Lindenwood enforces zero tolerance policy as students violate alcohol and visitation guidelines


One of Lindenwood University’s Public Safety & Security vehicles parked in a designated parking spot in the upper lot of the Spellmann Center.
Photo by Michelle Sproat.

Alexis Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 on campus, Lindenwood is removing all students involved in alcohol and visitation infractions from campus housing for the remainder of the semester.

This will include any student who is present at a campus party, according to an email sent to all students on Monday. Previously, only students who held campus parties were suspended from campus housing. 

Students who are suspended may continue to attend in-person and online classes, but cannot live on-campus. Suspended students will not be eligible for a refund of the room and board charges, according to the email sent on Monday from Terry Whittum, senior vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Engagement.  

“The majority of Lindenwood students follow our COVID-19 protocols and work to keep our campus safe and open. However, some students continue to violate our visitation, alcohol, and health and safety measures by hosting parties,” the email read. 

“Their reckless behavior puts not only themselves and fellow students but also our faculty, staff, and families at risk. To curb these behaviors, we are instituting a zero-tolerance policy on parties.”

Whittum said in an email interview that the university is keeping track of the violations that have occurred so far this semester. 

“The Dean of Students is responsible for student violations. Some minor violations in the resident halls are handled by the Area Coordinator,” Whittum said. “More serious violations are adjudicated by the Dean of Students. We do keep a log of all student violations.”

As for how Lindenwood punishes households that have on-campus parties, Whittum said that it depends on the involvement of all the residents in a household. 

“If, for example, one resident was not present at a party then that student would likely not be sanctioned,” Whittum said. “Each case is reviewed separately and the determination of the responsible parties is made during the review.”

“Under the new zero tolerance policy, every student in attendance at a party will now be suspended from campus. Up to this week, we only suspended those students hosting the party.”

While the active COVID-19 cases on campus continue to rise, Lindenwood does not yet have a set number of positive cases needed in order to shut down campus again. 

“We do have a plan to put into place different levels of restrictions, including sending all students home just as we did last spring,” Whittum said. “The trigger points for each increased level of restrictions is based on a number of factors, not just student violations.”

“We also look at the number of positive cases on campus, how many students are quarantined, and what is happening with COVID-19 in our community.”

Whittum added that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been shown through science: wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and maintaining good hygiene.

“If everyone did these three things we would be in much better shape,” Whittum said. “I ask our students that when they see a fellow student, faculty, or staff member not following the rules to politely remind them.”

Whittum said that since a majority of students are trying to stay healthy and obey the new guidelines, he did not want to put the zero tolerance rule into effect.

“Unfortunately, there remains a group of students who appear to not care about their fellow students and continue to break the rules,” Whittum said. “My hope is that these new rules will finally get those students onboard with our COVID policies.”