Indiana University recommends Greek houses close due to increased coronavirus spread

Coronavirus

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Indiana University officials recommended Thursday that all Greek-life houses shut down due to increased spread of COVID-19.

There are 40 Greek houses on campus, and 30 are already under quarantine. Now, it’s “highly encouraged” that all 40 close and not allow students to live there.

Indiana University is unable to order the houses closed because they are owned by their respective organizations, so they advising students to re-evaluate living in the houses.

“I think that the corporations and the national directors need to step up and think about how they’re going to help the students and their families move.They could figure out to make their houses significantly safer,” IU’s Provost Lauren Robel said.

IU Director of Media Relations Chuck Carney said he hopes the organizations will make a decision in their best interest.

Officials said there’s been no evidence of transmission in classrooms, and testing shows dorm life hasn’t been a major issue. Greek houses have had a much higher rate of transmission.

“In our dorms we can take all of the people who are infected or need to be quarantined and move them into isolation,” Director of Mitigation Testing Dr. Aaron Carroll said.

Students living on Greek Row don’t agree with the recommendations made by university officials.

“Every house on this campus had a plan of action and was willing to execute that plan when cases arose. However, the university and the county have taken that power away from us,” IU’s Interfraternity Council’s VP of Risk Mangement Cameron Gutterman said.

“We’re also doing the best that we can. We’re trying to take the necessary precautions,” Greek Row resident Hannah Trauv said.

Trauv’s sorority’s is one of ten at IU currently not under quarantine.

“It is very expensive to move into the houses and to find somewhere else to live would be another unnecessary thing,” Traiv explained.

“I think it’s a complete disruption to the education aspect of coming to school,” IFC President Alex Schein said.

The university will support the students living in these facilities and assist them in finding housing; if they decide to move.

With shared living spaces and bathrooms, officials said it appears the communal lifestyle of Greek houses can provide a better environment for the virus to spread.

Officials did say students in the Greek houses have been cooperative with the university’s efforts against COVID-19.

The total number of positive cases by house, recent trends in positivity rates by house and quarantine status are available online.

This list of chapters directed to quarantine is as follows:

  1. Acacia
  2. Alpha Chi Omega
  3. Alpha Delta Pi
  4. Alpha Epsilon Phi
  5. Alpha Epsilon Pi
  6. Alpha Gamma Delta
  7. Alpha Omicron Pi
  8. Alpha Phi
  9. Alpha Sigma Phi
  10. Alpha Xi Delta
  11. Beta Sigma Psi
  12. Beta Theta Pi
  13. Chi Omega
  14. Delta Gamma
  15. Delta Zeta
  16. Gamma Phi Beta
  17. Kappa Alpha Theta
  18. Kappa Delta
  19. Kappa Kappa Gamma
  20. Phi Delta Theta
  21. Phi Gamma Delta
  22. Phi Kappa Psi
  23. Pi Beta Phi
  24. Pi Kappa Phi
  25. Phi Sigma Kappa
  26. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  27. Sigma Chi
  28. Sigma Phi Epsilon
  29. Theta Chi
  30. Zeta Tau Alpha

IU is asking their students to maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when necessary, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and attempt to stay home as much as possible while they await test results.

The university says it typically takes three to four days to receive test results.

Students can click here to schedule an appointment to be tested.

Testing requirements at IU can be found here.

The North American Interfraternity Conference released the following statement about IU’s recommendation:

The health and safety of members and the community is the top priority for fraternities at IU. Fraternities and housing corporations are following public health guidelines. Facilities should remain open with quarantine protocols in place to isolate members within chapter houses to minimize further coronavirus exposure. As Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed just yesterday, we believe it is wrong to move students from their current quarantined locations and risk spreading infection to different places in the community.

Students are learning—just like we all are—as we navigate this unprecedented time. Since the spring, fraternities have been planning and preparing facilities based on local public health guidelines. However, the greatest governing engine on a college campus is not the administration or public safety. It’s student culture. It’s peer pressure. All campus stakeholders must work together to mitigate virus spread.

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