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36 Purdue University students suspended after off-campus party

Thirty-six students at Purdue University who attended a party on Wednesday night have been suspended, a spokesperson for the university confirmed to CBS News. Syracuse University announced later Thursday that it had suspended 23 students for attending a large gathering on the "quad" on campus. 

The Purdue party was held by the Circle Pines Cooperative, and the spokesperson said both the co-op and the attendees were suspended. The spokesperson did not specify the duration of the suspensions, but said students had the right to appeal. 

The spokesperson added that the students were suspended for violating the university's "Protect Purdue Pledge," which lays out rules intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus

An independent student newspaper at Purdue reported that police received a call about a "large party" at approximately 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. A GroupMe message from Director of Orientation Programs Craig Johnson reportedly said that "none of [the attendees] had masks on" when police arrived.   

The twenty-three students at Syracuse were suspended following a large gathering of freshmen on the quad on Wednesday. The school said a small group of students went to the quad around 9:45 p.m. — but that by 10:00 p.m., "the group had grown considerably." 

"By now you are aware of the incredibly reckless behavior that took place on the Quad last night. We assure you: Anyone we are able to identify as attending that gathering will be held responsible," the school said in a statement, adding that it's still reviewing security footage, interviewing witnesses and processing tips. 

"Our ability to remain here is directly dependent on the behavior and actions of our students," the statement added. "There is so much at stake for each member of our community-do your part." 

Penn State's president sent a similar message Thursday, following what he described as reports of "crowds of students congregating in large numbers" without wearing masks. 

"Last night's behavior is unacceptable," he wrote. "I ask students flouting the University's health and safety expectations a simple question: Do you want to be the person responsible for sending everyone home?" 

The suspensions come as a number of other schools, including Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have had to roll back plans for in-person classes after outbreaks of COVID-19 flared up in the first weeks of the fall semester.

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