Some anonymous Miami University fraternity and sorority members say parties as large as 200 people have been thrown in basements of fraternity houses in an attempt to avoid mass gathering penalties.
Epsilon Tau Pi is a national service fraternity for those who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank available to youth in Scouts BSA, formerly known as Boy Scouts.
Miami University’s spring recruitment for fraternities and sororities garnered a similar number of students joining Greek Life compared to previous years before the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our numbers were relatively the same,” said Kimberly Vance, director of the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “We had a slight dip in the men from 2020 to 2021, as far as accepted bids. But they still had more accepted bids than they did in 2019 … For the women, it was pretty similar.”
And though fraternity hazing is publicly criticized for its outward displays of toxic masculinity and violence, sorority recruitment acts as an alternative form of hazing plagued by toxic and detrimental female stereotypes.
In past years, the first two weekends of the spring semester have been marked by hoards of women dressed to perfection, running around campus filled with nerves and meeting lots of people in a short amount of time.
With more than 30% of Miami University students involved in Greek Life according to The Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life website, the spring recruitment process is a busy and important time for those members and prospective new members. But this year will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly three weeks after the incident was initially reported to the Oxford Police Department (OPD), four men have been charged in relation to the fight outside the Theta Chi fraternity house that resulted in multiple injuries, according to a Facebook post from OPD.
Miami will conduct its own investigation once OPD’s investigation is complete.
The usually full social calendars for the members of the Miami Greek community are virtually empty with pandemic safety precautions limiting gatherings of more than 10 people. With coronavirus continually changing our social world as we know it, Miami Greeks are trying to find as much normalcy as they can during these unprecedented times. Instead of the normal mass gatherings for chapter, weekly chapter meetings are now conducted virtually through a screen.
I joined Greek life to feel more at home on campus, but I feel more disconnected and distant than ever before.
In an email sent to all members of Miami University's Greek community on Aug. 29, the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Association detailed a new 10-day shelter-in-place order for all Greek Oxford residents as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Greek life at Miami revolves around a sense of family between the brothers and sisters of the organization. That connection is now being challenged by the limitations on gathering and face-to-face contact.
Both of first-year Jordana Luther’s parents were involved in Greek life when they were in college and still keep in touch with people they met through their fraternity and sorority. Luther came to Miami wanting to join a sorority, hoping to find a group of close friends like her parents had. In early February, new members received their bids after days of recruitment. Luther got a bid to join Phi Sigma Sigma and rushed to greet the group of smiling faces of the girls who were now her sisters. About a month later, almost all of the events that she and the other wide-eyed new members had been looking forward to got canceled — socials, Big/Little Reveal, date parties, semi-formals, moms and dads weekends and formals.
Laura Perino awoke to a barrage of text messages on Sunday, March 17, 2019 — one year ago today. The messages were from her son Tyler’s girlfriend. As her eyes began to focus on the bright screen, words began jumping out in her mind: hospital, police, he’s okay. A feeling of panic washed over her. She would later find out that her son was hospitalized with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.231 — three times over the legal limit — after being violently assaulted at his fraternity’s big/little brother reveal event.