Despite COVID-19 regulations preventing LSU Greek Life from hosting events and parties similar to the ones in previous years, fraternities on campus have worked together to remain connected during the pandemic.
When the fall semester started, fraternities adapted from hosting multiple parties during the semester to none. According to Acacia President Grant LaPeyronnie, Acacia has seen its pledge numbers drop by almost 10 members since the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.
“It is hard to have a fraternal sense of community,” LaPeyrronie said. “We cannot get together and feel that sense of community like we used to.”
When fraternities plan to host events, they must now have protocols in place to follow in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Interfraternity Council President Navy Coggins said fraternities have to get events approved by LSU through Tigerlink, a website to make sure an event is appropriate and follows COVID-19 regulations.
Pi Kappa Alpha hosted an event with the LSU Student Health Center amid COVID-19. The fraternity hosted a flu shot drive outside of its house Nov. 11, 2020, organized by the fraternity's Health and Safety Chairman, Milton Khonsari.
Members of fraternities are required to fill out the daily symptom checker if they want to enter an event. Interfraternity Council Vice President of Recruitment Chad Boyd said he wants to make sure that everything is being conducted as safely as possible.
“The biggest thing we can do is ensure everyone’s safety,” Boyd said. “That is our main focus moving forward.”
Fraternities are informed by the University to wait to host an event until they know how to host an event as safely as they can.
“There are a lot of unknowns, and restrictions are constantly changing,” Coggins said. “We are working with the LSU administration constantly and are hoping for normal to return soon.”
Acacia is still allowing members to participate in their meal plan. Members can eat in the house, but they are encouraged to pick up their meal and leave unless they already live in the house. Members are allowed to socialize in the common area of the house, but masks are required at all times.
Boyd said fraternities have opened themselves up to more than just social events. He said this gives the members a sense of the networking within their fraternity; members can see the opportunity to obtain resources for themselves outside of a social setting.
“Even after this is over, Greek Life has gained something here,” Coggins said. “This has opened Greek Life up to more than just events and parties.”