COVID-19 enforcement form receives first reports

Aisha+Shekara+takes+a+COVID-19+test+at+the+Illini+Union+on+Sunday.+New+COVID-19+rules+and+restrictions+have+been+applied+to+the+Champaign-Urbana+and+Campustown+areas+this+week.

Ryan Ash

Aisha Shekara takes a COVID-19 test at the Illini Union on Sunday. New COVID-19 rules and restrictions have been applied to the Champaign-Urbana and Campustown areas this week.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

Champaign-Urbana and Campustown got hit with a wave of new COVID-19 rules and restrictions this week, including a limit on party size to 10 guests, excluding hosts and legal residents, and a pause on indoor dining through Labor Day.

The University isn’t short for rules either. Twice-weekly testing, mandated face coverings and social distancing guidelines are meant to keep its reopening plans afloat.

For students, faculty and staff seeking to report violations they’ve seen, there’s a new online portal to relay COVID-19-related behavior concerns to the University. The COVID-19 Enforcement Form, run through Student Affairs, has been up since Aug. 19.

All complaints about students and RSO behavior run through the Office for Student Conflict Resolution. To date, five people have filed complaints through the form, and “many others” have sent reports to [email protected], said Chantelle Thompson, spokesperson for Student Affairs.

“Most of the reports we have received concern off-campus parties that occurred last week and over the weekend,” Thompson said in an email.

The form asks for the first and last name of the individual being reported, though advises users not to “approach or forcefully attempt to gain said information from any member of the campus community.”

Users can fill out details about the individual, including UIN and email if known, and elaborate their account of the incident. At the bottom, users can attach five files for any evidence of their claims.

It’s not just for students. The form can be used to report policy-breaking activities of on-campus organizations or faculty and staff.

Even if users don’t know the names of the offenders, filling out the form is still useful, Thompson said.

“A report from one student might supplement a report from another and give us a more complete picture of what happened, or multiple reports taken together might identify a location in need of additional Wellness Support Associate support,” she said.

Though the Office for Student Conflict Resolution doesn’t handle violations by faculty and staff, they can still forward it to the appropriate human resources department.

However, for off-campus or non-student violations, campus folks should contact the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said health district administrator Julie Pryde.

Their coronavirus hotline — (217) 239-7877 — and email address — [email protected] — have been running hot all summer.

“These aren’t for University things, these are for community events people have seen,” Pryde said.

As Chancellor Robert Jones said at a press briefing Friday, student discipline can be looped in for serious violations of COVID-19 policies.

However, Thompson and Student Affairs don’t plan to use student discipline as the normal response.

“I do want to stress that our intent is not engage the student disciplinary process in response to every report. We want everyone to be safe. In most cases, a gentle reminder will do the trick,” Thompson said. “That being said, hosting large events that do not meet state, local and University expectations or failing to comply with quarantine or isolation requirements will result in serious consequences, up to an including dismissal from the University (or, for RSOs, revocation of status).”

[email protected]