WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue students and fans returned to local bars this weekend ahead of Purdue Football's home opener on Saturday.
University Police are reminding students to follow safety guidelines outlined in the Protect Purdue Pledge.
It was a busy weekend for the Purdue University Police Department.
The department received around 250 service calls and made 5 arrests.
Most of the activity happened off campus.
According to Chief John Cox, the department received several calls about large gatherings off campus. This included gatherings such as breakfast clubs at bars off campus and off campus tailgates.
The department is not enforcing social distancing and wearing a mask.
Cox said students have done a good job following university guidelines so far this year, but the return of football does not mean students can forget about the Protect Purdue Pledge.
"Protect Purdue Pledge is part of your requirement both on and off campus. I would hate to see one Friday night or one Saturday night really cause a lot of problems," said Cox.
While the department is not enforcing masks and social distancing, the department will note such violations if they are responding to parties, criminal complaints and loud noise complaints.
Those noted student violations will be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office for evaluation.
News 18 also reached out to University Spokesperson Tim Doty about the weekend gatherings.
He provided News 18 the following statement:
"We had mixed reactions to the images from this past weekend. 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 game day behaviors for a socially distanced watch party, difficult as it may have been.
We expect all students, faculty and staff to follow the Protect Purdue Pledge, whether they are on campus or off it. 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.
As we have seen on other campuses and around the country, COVID fatigue is real. A small number of people who choose not to comply can lead to problems for everyone else.
We must remain persistent over these next several weeks and not let our masks down."