Purdue president makes preliminary plans to welcome students back in fall

Coronavirus

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s president released a message today stating students, faculty and staff will return to campus this Fall pending government restrictions and safety measures. President Mitch Daniels reminds everyone the strategies are preliminary right now.

“Here at Purdue we have some evening classes, we have Saturday classes,” Daniels explained. “We may need more of those, we may need to stretch the calendar in order to have fewer people together at one time.”

The entire message is available at www.purdue.edu. Daniels said there are two groups of people they must consider in safely reopening campus, the young students and the more at-risk population, “the roughly 20% of our Purdue community who are over 35 years old contains a significant number of people with diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and other ailments which together comprise a very high percentage of the fatal and most severe COVID-19 cases.”

Skyler Lotts is a rising junior at Purdue. He is a film and video production major who misses hands-on learning and working at events. But, he supports the schools’ efforts to keep everyone safe.

“I had a total of four jobs through Purdue and the local mall up there, and I lost all of those,” Lotts explained. “Those were just the time of my life. I had so much fun doing it. I had to give all of that up.”

Lotts said it is worth it to keep as many people as possible healthy.

Daniels said the strategies for operations if campus does open again at the start of the fall semester would prohibit larger gatherings, involve more online courses, require people to be pre-tested before returning and possibly limiting campus visits and departures.

“We think there are a lot of common sense steps we can take and technology we can bring to bear to do that,” Daniels said.

Daniels goes on to write in his message to the Purdue community, “Again, these concepts are preliminary, intended mainly to illustrate an overall, data-driven and research-based strategy, and to invite suggestions for their modification or exclusion in favor of better actions.”

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