UW-Madison Greek life commits to dry fall semester events.

  • Post Author
    by News director
  • Post Date
    Sat Aug 29 2020
Most Greek life chapters on the UW Campus live in the historic Langdon St. neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Phil Roeder, Flickr.

Author: Cailyn Schiltz

UW fraternities and sororities announce that they will forego alcohol at fall events and abide by COVID-19 guidelines for student groups, according to The Cap Times.

According to UW's Smart Restart Plan , registered student organizations may host events in-person with a max capacity of 10 for indoor events and 25 for outdoor events. Hosts must provide appropriate face coverings, hand sanitizer and a properly sanitized venue. Attendees must wear said face coverings and maintain six feet of social distance between attendees. 

Students can hold organizations and each other accountable with reporting forms for households, student organizations, and Greek life chapters that violate guidelines. 

Fraternity and sorority events such as rushing, socials and parties have been tied to outbreaks across the nation, according to the New York Times

Director for sorority and fraternity life Maggie Hayes said in an email that the university can hold individual members and whole chapters accountable for violations on or off campus. 

UW Greek life chapters risk losing organization privileges and campus affiliation or suspension if they do not follow the guidelines, according to Union director Mark Guthier. 

Last week, student leaders agreed to not only follow the Smart Restart guidelines, but supplement it with alcohol-free social events. 

The CDC website says “drinking alcohol weakens your body's ability to fight infections, increasing the risk of complications and making it harder to get better if you are sick. Alcohol use can [also]  increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which are sometimes associated with COVID-19.” 

Chancellor Rebecca Blank applauded the prohibition at a University Committee meeting Monday, according to The Cap Times.

“I really appreciate their willingness to enforce those rules,” she said. “I hope that is emblematic of other groups on campus.”