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Penn State IFC Indefinitely Suspends Social Activities

by on July 08, 2020 1:27 PM

Penn State’s Interfraternity Council voted Tuesday to indefinitely suspend Greek life socials out of concern for public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization announced in a press release.

Under the “social moratorium,” social activities of any kind are prohibited for the time being. Currently, there’s no timetable for when the restrictions might be lifted.

“The IFC has determined that a social moratorium is the best way to support the health and safety of our community and those surrounding us,” the IFC Council Executive Board wrote. “It is important to us that the residents of State College are not put at high risk as students return to campus this fall.”

IFC’s 37 fraternity chapters are planning for the fall semester and evaluating what health precautions may be necessary. Some of these measures include reducing capacity in fraternity houses and giving members increased access to face masks.

Although the moratorium is indefinite, the IFC hopes to gradually phase organizations out of the restrictions when feasible this fall.

However, the IFC stressed no “major actions” toward reintroducing socials will be taken until it, as well as Penn State, can find a safe way to do so.

“We want to remind members within the Penn State community how important it is to adhere to government policies and expectations, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing,” the IFC wrote. “We applaud those who are taking the proper steps to promote safety and continue to encourage these activities as we work together to maximize the safety of our community and those who surround us."

The decision comes after the University of Washington reported on Sunday that an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in fraternity houses there has led to infections of at least 121 students, including 112 fraternity house residentz.

The IFC prohibited socials back in March when the coronavirus pandemic first arrived in the area. Since then, members donated $20,000 from their 2020 budget to the Lion’s Pantry and Student Emergency Fund to provide relief to the Greek community.

Matt DiSanto is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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