11/14/2020 Greek Life Houses

Phi Sigma Kappa is one of the many Greek houses that is letting its members stay in their house during the time between Thanksgiving and finals. 

Some fraternity, sorority and cooperative houses will be closing their doors to students following Thanksgiving, and won’t be reopening them until January.

All of the houses are privately owned and will independently decide what they plan to do, Brandon Cutler, the director of Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life, said.

“We anticipate the vast majority of houses will close,” Cutler said, “or remain open in a reduced capacity for a small number of students that need to remain in West Lafayette through the completion of finals.”

Rachel Nigh, president of Purdue Panhellenic Council, said the FSCL community has been hosting bi-weekly meetings with chapter presidents, housing corporation managers, council leadership, FSCL staff, the dean of students and Purdue’s chief medical officer to ensure organizations are operating as safely as possible.

Phi Sigma Rho will also close this week until January, according to Betsy McCleery, vice president of standards for the sorority. The decision was made by their national housing corporation, so COVID-19 numbers did not impact the decision for the Purdue chapter.

“This will last until the Friday before next semester starts,” McCleery said. “So no members will be able to access the house.”

Some girls in the chapter are trying to stay until the completion of final exams the week of Dec. 7-12, she said.

“There are several sisters that are petitioning to our housing corps to live in until finals are over due to extenuating circumstances,” McCleery said. “But a decision has not been finalized on that front yet.”

McCleery said people who petition to stay in the house until after finals have sent emails to their housing corps outlining their circumstances. Some reasons they may be allowed to stay include their homes being far away, members of their families being COVID-19 positive or jobs on campus that require employees to work until after finals.

Alpha Tau Omega will close at Thanksgiving. Brock McCoy, vice president of the fraternity, said the decision was made before the semester started. Since then, he said, the fraternity hasn’t recorded any COVID-19 cases among members living in the house.

“We have been fortunate enough to not have had any cases within our house,” McCoy said. “So quarantine (and) isolation periods have not played a role in that decision.”

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