Florida Governor DeSantis to pardon Florida COVID-19 violators; Are college students included?

Darvin Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis plans to pardon all residents who have violated COVID-19 guidelines. Does this pardon extend to college students, or will students still face disciplinary action for infractions?

Well, DeSantis has already issued a 60-day reprieve for “any individual or business that was fined under a pandemic-related order put in place by a local government,” according to POLITICO

The decision for the reprieve came when discussing the case of two Florida gym owners who faced charges for not enforcing social distancing and mask mandates in their facilities, according to WINK news.

“When our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons not only for Mike and Jillian, but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks and social distancing,” DeSantis said in the Fox News interview.

Since masks are no longer required on campus, there aren’t as many ways Ospreys can violate the COVID-19 guidelines. But if the pardon does extend to college students, will students still have the violations held against them in their conduct records?

Spinnaker reached out to UNF for clarifications.

The university says, “While Gov. DeSantis’ statement relates to criminal and/or civil penalties, UNF does offer a forgiveness option for student conduct violations.”

They say the option has always been available to UNF students through the Office of Student Accountability and Resolution and that students who have been found responsible for a violation through the Student Conduct Office can apply for record forgiveness through our normal process, as documented in the Code of Conduct at https://www.unf.edu/conduct/Student_Code_of_Conduct.aspx

“UNF will consider the forgiveness process for all individuals who had COVID violations,” UNF says. “The University may even waive the requirement of the offense if it occurred in the first few semesters at UNF, an exception that only applies to COVID violations.”


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