At least 36 students at Purdue University in Indiana were suspended this week after attending an off-campus party that violated the school’s social distancing rules.
The number of students suspended was confirmed by Tim Doty, the school's director of public information and issues management.
Doty said the students "may appeal the interim suspension, and the ultimate sanctioning decision will be made later after a full hearing process."
"The University will move that process forward expeditiously,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Katie Sermersheim, associate vice provost and the dean of students, said the school has been "clear and consistent" in its messaging to students
"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,” she said in a statement to CNN.
Sermersheim said the university is asking to put on hold large gatherings in confined spaces for now, and that the university is calling upon its entire community of faculty, staff, and students to work together to "meet our collective health responsibilities."
Earlier this week, Purdue said in a news release that it was adding violation of the Protect Purdue Plan to its code of conduct regulations — meaning that students who violate the code could be subject to disciplinary action.
"If you don’t abide by rules, there is no place for you here,” Sermersheim said.
Purdue announced its plan Friday for continued surveillance and testing of its nearly 40,000 students. According to the plan, all on-campus employees must undergo required weekly testing and random testing will take place for all students throughout the semester.
Classes are scheduled to begin on Monday.