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Spring 2020 Semester Updates

March 22, 2020

Dear Boilermaker –

Whether you are physically in West Lafayette or reading this from afar, please know that we hope you are safe, healthy and exercising all recommended actions to stay well.  We are anxiously anticipating the opportunity to get you reconnected with your coursework and program of study and your instructors have been working hard while you are away to be sure you can complete your studies this spring. 

Recognizing that much has changed so quickly, and is remarkably different from our normal way of doing our work, we wanted to share with you how services on campus have been modified for your safety and that of the general public. We know that social distancing can help to flatten the curve, so our message remains the same, if you do not need to be on campus, please stay away from campus, stay safe and follow all social distancing protocols. 

To officially welcome you back from the spring break and to our new remote learning structure, please click here for a special message from President Mitch Daniels.

Now, some additional information:


Please remember if you traveled over spring break and you plan to return to campus, you must adhere to the following public health guidance:

  • If you feel sick, you must stay home. Students who live on campus and feel sick should call PUSH for further instruction.
  • If you are returning from a Level 3 travel advisory country, you must self-quarantine for a period of 14 days PRIOR to returning to campus.
  • If you are returning from other regions, including domestic returns, you should 1) stay home if you are sick; 2) work/study remotely and, importantly, do not return to research labs for 14 days after your return; and 3) practice safe social distancing.


Your instructors, instructional designers, advisors, academic assistance and student life teams have been working hard to move your courses into a format that can be delivered remotely so you can continue your studies. Detailed guidance on how to access and succeed in your remote courses is available here


Starting Monday, March 23, nearly all buildings and offices on campus will restrict walk-in traffic. You will still be able to contact any office you need (advising, dean of students, CAPS, etc.) by phone or email.  While the campus remains open, we have had to change our method of service delivery to help reduce the spread of the virus. The buildings listed below have already closed:

  • Bechtel Innovation Design Center (BIDC)
  • Córdova Recreational Sports Center (CREC)
  • Krach Leadership Center (KRCH)
  • Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC)

Beginning Wednesday, March 25, all research, academic and administrative buildings will remain locked throughout the day as the default.  PUSH, Hicks Undergraduate Library (for wi-fi access), and the Welcome Center in Stewart Center will remain open.  The South entrance to Stewart Center will be open to allow access only to the Welcome Center on the building’s main floor. The Welcome Center will be staffed to answer questions that are not otherwise covered on the university’s COVID-19 FAQ website or that cannot be answered by the call center (765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free 1-833-571-1043, M-F). Please note that you will not have access to other areas in Stewart Center.


Campus food options will be extremely limited. Credit cards and meal swipes (for carryout only) can be used at Wiley Dining Court, Third Street Market and at the Daily Bite food truck at Hawkins Hall. Menus will be limited.


Students living in University Residences will have their usual wi-fi and internet access.

For those students who have no other access to wi-fi or a computer, Hicks will offer limited hours (7:30 am – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday).  Social distancing standards and occupancy will be monitored to ensure the health and safety of users.  Unfortunately, no study groups will be permitted so we can respect social distancing and serve those most in need of this limited service.  Staff will be on-hand to continuously clean throughout the day. 


During this time of change and uncertainty, we have not forgotten the important role your employment plays in university operations. We also know that your employment plays a valuable role in your education. We appreciate you and want to let you know we understand how difficult it is to decide whether or not to return to your campus job. If you are a student who holds a campus job, please click here for more information. We urge you to also speak with your supervisor for additional guidance. 


All students in the residence halls who can move home — or to a different location — should do so by March 30, 2020. Move out information for residence halls is available here


Information on financial credits for students who will be moving out of University Residences can be found in this message.


Due to concerns with the spread of the coronavirus, campus living will be dramatically different than before spring break. Students staying on campus are asked to take special precautions to maximize social distancing and do their part to help ensure the health of the campus community.

  • Guests will be prohibited in all University Residences buildings and facilities.
  • Dining services will have reduced hours and operate with pick-up service only. See for specific information.
  • Some students may be asked to relocate rooms in order to have more privacy and minimize disease spread
  • Guidance from federal and state public health authorities may require additional actions on the part of students who remain with us.
  • See this message for more information.


The Purdue COVID-19 FAQ webpage is your best source of up-to-the-minute information. For other questions, please call the Purdue COVID-19 Information Center at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free 1-833-571-1043. The call center is staffed by university employees 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, with timely answers to questions regarding housing, financial aid, academics and more.

Collectively we are in unchartered waters.  As a campus community, during normal times, we have more than 50,000 people on campus daily and in close proximity to one another.  These are not normal times, and we have an important duty to protect your health and that of the general public to help minimize the spread of this disease in society at large. Thank you for your continued efforts in taking these significant changes to campus life in stride, and for helping us keep our campus and our community healthy and safe.

Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue!


Dean Sermersheim

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost & Dean of Students
Purdue University
Schleman Hall| Room 207
475 Stadium Mall Drive | West Lafayette, IN  47907
Phone:  765.494.1257| Email:

Purdue University, Office of the Dean of Students, Helen B. Schleman Hall (formerly the Recitation Building), 2nd Floor, 656 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086, Phone (765) 494-1747, Fax (765) 496-1550

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