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Greek life and COVID-19: creating bonds while socially distanced

The class of 2023 has had a strange experience through their first year in Greek life. 

When I joined my sorority back in February, I pictured myself getting to know my sisters and bonding with them every chance I got during my second semester of freshman year.  

I would have never expected being kicked off campus the following month and having to go more than seven months without being in the same room as my sisters. 

I joined Greek life to feel more at home on campus, but I feel more disconnected and distant than ever before. 

The state of Greek life has been pretty unclear since quarantine began. 

Since Miami’s move-in day was pushed back, I’ve heard a lot of my fellow sisters' concerns about how virtual Greek life will work until we can move in. A lot of their big worries had to do with paying dues while we weren’t even on campus. 

I was mostly bummed that I was missing out on the crucial moments that make Greek life so special. I feel like I barely know my sisters, and I’m never going to have the same bonds as the pledge classes before me have.

Having to go through the initiation process virtually and missing out on important social events has been pretty weird. Missing out on experiences like formals and my big/little reveal has been hard.

With recruitment coming up in the spring semester, I feel like I don’t even know my sorority or my sisters well enough to give the potential new members a good idea about what life is like within my chapter. 

I also feel very lost on how the recruitment process will work, whether it be virtual or in-person. 

The feeling that I miss the most about Greek life is that sense of community. I miss going on coffee dates with my sisters or hanging out with them during our sister-socials.

I feel like I have struggled a lot with keeping in touch with girls in my chapter during this quarantine period, and I wish I would have reached out more. 

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As Miami students start getting comfortable with campus life again, I am worried about my fellow Greek members not following the correct health protocols and getting in trouble. 

As the cases continued to rise on campus, I feel like the Greek community that is living off campus is somewhat to blame. 

While I understand that it’s important to create bonds with your brothers and sisters, it’s also important to stay safe. You can still create those bonds without having parties and breaking the rules. 

Not having parties is the most important thing the Greek community can do right now. We need to listen to the university rules and health guidelines. 

Being a part of the Greek community should mean holding each other accountable. We need to be responsible for ourselves and the other students on campus, so we don’t tarnish the reputation of Greek life even more than it already has been. 

This isn’t what I expected my first year as a part of Greek life to look like, but as a community, we need to make the best of it — while staying safe. 

miskem@miamioh.edu

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