Penn State Interfraternity Council Suspends Social Activities To Avoid COVID-19 Outbreaks

Jul 10, 2020

In anticipation of Penn State students returning to campus in the fall, the university’s Interfraternity Council has voted to suspend all social activities indefinitely. 

The Interfraternity Council, or IFC, voted unanimously last week for a “social moratorium,” putting a pause on parties for its 37 fraternity chapters on Penn State campuses. 

IFC President Nate Brodsky said they made the decision to avoid outbreaks of COVID-19, as colleges nationwide report spikes in cases where social events among students are continuing. 

“We knew that the general members of Greek life were not going to take this well and, for the most part, they did not,” Brodsky said. “But our hope is that doing this now versus right at the start of the semester, more time will pass by. There’s no signs of COVID getting better; it’s only getting worse right now. Most people will kind of look at the social moratorium and realize, like, ‘Hey, maybe this is the best idea.’”

Brodsky said he’s confident the social moratorium will be successfully implemented, with help from Penn State’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Compliance to monitor the plan. 

Ethan Marsh, executive vice president of the IFC, said he understands the frustration coming from Greek life students because “this is another detour from normalcy.” But he said, out of concern for not only students in the Greek community, but also the larger Penn State and State College communities, the council didn’t see a more feasible option than the moratorium.

In addition, the IFC is helping individual fraternities implement preventive measures, including installing hand sanitizing stations in houses and moving fall recruitment online. The council will now focus on creating a plan for how to safely return to social activities.

Penn State announced last month that it will return to in-person learning in the fall, with a mix of in-person, online and remote classes.