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March 17, 2021 - March Midterm

Katherine L. Sermersheim, Ph.D. Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students 

March 17, 2021

Dear Boilermaker,

Happy least happy March! Mother Nature is confusing us a bit this week, but I’m confident warmer weather will be more consistent with each passing day. March is filled with hope for spring, longer days, March Madness basketball, midterm activities, knowing that Grand Prix is right around the corner, and the awareness that the end of the semester will soon be upon us.

While I know – myself included – we are all anxious for a break and mourn the loss of the traditional spring break we have been accustomed to, we must continue to find a way to push forward to the end of the semester. You are not alone in striving to achieve this goal. We can do this! We will get there together as a Boilermaker community! Please continue to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat healthy, and unplug and refuel. Talk with family and friends about how you are feeling and concerns you may be experiencing. Please see my previous letter regarding Mental Health and Well-Being.

We have six weeks left in the semester. If we are going to finish what we started, we need everyone to continue to do their part to Protect Purdue. A couple of weeks ago I was saddened and disappointed by the reports of numerous large parties and gatherings that occurred off campus. These parties were obviously in violation of our Protect Purdue Pledge protocols and contradicted everything the vast majority of the student population has been working so hard to maintain. My office investigated each of those reported parties and were forced to take swift action against those involved. As a result, some of those students are no longer a part of our community. Those students with previous violations – repeat offenders who have shown disregard for the protections of our community- were suspended from Purdue. Furthermore, students who have repeatedly not participated in the required surveillance testing, have faced disciplinary action as well. To date, 130 students are on probation for refusing the required surveillance test.

We must continue to follow the Pledge and do our part to ensure we get through the remaining weeks of this semester. Please continue to mask up, practice social distancing and personal hygiene measures, and when called upon, participate in the surveillance testing.

Making the decision to remove – expel or suspend - a student from our Boilermaker community is one of the hardest decisions that I have to make. I do not take it lightly. I do, however, believe that we cannot let the behaviors of some negate the collective hard work done by others. To the ninety-five percent (95%) of you doing your part to help Protect Purdue I say, thank you! We are all so proud of the way you have handled the challenges of this pandemic. Your actions have proven true – Boilermakers do care about each other and will continue to do the right thing.

The future is bright and as previously shared, Fall 2021 plans are underway and are expected “to follow our traditional fall calendar, with normal start and end dates and our typical breaks”. Stay the course, Boilermakers! We can do this! Boiler Up! Hammer Down! Hail Purdue and each of you!


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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