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University of Rhode Island tells frats, sororities to shelter in place

Steven Senne/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island issued a two-week shelter-in-place order Friday for fraternity and sorority members, citing a high number of coronavirus cases in the school’s Greek system.

The school sent the notice in tandem with its Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association.

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

The order is in effect from 9 p.m. Friday to Saturday, Oct. 24, the school said. Members of fraternities and sororities should not leave their houses, on or off campus, whether Greek housing or not, except for medical visits and other essential services, such as grocery shopping and essential employment.


The notice says students will take all classes virtually for the duration of the order and should not visit campus if they don't already live there.

The school said it based its decision on statistics showing a much higher rate of coronavirus positivity among students in Greek housing, 11.17%, than in total off-campus housing, 3.83%, and the on-campus population, 0.65%.

There was no evidence as of Friday that the virus had been spread in classrooms or labs, the school said. Chapters with no cases can apply for an exception.

Students and chapters that don't follow guidelines could be suspended or dismissed, the notice said.

Upcoming sorority and fraternity bid days can be held virtually only, the school said.