Duquesne University suspends Greek activities over ‘egregious’ coronavirus violations

All Greek fraternities and sororities at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh are suspended after members hosted parties that violated COVID-19 protocols and other longer-standing campus rules, while others allegedly mislead contact tracers attempting to track the spread of coronavirus.

In a letter to students Wednesday, the university’s president expressed disappointment with the way multiple Greek organizations had responded to COVID-19 guidelines prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people. Many of the gatherings in question he said had taken place before the majority of students returned to campus, according to Pittsburgh’s WPXI television news station. 

“Due to repeated and egregious violations of the Duquesne University Student Code of Conduct’s COVID-19 standards, by several organizations and numerous members of Greek organizations, all Greek Life activity at Duquesne is suspended indefinitely, effective immediately,” University President Dr. Douglas Frizzell wrote.

“Fraternities and sororities at Duquesne state in their language that they encourage leadership, service, excellence, integrity, and productive citizenship. And yet, at a time when the University and, indeed, our region needed you most to live the values you espouse, as a system you failed to do so,” Frizzell continued. “Furthermore, you deliberately persisted in behaviors known to endanger people.”

The private Catholic college has confirmed 156 cases of COVID-19 among its student body, while more than 250 students are currently quarantined at home or at a hotel, according to the campus’s coronavirus dashboard website.

College campuses around the country have struggled with outbreaks of coronavirus among their student populations due, in part, to gatherings in the Greek communities. Indiana University warned last month that it was seeing an “uncontrollable” spread of the virus among its fraternities and sororities.

A CNN tally last month found that more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at U.S. colleges and universities since students returned to residences on and around campuses for the beginning of fall semester.

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