On Thursday, Sept. 3, University Communications sent out an email to all active ISU students stating that recruitment for Greek life has been placed on a moratorium for the semester due to COVID-19. This cancellation also halted Panhellenic recruitment for this semester, which was previously scheduled to take place online via Zoom. This “temporary hold” includes Greek intake and in-person chapter activities as well.
“Andy Morgan, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, said the move is necessary because a disproportionate number of students in Greek organizations are in isolation and quarantine. Morgan said the moratorium will be reassessed weekly based on data from the Vigo County Health Department and ISU data. He discussed the issue in separate Zoom meetings Wednesday with chapter presidents and advisors,” quoted from the email. The Panel felt that it was likely that the spread of COVID-19 would increase with the involvement of Greek life, so virtual meetings/recruitment was included in the moratorium as well. According to Student Affairs, the following in-chapter activities being prohibited, “organizational operations, meetings, training and social events or gatherings, regardless of size. Chapters may only have live-in members, official advisors, and essential staff in their faculty.”
While some say this moratorium is the best option for ISU’s campus right now, it has upset the Greek community. Recruitment is vital in order for Greek organizations to grow and thrive. There were concerns with fraternities and sororities being quarantined, there could be an increase with the spread of covid-19, and Dean Morgan wanted to ensure that that was avoided altogether. In the article, Morgan quoted “I’d rather be proactive and take this action now, then have an outbreak and be asked what we did to prevent it.” Throughout the article, Morgan describes there being a pattern in the Greek-Life behavior, with different recruitment rushes happening during the first few weeks of the school year. After the new members have officially joined the organization, there tends to be large gatherings where different organizations interact with each other, and introduce their new members.
“My own organization is struggling with recruitment and this only sets us back from chartering. If they want to cancel this (recruitment), then they need to do it for everyone, not just Greeks. That includes sports,” said active ISU Greek life member Garrett Hall.
Those who are involved in Greek life on campus have expressed frustration as this moratorium only effects Greek organizations and not others. As of now, other non-Greek organizations have not been held to these standards.
"Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior. Historically, large numbers of new students join our fraternities and sororities in the first several weeks of the fall semester. Once recruitment or intake is complete, these new members will want to gather with current members from their organization and other organizations. These gatherings will more than likely spread COVID-19, thus the reason for this moratorium,” stated the email.
It’s not certain when or if recruitment will resume before the end of the semester, but as of now, it will not be happening.
“I’m very disappointed with recruitment being cancelled. We aren’t getting the answers we need and it is very upsetting. All of Greek life has been working so hard to try and prepare for the best Zoom recruitment, but of course that was another thing taken from us. This year would have been my first year recruiting and I was very excited to meet some new and amazing women,” said active ISU Greek life member Kayla McCloud.
Several ISU students have taken this decision regarding recruitment and discussed it with others on various social media forms. The hashtag, #standwithindstategreeklife was created and current Greek life members have been using it to show how their organization has changed their life for the better, and how disappointing the recruitment decision was.
“What to write to tell everyone how much you love an organization that has added so much to your life? I feel lucky to have something that makes school and life so much fuller, and life-long friends who make every day better. I can only hope that at some point this year, the freshmen (and other previous potential new members) will get their chance to choose a chapter that makes them better tomorrow than they’re today,” said active ISU Greek life member on her Instagram post Alison Sanders.