Purdue University suspended 14 students, 13 of whom were athletes, for holding a party Saturday night in violation of the school’s coronavirus policy.
The suspended athletes are not involved in fall sports, ESPN reported, nor have they been identified. Purdue announced the suspensions on Monday, saying the students violated the “Protect Purdue Pledge” against on-campus parties that violate social distancing guidelines. ESPN reported that the suspended athletes are not on the men’s or women’s basketball teams, suggesting they could be members of the “men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, softball, baseball and wrestling.”
The affected students are required to leave their residence hall by Wednesday but can appeal the suspensions. In a statement to ESPN, Purdue said:
The university will process the appeals of the summary suspensions expeditiously. We will not be providing details regarding individual disciplinary outcomes. Each case will be resolved in a manner that meets the objectives of (1) protecting the health & safety of the campus community and (2) educating students on how to effectively adhere to the Protect Purdue Pledge.
The suspensions were issued by associate vice provost and dean of students Katie Sermersheim after university residence staff learned of the party.
In a separate statement, Purdue’s athletic department said it was aware of the situation “involving 13 out-of-season student-athletes.”
“Our student-athletes, coaches and staff remain committed to following the guidelines of the Protect Purdue Pledge, and have been working with the university throughout this process,” the statement said. “While this is an unfortunate occurrence, we hope it’s instructive for all Boilermaker students and reinforces the importance of protecting everyone on campus during this time.”
Purdue president Mitch Daniels also released a statement.
“On one hand, we are glad to have had only two of this type of incident in six weeks,” Daniels said, “but we will deal with any such violation with firmness. The fact that this episode involved student-athletes can make no difference. At Purdue, we have one set of rules for everyone.”
Daniels was referring to a second incident in August in which 36 people were suspended for attending a large party.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, other colleges and universities across the country are punishing students for throwing parties during the coronavirus pandemic. In August, The Ohio State University suspended 228 students for violating the school’s social distancing guidelines before classes even started.
“OSU sent a message informing them of the school’s coronavirus guidelines, such as wearing a mask, keeping at least six feet apart (social distancing), and limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Students were also warned by Vice President of Student Life Melissa S. Shivers that the university was already opening investigations into student gatherings that would likely result in suspensions. Student organizations were warned they could lose recognition and funding if they held gatherings that violated the school’s coronavirus guidelines,” The Daily Wire reported.
Florida State University also arrested seven men in connection with a house party that violated the state’s open house part law where alcohol was served to underage people.