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Coronavirus - CS072109

A student and some of their housemates organised a party held in the accommodation they were renting from their higher education provider. The party was attended by several students from other residences.

At the time, gatherings of people from multiple households were prohibited under Covid-19 Regulations put in place by the UK government during the pandemic. The provider had told students that its disciplinary regulations also prevented such gatherings. The party was reported to the provider’s security team, which intervened.

The provider took action against the student and their housemates under its disciplinary procedures. The students told the provider that the party had been intended only for other students in their residence but students from other residences gained entry, without their knowledge, because of a faulty door lock. The students accepted that they had not asked the other students to leave or asked for help from the provider’s security team, but said the security team had intervened before they had a chance to do so. The provider fined the student and their housemates £100. The student complained to us.

We decided the complaint was Not Justified. We concluded that the provider’s decision was reasonable because there was evidence that the students from other residences had been at the party for a while before the security team arrived and so the student had time to ask them to leave. Although it was unfortunate that the door lock was broken, the disciplinary charge against the student was that they had organised a gathering that was attended by people from more than one household, and that did not mean the student needed to have invited the other students, or allowed them to enter. The fine of £100 was the lowest level fine that the provider could impose. The provider had initially imposed a higher fine, but had reduced it to take account of the fact that the student had not invited the other students. We thought that was reasonable.

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