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Watch: Northeastern student editor says freshmen suspended for gathering are put in a ‘tough situation’

Kelly Chan appeared on CNN Monday to discuss Northeastern's controversial move to dismiss students and keep their tuition after they were caught gathering off campus.

Kelly Chan on CNN Monday. Screenshot

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The editor-in-chief of Northeastern University’s independent student paper appeared on CNN Monday afternoon to discuss the university’s controversial move to dismiss 11 freshmen for the semester and keep their tuition fees after they were caught gathering off campus, breaking new rules set up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Kelly Chan, who is a second-year honors student and helms the Huntington News, explained that her fellow students seem divided on Northeastern dismissing the freshmen.

“I’ve heard a lot of chatter among student populations saying one side of the story is, ‘The university’s justified in holding these students accountable for their actions and for suspending them in order to keep the community safe,'” Chan said. “And on the other hand, ‘Was this too hard of a punishment?’

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“You know, they are just freshmen, this was one mistake. Freshmen are put in a very tough situation — we always come to college campuses expecting to make new friends to socialize, and it can be tempting to gather and want to salvage that college experience. So I’ve heard both narratives among the student population, but I think definitely a lot of people feel for the students in that they still have to pay the tuition when the semester has not even started yet.”

Officials announced that the university would boot the students from campus in a press release Friday. The move by the university spurred widespread pushback from all ideological directions last week after the Boston Globe shared an article on the dismissals on Twitter. Most of the outrage was centered on the university keeping the hefty tuition fees, each totaling $36,500 for the semester.

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Chan explained that while each student is able to go through an appeal process, she didn’t yet know the status of the individual students.

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