. After he is told that he could not stay, he left the building immediately.

Kai Shinbrough, a fourth-year ph.D. The candidate studying physics and a representative with the GEO, said that the fact that Chen does not participate in the Covid testing program, last fall was "a simple misunderstanding, honest mistake". The request that Chen supports maintains that the "participation of him in the university testing system would only increase the risk for himself, the mother of him and the campus community."

"Ivor was taking refuge with his mother. He was not putting himself or anyone else at risk of a higher exhibition of Covid," said Shinbrough. "Then, at the end of December, December 21, he received his first notice to prove non-compliance, which was also his first notice of a disciplinary charge. The university states that he should also have received an email at the end of September, notifying him From the failure of non-compliance, but Ivor does not remember receiving this email and university to date has not provided any evidence that they send it specifically. "

Shinbrough said that a GEO representative attended Chen's disciplinary audience with the Student Conflict Resolution Office (OSCR) January 29.

"is the memory of the GEO representative that the CSO Committee was condescending and rude to Ivor during the hearing, and after less than 10 minutes of the deliberation of the closed session, that committee decided penalties Originally written in the petition, which were of dismissal, 80 hours of community service, two written trials, a notice of inventions and the requirement for request to enter the university again after its year of dismissal

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