BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University recommended all Greek housing close while providing an update on the COVID-19 pandemic on campus.
It comes after more than 1,000 students at Greek houses were placed under quarantine. The university also reports 30 of the 40 chapters are under quarantine. In some cases, the positivity rate in those homes is 20 percent or higher. Due to the high numbers, the university said it is impossible to pull out infected students for isolation or non-infected students to put them into different housing.
IU reports 2,600 students live in Greek housing of the 40,000-plus students on campus.
The university is advising all students living in Greek housing to consider other places to live, calling Greek housing not safe at this time. The university is asking chapters to start looking at alternative housing or significant changes to make their houses safer. Students in Greek housing will not be able to utilize isolation housing already setup by the university.
The university does not have the authority to close Greek houses and said that sort of closure would have to come from the Monroe County Health Department.
The university is not suspending students at the Greek houses for violating university safety policies.
IU said it is not seeing the same sort of surge in cases in the dorms.
The Indiana University Interfraternity Council released a statement to 13News calling the university’s stance on Greek housing “irrational and dangerous.”
The statement reads in part:
“The reality is IFC fraternities have done everything asked of them by the university and Monroe County Health Department. Indiana University recommendations have now put the entire Bloomington community at risk as thousands of kids have been directed to find new housing.”
The 2,600 students living in the fraternities and sororities would have to find an alternate place to live. Student on campus said it’s hard to find an apartment in Bloomington on such short notice since there is limited space on campus.
Other students fear going back home and exposing their families to the virus.
The university tweeted, “IU expects the national organizations and housing corporations to work directly with students to make decisions about their living environment and find alternate arrangements.”
The national IFC released a conflicting statement reading in part “Facilities should remain open with quarantine protocols in place to isolate members within chapter houses to minimize further coronavirus exposure. ”