Pandemic forces changes in Greek life recruitment at Washburn Univ.

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:35 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Coronavirus restrictions on social events will make for a different Greek Life experience at colleges this fall. It’s also impacting the way those organizations recruit new members.

Washburn University’s Kappa Sigma fraternity usually begins recruiting over summer break.

President, Daniel Albertson said, “Usually we have some events that we invite people to, to get to know them so when they show up on campus, they already have a friendly face that they know and it’s easier to come and interact with our membership.”

He said the pandemic has forced them to adjust their process.

“High school students maybe don’t want to go to college when it’s a little bit unsure right now,” Albertson continued saying, “It’s the same thing with Greek life, they don’t want to commit to something they have no certainty of. We don’t know if we’ll go online halfway through the semester, so it’s just been tough getting the word out and getting people to respond.”

Once students arrived on campus, Kappa Sigma got to work holding socially distanced events with health and safety at the forefront.

Albertson said, “We have gloves, we have masks, hand sanitizer to provide to those who would like them and we also have a temperature gun to keep track of if anyone has a fever when they show up, as well as logging who is at each event.”

He said he’s seen how other Greek organizations have operated during this time and wants to be the exception.

“Greek life is already under fire a lot for the bad apples, per say, and we want to make sure our image stays positive and that starts with being safe,” Albertson continued saying, “We’ve had to adjust and that’s just what we have to do as an organization, look out for not only our own membership, but for everyone else and just think about what the repercussions are for partying or not wearing a mask or not social distancing.”

Last week, Washburn University had a total of 18 new COVID-19 cases. None are considered clusters.

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