URI issues 14-day shelter-in-place order for Greek community

In partnership with the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, the University of Rhode Island is issuing a 14-day shelter-in-place order for the URI Greek community.

The order extends from 9 tonight, Friday, October 9, to Saturday, October 24. To shelter-in-place means that members of our Greek community should not leave their residences (on and off campus houses) EXCEPT for medically related trips. Students will take all of their classes virtually during this time and are not to come to campus or leave their Greek houses for any reason other than to access medical care and other essential services (grocery shopping for off-campus residents, prescription pickup, and essential employment). Students who are sheltering should not participate in clinicals. Greek students should participate in mandatory testing during this shelter-in-place period when invited.

The University has taken this action in response to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Greek community. The testing data that we have collected as of 3:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9, led us to this decision is as follows:

On-campus population (students in URI residence halls/facilities) positivity rate 0.65%

Off-campus student total population positivity rate 3.83%

Greek housing positivity rate 11.17%

When we look specifically at all students who live off campus, we know that off-campus Greeks have a positivity rate of 9.06% whereas the non-Greek off-campus positivity rate is only 0.76%. This data tells us that we need to mobilize our Greek community immediately to stop the spread. You are our campus leaders, and we need your help to fight the virus.

To date, there is no evidence of transmission of the virus in the academic settings, including classrooms and labs.

This difficult decision is being made to help stop the spread of the virus. We know that many members of the Greek community have followed the guidelines on face coverings and physical distancing. Chapters that have had no incidents of the virus can apply for an exception to the shelter-in-place through the Office of Greek Life. The process will include a chapter assessment.

It is important that we issue this shelter-in-place order now for the limited time period.

We will work with Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association leaders and individual chapter leaders to assist them in holding members accountable. If students do not follow guidelines, they and their chapters will be referred to the Office of Community Standards for additional conduct action that could include sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University.

We ask our Greek Life students to comply with this request with a focus on returning to full campus participation in 14 days. We know your collective actions can have a positive impact on our ability to continue the fall semester with face-to-face classes.

Update on Fraternity & Sorority recruitment – all recruitment events will continue on virtual platforms only. No in-person events or meetings should be coordinated at this time. Bid Day/Bid Distribution will be virtual. Chapters are prohibited from holding in-person events to distribute bids to new members. Sorority Bid Day will be held Sunday, October 18, and Fraternity Bid Day will be Monday, October 19. New member education will begin after the order ends on October 24.