8/20/2020, circle pines cooperative

Circle Pines Cooperative, located in Tower Acres, supposedly held a party Wednesday night in which 36 students were suspended, according to a GroupMe message from Craig Johnson, director of orientation programs.

Attendees of a Circle Pines Cooperative party held Wednesday night have been summarily suspended for violating the Protect Purdue Pledge.

The suspension also applies to the co-op itself, Purdue spokesperson Tim Doty clarified.

Purdue University Police Department logs report a caller alerting them to a "large party" at the house around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

A GroupMe message sent by Director of Orientation Programs Craig Johnson and circulated on social media Thursday morning details the incident.

"According to (PUPD) Chief (John) Cox, 36 students have been summarily suspended from the University after going to a Circle Pines co-op party last night," the message said. "Noise complaint was filed and PUPD showed up and none of them had masks on."

PUPD Capt. Song Kang said he was unfamiliar with the incident and referred The Exponent to Doty as the investigation was still ongoing. Doty confirmed the report.

This action is in accordance with an update to the Student Code of Conduct made Wednesday. The update clarifies that student parties that violate Protect Purdue guidelines are in the same disciplinary category as theft and academic dishonesty.

This update was compounded by language contained in a letter sent to all students by Dean of Students Katherine Sermersheim Wednesday.

"Plainly stated, hosting or attending gatherings and parties where social distancing is not possible and masks are not worn represent violations of the Protect Purdue Pledge," Sermersheim said. "If you don’t abide by rules, there is no place for you here."

Purdue University Interfraternity Council president Liam Bettez issued directives to IFC members Wednesday in an email regarding social events.

"There should be NO events hosted at your chapter facility or off-campus whatsoever," Bettez said. "This means no recruitment events, no chapter meetings, no social functions, etc.."

The organization and students involved may appeal the suspension and the ultimate sanctioning decision will be made later after a hearing, according to Doty.

"Unfortunately, everything we have done — the months of planning to give our students the opportunity to continue their educational pursuits in person," Sermersheim said in a statement, "can be undone in the blink of an eye — with just one party or event that does not follow the rules and guidelines." 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Jordan Smith, Sean Murley, Julia Taylor and Carson Bailey contributed to this report.

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