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Can colleges enforce rules designed to prevent coronavirus spread?

July 9, 2020

Purdue University’s plan to reopen this fall expects all community members to socially distance on and off campus. But more than 90% of staff, faculty, postdocs and graduate students think undergraduates won’t do it.

That number comes from an early June survey of more than 7,200 people by Purdue’s faculty senate. Its chair, Deborah Nichols, a professor in the Human Development and Family Studies department, said the university was not clear on how it would enforce those safety requirements.

“We did ask several times. And we have gotten, ‘Well, the first step is to educate. And if you educate them, people will listen, and let’s start there,'” Nichols said. “And I kept saying ‘Well, that’s not reassuring.'”

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