FGCU urges anyone involved in reported fraternity parties to get COVID-19 tested

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

If students don’t stop throwing huge parties, FGCU says it will shut down campus. The university’s president interim suspended two fraternities for having big bashes and putting students at risk for the coronavirus.

FGCU wants anyone who went to the parties hosted by the accused FGCU fraternity chapters Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi to get tested for COVID-19.

FGCU president Mike Martin warned students, if the parties don’t stop, he will take drastic action, including closing down campus to protect everyone’s health. That includes students being asked to leave campus. Marin hopes parties proved to be one-time only events and teachable moments.

“It like saddens me that people are not taking the right procedures, and they think it may only affect them,” student Nathanael Campos said. “But it’s affecting a greater group.”

Martin said students who were involved in the reported parties must make a greater effort to follow the guidelines and standards set by FGCU during the pandemic.

“We really have expectations that you’re going to rise to the occasion,” Martin said. “You let us down this last weekend, but let’s see if we can learn from that.”

Students we spoke to feel their peers have developed fatigue for the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s just really irresponsible,” Campos said. “People think that it’s been going on so long they can let their guard down.”

It’s up to students to tell their parents if they were involved in the reported off-campus parties.

“It’s obviously just really irresponsible,” student Kaitlyn Snook said. People think that now that it’s been going on for so long they can sort of let their guard down.”

But the university told us it’s not done with its investigation, and disciplinary action is on the table.

“Everyone’s been so bored with quarantine and lockdown,” Snook said. “And now they think just because they’re over it like they can pretend like the virus does’t exist anymore.”

“Don’t put us all at risk,” Martin said. “I hope this is one of those bumps on the road to a full semester.”

The Sigma Chi national chapter is investigating what happened at FGCU and told us it will hold students involved accountable.

Phil Delta Theta said it’s working with the university and the local chapter.

“I think people will still continue to gather because there’s a lot of people who they just don’t care about what other people are telling them,” Campos said.

Fraternity responses to accusations against FGCU chapters

Sigma Chi response from Executive Director Michael J. Church, “Sigma Chi International Fraternity is aware of the allegation that the Lambda Zeta chapter held an off-campus event and may have violated public health guidance in the process. We have placed the chapter on interim suspension and begun an investigation. Anyone found to have been in violation of our fraternity’s, their campus’, or other government policies and regulations will be held appropriately accountable through our member conduct process.”

Phi Delta Theta Fraternity response to health concerns at FGCU: 

Phi Delta Theta’s General Headquarters has recently become aware of an alleged event involving the Florida Xi at Florida Gulf Coast University. Since learning of this, we have continued to work closely with the university and chapter and alumni leadership in addressing the ongoing situation.

Phi Delta Theta’s top priority is the health of our members and the safety of the communities in which they reside. To that end, we’ve encouraged each chapter to follow local and university guidelines, provided masks for all members, and sent guidance and signage to help assist our local leadership with navigating the pandemic.

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