The Inter-Fraternity Council announced Thursday that it will resume in-person activities in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 guidelines, which limit outdoor gatherings to 25 people and indoor gatherings to six people. The statement follows the Inter-Sorority Council’s decision on March 12 to lift its ban on in-person gatherings.
“Thank you to all those who sacrificed and did their part to reduce case counts of COVID-19 in the University and Charlottesville community,” the statement said. “Your efforts did not go unnoticed.”
Both the IFC and ISC first suspended all in-person gatherings Feb. 26 following a record-breaking spike in new cases the week of Feb. 14, when over 750 cases were reported within a one-week period just after the end of the 1.5-week in-person recruitment period.
The decision to ban ISC and IFC in-person gatherings came after both organizations faced backlash from the University community for allowing recruitments events to be held in-person, during which both IFC and ISC chapters were seen violating social distancing guidelines, masking policy and gathering limits. The IFC allowed in-person gatherings during recruitment rounds ahead of bid-day while the ISC only permitted chapters to host in-person gatherings on bid day — Feb. 14. Following the spike in cases, the University maintained that Greek life recruitment was not primarily responsible for the outbreak, though it did play a role.
The IFC said that its ban was originally implemented based on “multiple incidents of blatant noncompliance and disrespect for the less restrictive rules.” The ban prevented all social, brotherhood and new member activities, and the IFC promised to re-evaluate its ban on in-person events at the end of March.
The revision to the IFC’s social guidelines does not permit Tier 1 or 2 events, the statement said, which includes “mixers, date functions or parties.” Violations of IFC and University policy will still be reported to the University Judiciary Committee and the IFC Judiciary Committee.
“This revision to our restrictions aims not to return to normal fraternity activity, but instead to offer members, especially our new members, a chance to integrate themselves into the community in a more personal and enjoyable way,” the statement said.