WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — At least 12 students at Purdue University are facing disciplinary action after several large gatherings during “an abnormally active weekend,” the university announced Monday.
Purdue says off-campus parties over the weekend are being looked into by the Office of the Dean of Students, property management and county health officials.
The university says the most concerning gathering happened inside an apartment in a high rise building with an estimated 125 people inside a single 750-square-foot unit. The gathering clearly violated health guidelines laid out in the Protect Purdue Pledge and county event regulations, Purdue noted.
At least 12 students are facing disciplinary action that could range from probation to expulsion, and three of those 12 had previous disciplinary action for disregard of the pledge’s protocols, according to the university. Purdue says the three repeat pledge violators could face expulsion if found responsible.
PU also pointed out an outdoor party at an apartment complex with photos showing apparent pledge violations, including lack of social distancing and masks, as well as a violation of the county’s event attendance regulations. Potential disciplinary action is pending for this event and other weekend gatherings as violations or individuals are reported, stated the university.
“Nobody is saying that people should not enjoy each other’s company, especially outdoors,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of Protect Purdue Health Center. “Our understanding of how this virus spreads has evolved over the last year, and everyone needs to remember the three C’s to protect themselves and others: Avoid closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact environments.”
Ramirez added that while the majority of students are complying with the pledge, some individuals are failing to cooperate with mandatory surveillance testing, including a “handful” of students who have missed multiple tests.
“Students who flout this responsibility will be warned, tested, expected to comply with any future testing and could face additional disciplinary action up to and including expulsion for future noncompliance,” Purdue said in a statement.
The university says six students were suspended during the fall semester for pre-arrival testing violations, and similar disciplinary action is possible for the spring semester.
“Getting tested takes a few minutes and goes a long way toward protecting the campus community,” Ramirez said. “Things are trending in the right direction both nationally and locally on positivity numbers, but we are not out of the woods yet. We must continue to follow the Pledge, protecting ourselves and others to put COVID behind us.”