Purdue trustees unanimously approve plans for fall semester

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WEHT) — Students will be able to return to Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus in the fall, with some changes and precautions in place.

The trustees unanimously approved ratified plans by the Protect Purdue Implementation Team.

Michael Berghoff, chairman of the board, says prospective students are submitting deposits at record numbers, and to-date, they’re exceeding last year’s numbers.

“When you review the details that are coming out of the Protect Purdue Implementation Team, your level of confidence goes up that we are able to provide as safe a campus as possible, which won’t eliminate the risk and it doesn’t mean that no one will get infected, but it does make us feel quite confident that we’ll have delivered as safe of an environment as possible,” Berghoff said.

Fall 2020 Calendar

On-campus classroom instruction will take place from Aug. 24 to Nov. 24 (without customary university holidays and fall breaks) and the balance of the semester to be completed thereafter by remote means, as well as designation of the previously announced requirement to wear face masks while indoors and in any close-quarters setting as an official university regulation.

Classrooms

Students and anyone else in classrooms will be required to wear masks, and there will be at least a ten foot spacing between the students and the instructor. Rooms will be rearranged to maximize distancing, student occupant capacities will be reduced by approximately 50%, and large-classroom occupancy will be limited to no more than 150 students.

Mobile plexiglass barriers will be available for additional protection, and there will be routing for students to get in and out of the classroom.

Online Learning

Berghoff says he knows there will be students that can’t come to campus in the fall, because they’re international students or because of financial hardship. He says those who can’t attend in-person and for the sake of de-densifying the number of students, a certain number of classes will be online. There will be some classes taught more than once to accomodate the changes.

Housing

Dorms will have ten foot space from headboard to headboard, and there will be scheduled shifts for showers to minimize the amount of people in the bathrooms at one time.

“We’re pretty certain we have enough beds to do this, we’re continuing to take inventory,” Berghoff said.

Berghoff says rooms that are too small for the two beds will be converted to single rooms, and 20% of Purdue’s dorm rooms are already singles.

Athletics

Berghoff says the Big Ten and NCAA also have to issue guidance and restrictions, but Purdue’s intention is to be ready to play at some level in the fall with protocols for student-athletes.

Summer 2020 Commenecement

Summer 2020 graduates will have a virtual graduation in August.

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