Wright State University’s campus has been closed to the public indefinitely, raising questions of what on-campus organizations are to do now.
“I feel that our fraternity and sorority life is still functioning and trying to hold each other up during this difficult time,” said Gina Keucher, director of Fraternity & Sorority Life within Student Involvement & Leadership. “Most people think of Greek life as a very social group, and the assumption might have been that when we are all socially distancing the social outlet might have really been damaged. Instead, our groups are thriving.”
Chapters are meeting on various online formats and have been meeting with potential new members to offer bids to join their organizations, all virtually, according to Keucher.
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“I believe that the support system that fraternity and sorority offers has been essential to members being able to cope with the stress and anxiety they might be feeling during this pandemic,” said Keucher.
What happens now
“Greek life, as people know, is a very diverse group of students with a variety of majors that dips into just about every department on campus,” said Bentley Peed, president of Fraternity and Sorority Council. “As I cannot speak for every department’s transition to remote learning, I can tell you that the Greek life has been able to turn these unfortunate events into an opportunity for new ways of online interaction between teachers, students and meetings every week.”
Due to campus closing, all events have been cancelled for the spring semester. This includes large, costly events that Greek life holds each year such as formals and philanthropy events.
“Our members have still been able to recruit, host weekly meetings for regular business and fun activities, and pursue their goals of high academics,” said Peed. “I am very proud of the presidents and their persistence this semester to push their chapters and still illustrate the amazing experience Greek life provides for each student at Wright State University.”
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Taylor Ronnebaum, president of Delta Zeta Sorority, Kappa Iota chapter, has made efforts to keep her chapter connected at this time. Weekly wellness checks are being filled out on Google Docs to keep Ronnebaum updated on every member’s health and safety. This also offers a platform to ask her any questions that one may have.
“In order to keep morale high in our chapter, I’ve been trying to make sure that everyone feels connected and cared for. For example, we are still having weekly virtual meetings and sisterhoods to help our sisters stay connected and help retain some sense of normalcy,” said Ronnebaum.
According to Ronnebaum, during the first week of remote learning, her chapter had nearly 100 percent involvement due to everyone wanting answers on what was to come next.
“After that, each week less and less sisters were logging on for meetings or filling out Google forms. However, we aren’t going to stop hosting meetings and sisterhoods. The sisters who are logging on really need this consistency in their life right now, and I can tell it’s really helping them,” said Ronnebaum.
Delta Zeta Nationals has suspended their dues for the month of April. Kappa Iota had made the decision to cut March dues in half due to the switch to remote learning in hopes to help during the time of uncertainty.
“This is really helping relieve some of the financial burden that we have all been feeling. They have also been a wealth of information and ideas. They’ve been sending us resources to help boost morale in our chapters,” said Ronnebaum.
Although no one anticipated finishing off their semester in this way, campus communities are making the best of the situation they have been dealt.
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