Protecting a unique city of 50,000+ people

In March 2020, implications of the pandemic became clear. How could Purdue still offer the safest learning, research and engagement experience that kept at the forefront the health and well-being of a campus community that is comparable to a city of 50,000+ people?

Instead of running from this crisis, the Boilermaker community went to work to solve it, knowing that it would take collective buy-in and commitment from everyone to shift the campus culture and keep everyone safe.

At the same time, studies gave Purdue some comfort, noting that at least 80% of the campus is made up of individuals age 35 and younger. The data also suggested in mid-2020 and continues to show today that the COVID-19 virus, while it transmits rapidly in this age group, poses close to zero lethal threat to them.

Pledged to Protect Purdue

Foundational to establishing this cultural new normal on campus, Purdue formally adopted the Protect Purdue Pledge in May 2020. This campuswide commitment by the people of Purdue outlined how to work together to help stop spread of COVID-19 and other infections.

  • Each Boilermaker assumed personal responsibility to Protect Purdue — myself, others and our Purdue community.
  • Every member of the Boilermaker community was asked to sign, take protective measures, and act accordingly with the Protect Purdue Pledge and its individual components on and off campus.
  • To show Purdue’s commitment to the Protect Purdue Pledge, violations were added to the student and employee codes of conduct.

To help our campus maintain this commitment, the University distributed 55,000 wellness kits to every student and employee, complete with Purdue-branded face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and a digital thermometer.

55,000 WELLNESS KITS

DISTRIBUTED TO EVERY STUDENT AND EMPLOYEE

Reimagined residence hall move-in process for students

Before arriving, students were given prep materials orienting them to campus, including health-related expectations such as required pre-arrival COVID-19 testing.

  • Boiler Gold Rush for incoming freshmen was adapted to incorporate safety practices and to de-densify activities. Residence hall move-in was staggered over five days rather than the normal two days.
  • This prolonged schedule enabled a ramp-up period to begin Protect Purdue communication, education and health screenings.
  • Before the start of the Spring 2021 semester, Boiler Cold Rush was redesigned to welcome and orient those students who couldn’t get to campus until January 2021 because of the pandemic.
 BERKELEY LILE

“I am immunocompromised. I can’t fight off illness anywhere near as a healthy person. So even something as little as a cold or a stomach bug can make me really, really sick. I know it’s been a challenge to follow the Protect Purdue Pledge, but it’s genuinely the thing that’s KEEPING ME SAFE. Just knowing that everyone on campus has been willing to make these changes, it makes me really thankful that I chose to come to Purdue.”

BERKELEY LILE
Junior, neurobiology and physiology

Protect Purdue Ambassadors spread word of safety

Recognizing the need for peer encouragement to get the entire student body aligned with the Protect Purdue Pledge, Purdue Marketing and Communications created the Protect Purdue Ambassador program. This program was made up of more than 300 students, including 20 team leaders, from all class years and colleges. During the fall and spring semesters, the Ambassadors:

5,000 MASKS

AND OTHER ITEMS DISTRIBUTED THAT REINFORCED POSITIVE BEHAVIORS

7,640 HOURS

OF SERVICE LOGGED IN SUPPORT OF PROTECT PURDUE PLEDGE

50+ PROJECTS

EXECUTED TO HELP STUDENTS NAVIGATE PANDEMIC LIFE ON CAMPUS

Boiler Ambassadors passing out PPE items
Boiler Ambassadors talking to students

Table of Contents

  • Protect Purdue Plan
  • COVID-19 Testing by the Numbers
  • Campus Culture
  • Healthy Campus
  • Campus Vaccination Clinic
  • Learning and Instruction
  • Physical Spaces
  • Student Experience
  • Workforce Safety and Protection
  • Protecting Research Operations
  • Timely Communication
  • Looking Ahead
  • Protect Purdue Leadership

Activated Boiler Ambassador Instagram account to share reminders, tips and information

@BOILERAMBASSADORS

  • 2.7 MILLION IMPRESSIONS
  • 96,258 ENGAGEMENTS
  • 3,000 FOLLOWERS