FGCU suspends 2 fraternities accused of large, off-campus parties

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
FGCU campus. Credit: WINK News.

FGCU president Mike Martin confirms the university has suspended two fraternities Monday after they were accused of hosting large, off-campus parties last Friday.

Susan Evans, FGCU’s vice president and chief of staff, confirmed, the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity chapters at FGCU have been interim suspended for the accusations.

According to the FGCU president’s message, the university received reports about the student gatherings that were in, “violation of the university’s COVID-19 guidelines for crowd size, social distancing and face coverings, thereby possibly posing a serious and direct threat to the safety and well-being of the campus community and operations.”

FGCU placed both fraternities on immediate interim suspension, so they are prohibited from conducting all operations and activities, including meetings and new member recruitment, until they are put through the “Student Code of Conduct” process.

If the fraternities are found responsible for the parties, FGCU says the organizers, participants and their organizations will have violated the “Student Code of Conduct” and put the university at risk of having to close the campus and convert to fully online classes.

“Conduct of this nature has many negative impacts,” Martin wrote in his message. “It reduces our ability to provide the highest quality degrees; it threatens the health of fellow students, faculty, staff and neighbors; and a campus closure would lead to widespread layoffs. A great deal of hard work by many, and considerable financial expenditures aimed at making the campus safe will have been largely wasted.”

FGCU freshman Amalia Lomicky says she’s careful to follow the rules during her first couple of weeks on campus.

“I’ve definitely been trying to limit the amount of people that I’m around, and I always wear my mask,” Lomicky said.

FGCU freshman Hannah Perez says she’s done the same.

“I’ve been invited to a party, you know the first week that school started,” Perez said. “I turned it down.”

“It’s kind of scary to think of like people don’t really care about the repercussions,” Lomicky said.

“It’s not a good idea for everyone to be mingling in that way,” FGCU freshman Matthew Motes said.

Freshman students told us they worry, if people continue ignoring the guidelines, everyone will have to pay the price.

“I don’t want to get sent home, and I know a lot of other people don’t want to get sent home,” Lomicky said.

Martin said FGCU remains committed to the health, well-being and safety on campus and beyond in the larger community. He says must join the effort to continue with the current plan in place.

Notre Dame recently moved classes online after more than 400 students tested positive at the start of the fall semester, and Penn State just suspended a fraternity on its campus for throwing a large party.

“Just be responsible, so that we don’t have to go back into quarantine,” Lomicky said.

The FGCU president said the university can’t currently determine whether closure will be necessary for safety reasons.

“Be assured, however, that there will be serious consequences for those who choose to exercise very poor, dangerous judgment,” Martins said in his message.

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