10/24/20 Breakfast Club, Where Else line

The line of Breakfast Clubbers waiting to enter Where Else on Oct. 24

Despite long lines of mask-less students crowding Harry's Chocolate Shop and other Chauncey Hill bars Saturday morning, a University spokesperson said participating in Breakfast Club is not a violation of the Protect Purdue Pledge.

"We had mixed reactions to the images from this past weekend," spokesperson Tim Doty said. "While a few showed disregard for the health and safety of the Purdue community, many others illustrated creativity, restraint and how to responsibly enjoy the return of Big Ten football and a Boilermaker victory.

"We applaud the great majority of fans who swapped past gameday behaviors for a socially distanced watch party, difficult as it may have been."

Students who violate the pledge are subject to disciplinary action under the Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings and Appeals, which says prohibited behavior includes attending events where individuals do not follow "the requirements of maintaining appropriate social distancing (6 feet based on current public health guidance) and wearing an appropriate face mask."

These restrictions also apply if the event takes place off-campus.

Protect Purdue protocols also specify that masks must be worn outside if distancing of 6 feet is not possible.

"We expect all students, faculty and staff to follow the Protect Purdue Pledge, whether they are on campus or off it," Doty said. "Student violations of the Pledge will be investigated by the Office of the Dean of Students and we will continue to work with the county health department and the city on best practices for football weekends as well as Halloween."

Tippecanoe County health officer Jeremy Adler said photos of students not maintaining sufficient distance while waiting in line or not wearing face coverings were "very concerning." He cited the rapid spread the coronavirus exhibits in settings where crowds of people are packed together for minutes or hours.

The county health department has been consistent in its messaging about the importance of wearing face masks and avoiding crowds. Department inspectors will begin visiting businesses to manage outdoor lines and enforce social distancing, Adler said.

Inspectors will also ensure bars and restaurants are maintaining prescribed limits on capacity and guidelines that prohibit patrons from roaming around, he said. Bars are required to limit indoor capacity to 50% as long as social distancing is maintained, according to a Sept. 30 health department order. Restaurants can operate at 75% capacity.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse, so it is incumbent upon each of us to wear face coverings and practice social distancing," Adler said. "Now is not the time to disregard preventive measures that are designed to keep everyone safe."

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