WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Dozens of Purdue University students could face suspension after not complying with the school’s COVID-19 protocols. The students have been warned twice — either get the vaccine or take part in weekly testing. But it’s not just students who are facing disciplinary action.
Purdue says three weeks into the semester, 84 students refused to comply with the Protect Purdue surveillance testing requirement after a prior warning.
Some students on campus say it’s critical that all students follow the rules.
“I mean, just like any other rule that the university states, we all have to follow it. And that’s just another one of the rules,” said Purdue student Luke Murray.
“It would be better for the whole Purdue student population if they were to comply with testing,” said Rachel Bonefas, another student.
Before the start of the fall semester, students were given the choice to either show proof that they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in routine surveillance testing, which could be as frequently as weekly.
“It’s a nice option to have so they can choose to not have the vaccine. It is very … aggressive in how often they have to get tested, but I think that that’s a good thing because that’ll keep our numbers and cases low,” said Murray.
And it’s not just students. 214 employees also got a warning for failing to participate in required testing. All employees who aren’t vaccinated, with the exception of those working 100% remote, must also participate in regular surveillance testing. A staff member who isn’t compliant could lose their job.
To some students, following the rules is important since it means being able to stay on campus.
“Online learning for me is really something I can’t do. It just seems nearly impossible … from my high school experience. So, being on campus — being physically on campus in classes — is just super, super important for me,” said James Wadhwani, a student at Purdue.
“It’s the right thing to do for all people — not just students — unless you have a medical reason not to get vaccinated and been told by a doctor. It is the best thing to get vaccinated, and that’s what the research and doctors have told us,” said Bonefas.