Greek life during Covid-19

Greek life on Cleveland State’s campus has now entered unforeseen territory with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Cleveland State’s decision to transition to online learning, no students or staff will be allowed to meet or work on campus until cleared by Ohio governor Mike DeWine. 

Before the recent circumstances, Greek organizations on Cleveland State’s campus held in-person weekly chapter meetings, philanthropy events, and participated in student events on campus to meet criteria given to them by their national headquarters and to interact with the community. However, with the transition to remote learning and Gov. Mike DeWine’s Stay At Home Order, the future of Greek organizations is uncertain.

Phi Mu and Sigma Tau Gamma are two Greek organizations on campus that have moved what they could, such as a chapter meetings and executive board meetings, to the video conference platform, Zoom. 

“It’s unfortunate that the virus has caused us to be apart from one another,” said Jared Wilkinson, the chapter president of Sigma Tau Gamma. “It’s difficult to keep that sense of brotherhood through phone calls and Zoom meetings.” 

While some Greek organizations have managed to find a sense of normalcy on Zoom, the future for the fall semester seems bleak. Sororities at Cleveland State hold their annual formal recruitment in the fall of the school year. Fraternities at Cleveland State also continuously recruit men in the fall and spring semesters. However, without interacting with most of the Cleveland State community, specifically with incoming freshmen, some sororities and fraternities are uncertain as to how they can continue to recruit. 

Phi Mu Membership Director Savanna Davis, and David Hayes, the director of recruitment for Sigma Tau Gamma, who handle their organizations' recruitment, are not sure of the university’s plan for the fall and how it will affect the number of women and men wanting to go through the recruitment process. 

“I think that, depending on how late in the summer this goes, it can affect enrollment in schools; therefore, even lower recruitment enrollment," Davis said. “It’s hard for me to even fill out this form planning for recruitment because I can’t meet with the people I need to.”

“I definitely think that recruitment got hit the hardest,” Hayes said. “The only safe way to attract attention or to recruit is through social media, which isn’t as effective as an in-person meeting.” 

Greek organizations including Phi Mu and Sigma Tau Gamma are continuously working to plan social and philanthropic events for the fall. Each chapter has high hopes for the fall semester, given that Gov. DeWine lifts the Stay-At-Home order on the current date of May 1.