Purdue students react to enforcement of COVID-19 policy

Purdue University is reporting 84 students and 214 employees failed to show up for required COVID testing.

Posted: Sep 10, 2021 5:16 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2021 6:04 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Purdue University is sticking to its COVID-19 policy, but it could mean trouble for those not following it.

"It is a little bit frustrating to see people just not show up," said vaccinated Purdue sophomore Brett Heckman.

Purdue University reported 84 students and 214 employees failed to show up for required COVID testing.

The policy requires proof of vaccination or surveillance testing.

"They're not making it as hard as possible, but I think they're just making it hard for students so eventually they just get vaccinated," said unvaccinated Purdue freshman Kennidy Vermillion.

Vermillion chose to not get the vaccine. 

She's complying with the testing policy, but doesn't think it's necessary.

"I don't think it's making us safer," she said. "I mean, if the masks work then why do we have to get tested every week."

Unvaccinated freshman Gabriella Blankenship agreed with Vermillion, but that hasn't stopped them from following the rules.

"I will do whatever it takes to, like, to be able to be a student at Purdue," Blankenship said. "I'm not going to take any risks by getting suspended or anything like that."

"I think that they should just come to get tested, but at the same time, it's an inconvenience," Vermillion added.

What Vermillion called an "inconvenience" is keeping unvaccinated students and employees from facing disciplinary action.

"That was the agreement," Heckman said. "If you don't get vaccinated, you have to get tested."

Students and employees have three chances to comply.

Students could eventually be suspended, and the final action for staff is termination.

Faculty will be on unpaid leave until they get a negative test result.

"Just go to testing," Heckman said. "It's usually just 15 minutes of your time. It's not that big of a deal."

News 18 reached out to Purdue for comment about the policy Friday, but no one was available for an interview.

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