Greek Life vs COVID-19 – The Battle of Cease and Desist


An edited display on the Greek Life section of Delta State’s website

 This year has not been the most engaging for students on campus. COVID-19 has postponed social events, academics, athletics and, of course, Greek life. 


Greek life can be an exciting way for students to bond and be involved on campus. COVID-19 has put a damper on it. This pandemic brought new rules for students and campus organizations to follow in order to have a safe school year. 


Some members of Greek chapters find these regulations to be too harsh and don’t want to follow them. However, members who refuse to listen to the rules penalize the entire organization with a month’s worth of cease and desist. 


During normal semesters, university administration issues a cease and desist order to chapters for violations like hazing, drug use or alcohol use. Under a cease and desist, a chapter must put a hold to all meetings, social events and activities. 


The cease and desist punishment also applies towards COVID-19 violations, such as not wearing masks. The rules apply both on and off campus. 


According to anonymous interviews, this has made penalized members upset. Not only can they not participate in group activities due to COVID-19, but they cannot even hold weekly meetings. Why punish the entire Greek life over one person’s carelessness? Believe it or not, a majority of this has to deal with social media. 


If a member of a fraternity or sorority posts a group photo on their Instagram account in which  nobody is social distancing or wearing masks, this automatically violates the COVID-19 regulations. 


Dr. Vernell Bennet-Fairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, sent out a school-wide email to address the issue. “If 10 or more members are pictured in violations, organizations are also sanctioned,” she states.


Interviewed Greek students feel as if they should be able to post what they want on their own page, and that DSU should not be able to “control what they post” on their own platform.


“DSU does not control your page. However, if you post any type of violation on your page, (underage drinking, assault, illegal drug use, etc.) the Office of Student Life is responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct,” states Dr. Bennett-Fairs. “COVID-19 violations are no different.”


Students are still required to follow COVID-19 regulations off campus. Some chapter members feel that as long as they’re off campus, the school should not be able to enforce these regulations. 


However, in order to keep everyone safe, students must follow COVID-19 regulations, especially Greek life with their large capacity of members. 


In regards to enforcing the COVID-19 protocols off-campus, if we only enforced them on campus we would be jeopardizing the health and safety of the entire campus community,” says Dr. Bennett-Fairs. 


Students should be cautious and practice social distancing, whether they are on campus or not. These regulations may sound silly to some, but a healthy semester requires caution.


Students need to follow rules and regulations. By doing this, Greek life can continue to host social, philanthropy and campus events like they have in the past.