Six University of Iowa greek chapters on interim probation

University-wide, five students were put on disciplinary probation as university attempts to curtail off-campus COVID-19 spread.


Hayden Froehlich

The Old Capitol building is seen on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

Sarah Watson and Rachel Schilke

Six greek organizations at the University of Iowa are on interim probation as the chapters undergo investigations from the UI Office of Student Accountability for allegedly violating university COVID-19 guidelines. 

Chapters placed on interim suspension — which temporarily stops all organization-sponsored activities — include an Interfraternity Council chapter Pi Kappa Alpha; three Panhellenic Council chapters: Delta Delta Delta, Pi Beta Phi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma; and two multicultural Greek Council chapters: Alpha Kappa Delta Phi and Delta Phi Lambda.

Interfraternity Council chapter Pi Kappa Phi was removed from interim suspension. The Office of Student Accountability received a report on Sept. 24 that 20-30 people at the chapter’s house were not social distancing or wearing masks, violating university COVID-19 guidelines.

According to a letter from the Office of Student Accountability, the organization had to create and implement a protective equipment drive and post pro-social distancing and pro-masking messaging on the fraternity’s social media platforms as sanctions.

The interim suspensions come as the university tries to curtail off-campus behavior that could risk spreading COVID-19. Guidelines issued in August ban student organization-sponsored gatherings of more than 10 people that do not follow social distancing or mask-wearing guidelines.

According to a letter from the Office of Student Accountability to Pi Kappa Phi requested by The Daily Iowan, it “surprised the chapter house residents” when 15 women came over in the evening of Sept. 24 to the fraternity because it violated the policy of allowing each resident one guest. Seventeen fraternity members live in the house currently.

“This was a case of too many invitations to ‘come over’ being extended or friends bringing friends,” the letter stated. “Although the House Manager and House Director are responsible for chapter house policy management, it would be beneficial for an executive officer to reside in the chapter house in the future.”

This is the second time this semester that greek organizations have been found in violation of COVID-19 guidelines. As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the university sanctioned four sororities – Alpha Phi, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Gamma, and Gamma Phi Beta – on Sept. 11 for social media posts that showed members of the chapter gathered not wearing masks. 

RELATED: UI sanctions four greek chapters for violating COVID-19 guidelines

The UI is asking students on campus to report violations of the student code in a form. Since Sept. 25, the UI has received hundreds of reported violations.

In a campus-wide update sent on Oct. 2, the university reported that three students in the residence halls are in quarantine and eight students in the residence halls are in self-isolation.

Since the beginning of the semester, 2,044 students and 56 employees have self-reported testing positive.

There have been 314 reports of failure to social distance and 238 reports of failure to wear a face covering. 

Five students were put on disciplinary probation for violating university COVID-19 social distancing or mask-wearing guidelines. The UI defines disciplinary probation as a two-semester-long period of time when a student is “not considered to be in good standing with respect to the non-academic disciplinary system.” 

“Students who violate university policy during the probationary period may receive more severe disciplinary sanctions, including the possibility of suspension or expulsion from the university,” according to the UI’s accountability website.

University officials have pointed to off-campus behavior, including a lack of distancing at downtown bars, as part of the reason for a spike in cases on campus in August and early September. 

Iowa City bar Bo James received a citation in September from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division for not enforcing social distancing or capacity caps.

New COVID-19 cases plateaued on campus after Gov. Kim Reynolds shuttered bars after 10 p.m., and Iowa City caught national media attention for skyrocketing COVID-19 cases at the start of the semester. Bars were allowed to resume operations Monday as long as they kept six-feet social distancing guidelines in place.

According to the Iowa City police log, at 12:28 a.m Friday, downtown bar Martinis called the Iowa City Police with a complaint that people were not wearing masks and becoming aggressive. Police did a walk through, but emphasized that they are focusing on information instead of enforcement. Iowa City has a mask mandate in place, although the agency has not issued any citations. 

On Thursday night, the first weekend night in Iowa City after Reynolds lifted the bar closure orders in Johnson County, lines formed in front of popular bars with little social distancing.

Facebook Comments