Administration, Greek Life, Health, News

Students describe toxic culture within Greek Life during COVID-19

No frat party is complete without sorority members.

As fraternities host parties across the city, many sorority members flock to them as they would normally, but some members hold back. Those who opt not to party are in the minority, which has created a divide within sororities at the University of Miami, between those who wish to party and those who want to follow COVID guidelines.

The following is based on multiple accounts, pictures, text messages and interviews with members across different sororities.

“Greek Life is toxic right now,” one sorority member explained. “If you wear a mask, you are labeled dumb. Everyone is just pressuring everyone to go out and not wear masks. No one is doing anything virtual for the girls who can’t go out who have health conditions. The Greek organizations have just said ‘I don’t give a shit.’”

Fraternity members also report being bullied if they wear a mask.

Although many sorority members attend parties as if things were normal, different sororities go to great lengths to hide their activity and distribute party information.

Alpha Delta Pi, a sorority that has routinely been cited as having many members at various fraternity parties across the city, communicates the locations of parties in coded text messages. Student leadership of the sorority also implemented a system where they independently track their members’ COVID cases, which they then use to lie to the administration about where their members got COVID by claiming they all live together.

“It was obviously a lie, and somehow the administration bought it,” said a sorority member.

Despite its effectiveness, the system ran into issues.

“It started to become impossible to track because the sorority partied with a different fraternity every night, and they all had COVID cases,” she said.

President of Alpha Delta Pi Allison Hochhauser was informed of accusations that her sorority lied to the administration, encouraged partying and made up stories about where sorority members got COVID. She initially agreed to an interview with The Miami Hurricane, before canceling an hour before and declining to comment.

Zeta Tau Alpha (Zeta), another sorority that also has members frequenting parties, also go to great lengths to manipulate their COVID numbers.

Members have reportedly been getting tested at off campus non UM-affiliated testing centers. This way they don’t alert UM when a member tests positive. This enables them to continue partying and avoid quarantine.

Zeta president Allison Gherovici did not reply to a request for comment.

Delta Phi Epsilon, another sorority that often has many members at parties, posted photos across social media of parties. In order to track all the upcoming fraternity events, DPhiE uses a “social calendar.”

At the time of publication, the dean of students office incorrectly identified the DPhiE President. The previous president did not reply to request for comment. The Hurricane is awaiting comment from the newly identified President Logan Ciuci.

No one is immune from being accused of being a “snitch.”

Delta Delta Delta (TriDelt) was accused of having a snitch when one party got canceled. As a result, TriDelt members have been bullied and constantly accused of being a “snitch” in social settings.

“Everytime I go somewhere, people are like, ‘Were you the snitch?’” said a TriDelt member.

The culture in Greek Life to party during COVID-19 is so pervasive that it has resulted in some members completely pulling away and losing respect for people they once considered close friends.

“Their lack of empathy really shocks and hurts me,” said a sorority member.

Not just frustrated with her fellow Greek Life members, another sorority member also expressed disdain for administration.

“It is shocking to me that they send out emails talking about how good Greek Life members are doing when literally every Greek Life member I know has gotten COVID, and they barely punished anyone after Key West,” she said.

Those who do go to parties, even acknowledge their behavior is wrong but say they would feel cut off from friends and isolated if they didn’t. This reinforces what sources say, stating that fraternities and sororities have ceased hosting virtual events for those who don’t want to violate protocols and instead are only focused on the parties.

“I wouldn’t recommend my behavior to anyone,” said a sorority member who admitted to going to multiple parties a week.

UM administration declined to comment for this story.

February 5, 2021

Reporters

Jesse Lieberman


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.