A New York University (NYU) freshman has hit the school with a lawsuit contesting its decision to suspend her for going on a Hudson River boat ride where people were flouting COVID-19 rules.
Nicole Rosenberg and two friends went on the boat ride on Oct. 15, after she was “told that the boat would be operated under COVID guidelines,” a lawsuit she filed against the university in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday says.
The suit claims Rosenberg and her friends tried to leave the boat after they realized others weren’t following the guidelines, but a security guard told them it was already disembarking.
The three kept their masks on and stayed away from other boaters for the duration of the trip, the suit alleges. NYU on Oct. 21, however, sent Rosenberg a notice charging her with violating its “Conduct Policy,” according to the suit.
“Specifically, it is alleged that you attended a large gathering at an off-campus location without proper use of masks and social distancing,” the notice read. “Photos and videos of the gathering were posted on social media and shared with our office through the University’s anonymous reporting channels.”
NYU subsequently suspended Rosenberg for the fall 2020 semester and put her on disciplinary probation through Aug. 31, 2021, the lawsuit says.
Rosenberg’s suit claims the school’s decision “violates NYU’s policies and procedures, did not afford [Rosenberg] a fair and impartial process, is arbitrary and capricious, and constitutes an abuse of discretion.”
It also asks the court to direct NYU to wipe the suspension from her official student record and allow her to return to classes.
In a statement provided to 1010 WINS on Tuesday, NYU spokesman John Beckman called the lawsuit “baseless,” adding that the school “expect[s] to prevail in court.”
“NYU has been fortunate — the vast majority of our students have clearly absorbed our months of messaging about how important it is to follow COVID prevention rules, and how serious NYU will be in enforcing them,” he wrote. “But, sadly, there will always be some fraction that think they can get away with flouting the rules, and will even post on social media about it.”
“We enforce our rules strictly to keep our community safe; to do any less would be at odds with our responsibilities, and would be an injustice to the thousands of students acting conscientiously,” he added.
The New York Post first reported on the lawsuit.