MU temporarily suspends seven fraternities and three sororities while investigating reports of COVID-19 policy violations

Seven fraternities and three sororities have been temporarily suspended by MU due to reports of these organizations’ possible failure to follow university COVID-19 regulations.

Seven fraternities and three sororities have been temporarily suspended in connection to COVID-19 policies set by MU. The university is currently investigating the reports that they have received about these organizations’ possible violations. The Office of Student Accountability will decide whether each organization will require further discipline.

“When we get a report, we take a look at it and we determine [if] there [is] enough concern that we need to … temporarily suspend their operations,” MU spokesperson Christian Basi said. “This is a pretty standard situation, so we’ve obviously done that in these 10 cases. Some of them may come back, and there may be no problems at all. It may have been someone misunderstanding a situation. There may be others, of course, where ... we need to go down the path of some disciplinary procedures.”

Currently, the names of the 10 sororities and fraternities have not been released to the public. They will not be named unless the university finds that they have failed to follow the school’s COVID-19 policies.

“We do not identify those on interim suspension since they are under investigation, and no final determination has been made,” MU spokesperson Liz McCune said in an email.

According to the UM System’s Rules of Procedures in Student or Student Organization Conduct Matters, temporary suspension of a student organization means that “the Chancellor or Designee may at any time temporarily suspend the student organization's operations.”

During the temporary suspension, an organization is not granted access to use campus facilities or attend university events.

“They are unable to participate as an organization in campus activities,” Basi said. “This is not restricting an individual student’s ability to do that. Individual students could be restricted through a different process.”

If the Office of Student Accountability finds any of the reports against the 10 sororities and fraternities to be true, those violations and sanctions will be posted on MU’s Fraternity & Sorority Life page under “Community Conduct History.”

MU’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association have worked closely with MU since the start of the school year. The leaders of IFC and PHA meet with the university regularly and are copied on conduct letters.

“The leadership from IFC and from PHA has been really, really quite good,” Basi said. “These are individuals who understand the seriousness of what we’re facing and they understand that they have a leadership role to play.”

Both the IFC and PHA did not respond to be interviewed for this article.

Over the last few weeks, MU has made policy changes to address the spread of COVID-19 and the rise in cases on campus.

“There have been plenty of policy changes, but this is not just because of Greek life,” Basi said. “This is something that has happened because [of] the entire student body. We’re seeing significant violations by a small number of people in the entire student body.”

MU says that they are working with all student organizations to make sure that they understand the seriousness of following the university’s COVID-19 policies. Their plans involve educating the community on those policies in order to slow the spread of the virus and continue to have an in-person learning experience.

“Another tool is enforcement, and that is where disciplinary action comes into play,” McCune said. “We encourage any member of the university community who has witnessed unsafe behavior to report it online so that we can follow up with any individuals who are flouting the rules.”

Edited by Lucy Caile|lcaile@themaneater.com

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