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At least 12 Purdue students facing discipline for large off-campus gatherings

University officials said students at several large events appeared to violate COVID-19 regulations.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — At least a dozen Purdue University students are facing disciplinary action following a large off-campus gathering over the weekend.

The university said approximately 125 people were inside a 750-square-foot apartment at one of the gatherings. At least 12 students are currently facing discipline, which could result in them being placed on probation or expelled. Officials said three of the students "had previous disciplinary action for disregard of Pledge protocols and if responsibility is found, they could face expulsion."

University administrators are also investigating an outdoor party at an apartment complex, where photos show a lack of social distancing and a violation of Tippecanoe County's event attendance regulations.

The investigations into those gatherings and others are ongoing by the dean's office, property managers and county health officials, Purdue said in a release.

The school attributed the gatherings to "COVID fatigue" and the break in temperatures, which approached the 60s.

“Nobody is saying that people should not enjoy each other’s company, especially outdoors,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer, 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 said while most students at Purdue are observing the guidelines of the "Protect Purdue Pledge," some are skipping mandatory testing for coronavirus, including "a handful" who have missed more than one test. 

Six Purdue students were suspended during the fall semester for violating pre-arrival testing requirements.

“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," Ramirez said.

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