Sanctioning Guidelines for Violations of COVID-19 Public Health Expectations
(Temporary Addendum)


Policy 2690.10


Policy Statement


The University of Vermont (UVM) expects students to remain compliant with all public health expectations put forth by UVM Forward, which are informed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Vermont, and the City of Burlington.

Policy Elaboration


The Office of Medical Education (OME) is tasked with resolving any reports of student behavior that may be in violation of the University’s public health expectations in relation to COVID-19. OME will respond to reports for behavior documented both on- and off-campus.

The University of Vermont Code of Student Conduct [PDF] outlines policies that that potentially relate to violations of public health expectations. Most notably:

  • (c) Public Order/University Order Offenses:
    • (1) Creating a fire, safety, or health hazard.
    • (2) Impeding or obstructing an investigation or failing to identify oneself or to comply with the directions of University officials, their authorized agents, or local police agencies acting in the performance and scope of their duties.
    • (5) Conveying information that the student knows or should know to be false, by actions such as lying or being dishonest, forging, altering, or causing any false information to be entered into University record or to be presented at a University proceeding or to a University Official.
  • Prohibited Acts
    • Offenses Against Persons: Any conduct or action that
      • causes physical harm or endangers the health or safety of any person; or
      • places another person in reasonable apprehension of physical harm or danger
        to their health or safety or to the health or safety of another, including through
        written or verbal conduct or implied threats.
Reporting Concerning Behavior

We all have a shared obligation for promoting public health. If an individual is not comfortable, in the moment, with interrupting behavior they feel places their self or our community in jeopardy, they should contact Larner Medical Student Services.

If the witness wishes to report an incident themselves, individuals may submit a report via the Larner College of Medicine Confidential Web-Based Learning Environment Reporting Form (link and password for the form are located on all medical student badges) or individuals may submit an online incident report directly to the Center for Student Conduct. Please realize that your report, including your name (if provided in the form), will become available to the respondent during any resulting conduct hearing.

Adjudication Process for Alleged Violations

Alleged violations will be reviewed through a hearing process detailed in the Medical Student Handbook Medical Student Handbook Policies 690.10 - Fitness Committee and 690.20 - Review of Professional Performance and shall be modified in the following limited ways:

  • Review and adjudication by the Committee shall be effectuated by at least two of the five members of the Fitness Committee;
  • The Committee shall meet and render a decision within three business days of a student referral;
  • Where a right of appeal is provided by policy, a shortened appeal window will apply and shall be specified in writing as part of the decision letter issued by the Fitness Committee.

Cases where students have failed to take any required COVID-19 test, will be treated as a single exception to the process outlined above. Initial testing violations will be administratively addressed by the Office of Medical Education, without a hearing, consistent with the sanction guidelines listed below. An appeal right will be provided in these cases regardless of the sanction imposed and shall be specified in writing as part of the decision letter issued by the Office of Medical Education.

In all cases, administrative actions may be imposed by the Office of Medical Education to address the significant health and safety concerns raised by those alleged violations, including restricting access to campus, prior to or during the pendency of the hearing and any appeal process. The Office of Medical Education is a designee of the Dean of Students when imposing such administrative actions.

Sanction Guidelines: Missed Test(s)

Sanction guidelines for missed tests have been established as listed below.

  • 1st Offense: Missed Mandatory COVID-19 Test: A first missed test will result in a letter of warning from the Office of Medical Education that offers a 48-hour window for the student to complete their missed test at the UVM COVID Information and Service Center. Provided the student completes the missed test as requested, the student will be considered in compliance.  If the student does not comply, they will be administratively assessed a fine of $100.
  • 2nd Offense: Individual Meeting with a University Official and $250 fine if found responsible. 
  • 3rd Offense: Notification to the Dean of Students and referral to the Fitness Committee. Administrative Leave of Absence is a likely outcome, where students are subject to dismissal.
Sanction Guidelines: Falsification of Vaccination Records

Any student found to have submitted a forged proof of vaccination will be reviewed for immediate suspension and referred to the Fitness Committee for formal review, where the student will be subject to dismissal.

Given added context for any specific case that is deemed especially egregious, sanctions may result in immediate Administrative Leave of Absence or dismissal.

Applicability of the Policy


All Medical Students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies


Related University of Vermont Policies


Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)


  • 3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism
  • 7.7 Medical Ethics

History


  • 09/30/2020 Policy Addendum Adopted/Approved [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 9/21/2021 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight


Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Student Services Coordinator)

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