Illinois fraternity fails social distancing test. It's now paying the price.
- After a house party was busted by police, SIUC's Delta Chi fraternity chapter recognition was indefinitely suspended by the university.
- The dean stated, “social distancing is required at this point- having an event at your house is not social distancing."
The coronavirus pandemic rippling through America has sent most college students home until at least August. However, that's not stopping some students from still attempting to party.
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale decided to intervene Tuesday after Carbondale Police busted a house party, hosted by members of the SIUC Delta Chi fraternity chapter. As a result, the fraternity's recognition has been indefinitely suspended by the university for violating an SIUC directive that bans “any and all in-person activities."
The suspension of Delta Chi was announced in an email, as reported by The Southern Illinoisan. The email, written by assistant Greek Life director Rachel Dunning, stated that the suspension is “immediate and indefinite," and reminded students that “a cease and desist means absolutely no in-person activities may take place,” with the warning that any chapter violating the cease-and-desist will also be suspended.
The email also states that the actions taken by the university are in compliance with protocol endorsed by the Illinois Department of Public Health as well as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “stay at home” order. Dunning also stated that university officials sent pandemic correspondence letters to Greek organizations six times in March.
In an interview with The Southern Illinoisan, Dean of Students Jennifer Jones-Hall said, “social distancing is required at this point- having an event at your house is not social distancing.” Jones-Hall also clarified that any other students who may have been present at the house party will be directed to confer with Student Rights and Responsibilities.
Campus Reform reached out to the university, Delta Chi, and SIUC’s student health service but did not receive a reply in time for publication.
SIUC sophomore Tristan Kanstar told Campus Reform, “I just think it’s ridiculous of some frat boys to do this."
"At a party, people aren’t standing six feet apart and covering their face. This is Illinois. We have to be careful here. While what the university did sucks really bad for the Delta Chi boys, somebody had to set a precedent for how serious we are taking the virus here," Kanstar added.
He also said that SIUC should do the “kind” thing and reinstate Delta Chi when the pandemic is over.
“For now, we all suffer this together, whether we like it or not. However, I don’t think Delta Chi should permanently be in trouble for this. It’s college frat dudes. This’ll happen," he opined.
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