NMSU Greek Life takes precautions against COVID-19

Those+living+in+off-campus+fraternity+or+sorority+houses+have+either+been+asked+to+vacate+the+premise+if+possible+or+have+been+told+to+leave+altogether.

Shane Buchanan

Those living in off-campus fraternity or sorority houses have either been asked to vacate the premise if possible or have been told to leave altogether.

By Jensen Stell, New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University’s Greek Life groups are taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

Those living in off-campus fraternity or sorority houses have either been asked to vacate the premise if possible or have been told to leave altogether.

NMSU Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Abby Howard said fraternities with housing off campus have closed their houses with the direction of their fraternities’ headquarters.

For Lambda Chi Alpha and Pi Kappa Alpha who reside in the Cervantes apartments on campus, they have followed the directions of NMSU’s Housing and Residential Life office.

“As far as quarantine goes with affecting fraternity and sorority life, the community has to really come together and brainstorm ways to continue creating and building community,” Howard said.

Zeta Tau Alpha sorority member Olivia Adams said ZTA was asked to leave if they could, but that they could stay in the house if they needed to.

She added that those who chose to leave the house before the end of the semester would receive a reimbursement check, since members of sororities do pay to live in their sisterhood’s house.

“Some girls are still [in the house] because they work in Las Cruces and stuff like that, so it’s just more convenient for them to be there,” she said.

Adams, who chose to move out of the ZTA house and back into her family home, said the news regarding the virus was causing her to be “so scared”.

“I think I just feel more comfortable at home because I always feel safe around my parents. Living in the [ZTA] house can be full and may be a little harder to social distance,” Adams said.

Another member of ZTA, Addison Funchess, claims there are four girls left living in the house including herself.

Mackenzie Kieltyka, a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, said she left the DZ house to go to her hometown for the extended spring break, but was notified that Delta Zeta has closed their housing for the rest of the semester.

She said they were offered to keep their things there until on-campus activities resume, and that they too were given a reimbursement check.

“I anticipate that campus will be closed through next semester as well, so…I got my stuff from DZ,” she said.

Kieltyka said students not being on campus is “better for everyone.”

“Although it is stressful in the time being, having to take a few classes online is much better for the greater good than returning to campus and putting thousands of students at risk,” she said.

Most, if not all, of NMSU’s fraternities and sororities have canceled all events and gatherings that were planned for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester so as to be in accordance with guidelines set by New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

In these guidelines, mass gatherings are defined as “any public or private gathering that brings together five or more individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or an open outdoor space where individuals are within six feet of each other.”

Alpha Xi Delta President Stephanie Frisch said she feels canceling future events is “disappointing,” but that “staying home and safe is more important.”

“By no means do I think we should hold events, it’s just hard to stay connected during all this,” Frisch said. “I think most people are bummed to have so much moved and canceled, but I think we’re also doing our best to all support one another and to stay positive.”

This story was originally published on NMSU Round Up on April 21, 2020.