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Some Greek life students allowed to move back to chapter facilities

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As Ohio University began the fall 2020 semester mostly online — with the exception of a few academic courses falling under phase one — some fraternity and sorority chapters moved into their chapter facilities. 

Out of the 34 fraternity and sorority chapters on campus, 21 allowed students to move in. Some students in these chapters moved in even if they were not eligible for the first phase of a return to campus.

The criteria for move in is independent from Ohio U’s, and each chapter has set their own move in standards because they are owned and managed privately, according to Ariel Tarosky, the director of sorority and fraternity life.

The chapters created guidelines that model the Housing and Residence Life rules for university housing. They do this by lowering the number of people that can be in the same room or by using different entrances and exits to staggering move-in dates. It varies based on what makes more specific sense to that facility, Tarosky said.

Each chapter has also set their own guidelines for handling a potential COVID-19 outbreak at their facility. 

“Some have allocated quarantine rooms for members who test positive, while some may ask members to go home and quarantine,” Tarosky said. “As a university, we just ask that if students test positive, whether on-campus or off-campus, that they are reported.”

If a party is held at any chapter facility — or any off-campus property — students can be held accountable to the student code of conduct as stated by the president’s health directives. This can include suspension if students are found in violation of the directive, university spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said.

Leatherwood said this accountability method includes the Athens Police Department monitoring off-campus areas and relying on students to file any incident reports of parties to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility.

“We’re not trying to make college less fun for people. This is a life, health and safety issue where people’s lives are at stake,” Leatherwood said. “There are people in this community that are more susceptible to the disease, so it’s really important for us all to take care of one another and to follow guidelines so that we stop the spread of the disease.”

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