Greek Life during COVID-19

Sena Nomura (left) from @sena_20_ on insta and Malik Nowlin (right) from SigmaNuMuChi on Facebook

Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor

As the University of Lynchburg returns to a new semblance of normality, Greek Life is also adjusting its  protocols as a result of COVID-19. 

Senior Malik Nowlin who serves as treasurer of Sigma Nu and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) vice-president of Internal Affairs said, “Naturally a friend group as close as we are want to be able to hang out together, but with the new restrictions, safety is our top priority.” Nowlin also said that as a group they want to promote social distancing in their fraternity while still engaging in their typical activities. 

Senior Sena Nomura is current president of IFC, and chaplain of Sigma Nu fraternity added that while Sigma Nu and IFC are not directly involved in service fraternities and their operations, “Every organization has a large focus on service and philanthropy so the Greek community wants to help in any way possible, and hopefully the meetings I will be having over these next couple weeks will lead [the] community in the right direction regarding a proper decision.”

 Nomura also explained, “Greek life events will be following the guidelines given by the University of Lynchburg and the state of Virginia,” and noted that at the Greek BBQ earlier this summer temperatures  were checked and hand sanitizer provided.  He said, attendees needed a mask to enter the pavilion and they emphasized social distancing.

Nomura said other events are going to be handled in a similar manner. Nowlin also noted that “Sigma Nu usually allows[s] people to enter our chapter house as a hangout spot, but now it is important that we stay below 10 people.”

In terms of recruitment,  Nowlin said, “[it] may be affected based on how people perceive the precautions. Some may still feel uncomfortable attending recruitment events, or may not want to wear a mask throughout the event, persuading them to leave early.” While Nomura said, “We had a lot of plans for an in person recruitment before, but those got postponed and we had to move into the thinking behind a COVID-19 recruitment. This was scary because no one knew what to do about anything, even outside of Greek life.”

If the University reverts to only online instruction Nowlin explained that there will be a continued effort to promote community engagement. He said, “There are still plans for online events, fundraisers, and philanthropy ideas should we go online.” Nomura said, “Greek life is very focused around making those bonds in face to face situations and getting to know the brothers and sisters in your organization. We will still be holding online social and recruitment events like gaming tournaments or Google Meet and Greets. I do not know how service events will go, but Greek life is filled with an amazing group of flexible people.”

Nowlin recommended that students with concerns can contact Drew Pelkey, the coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life at pelkey_d@lynchburg.edu.

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