Purdue suspends 36 students after party, IU issues warnings

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — 36 students at Purdue University have been suspended for partying and violating the Protect Purdue Pledge, according to a university spokesperson.

Purdue confirmed the Circle Pines Cooperative and attendees of an August 19-20 event at its house received summary suspensions.

The Board of Trustees adopted the pledge in May. Protect Myself, Protect Others, and Protect Our Purdue Community are the three pillars of the school’s preventative coronavirus messaging.

School officials said under our conduct procedures, the organization and the students may appeal the interim suspension.

Purdue said the ultimate sanctioning decision will be made later after a full hearing process, and the university will move to expedite the process. 

Dr. Katie Sermersheim, Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students said the following in a statement:

Purdue University has been clear and consistent with our messaging to students about the Protect Purdue Plan and the expectations they would need to follow if they made the decision to be on campus this fall. Unfortunately, everything we have done – the months of planning to give our students the opportunity to continue their educational pursuits in person – can be undone in the blink of an eye – with just one party or event that does not follow the rules and guidelines.

We will continue to call upon our entire university community – faculty, staff, and students – to honor and embrace all aspects of the Protect Purdue plan in order to help us all meet our collective health responsibilities. We are social creatures and yearn for human interactions and engagement with one another – no one is denying that. We are just asking that we put on hold large gatherings in confined spaces until this global pandemic can be better understood and controlled.  Until such time, students must find lower risk activities in which to connect with one another or run the risk of a code violation.  

In Bloomington, Indiana University took to its Twitter account after a video of students partying made waves on the internet last night.

IU called the gathering “unacceptable”, stating it violated county and state regulations for groups and physical distancing as well as the university’s own guidelines.

IU President Michael McRobbie sent the following email to students at all IU campuses Thursday: 

Dear IU student,

Over the past several days, we have seen several schools — including the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina — abruptly shut down in-person classes over outbreaks of COVID-19. 

We are also aware of recent parties and large gatherings hosted by IU students that have violated county regulations and put our campus communities at risk. Thousands of IU community members, including many of your peers, have worked countless hours to ensure the safe return to on-campus learning. 

Since the earliest days of the pandemic, you have told us that you want and value in-person, on-campus learning. Our faculty have told us they want to see you as well — and want you to have the educational experiences you deserve. That means you must follow the behaviors and actions that you agreed to by signing the Student Commitment Form, which all students must review and sign before returning to campus. 

If too many of you fail to comply, our decision will be simple: We will reverse course as other universities have done and go back to all-virtual instruction, which we know you don’t want and which we have all worked so hard to avoid. 

We know that we are embarking upon a fall semester like no other at IU. We recognize the sacrifices you, and all of us, have made and will continue to make. 

How you choose to act matters — and it matters greatly. Right now, there are people on social media posting about how irresponsible students are going to force us all back online. They think it is inevitable. Prove them wrong. 

Michael A. McRobbie – President

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