UCF suspends frat, sorority for disregarding COVID-19 policies

School says student did not isolate after testing positive for coronavirus

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The University of Central Florida on Wednesday suspended a sorority and a fraternity for violating the school’s COVID-19 policies.

The Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity placed the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) and the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) on interim organizational suspension.

“ZTA was placed on interim suspension for allegedly hosting an unapproved social gathering on campus,” school leaders said. “The sorority followed the university’s process for applying to host an event, but the event was still pending a decision from UCF when they elected to hold it anyway.”

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Officials at the school also said the event willfully disregarded the university’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines.

“SAE was placed on interim suspension for allegedly hosting a large social gathering off campus that willfully disregarded the university’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines,” officials added.

Two students were placed on interim suspension for not complying with the university’s policies during the pandemic.

“One student allegedly did not remain isolated after testing positive for COVID-19, and the other allegedly hosted large social gatherings off-campus that violated university policy,” school officials said.

According to the letter to sent the Zeta Tau Alpha chapter, hosted an event on Sept. 1 at the sorority house. The letter sent to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not list when or where the event took place.

Meanwhile, UCF announced more positive cases of coronavirus inside its student organizations on campus.

According to officials, the organizations are Zeta Tau Alpha and Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Epsilon Phi.

“A total of 79 women live in the three houses, and a total of 16 of these women have tested positive,” officials said.

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According to a news release, 15 of the school’s 100-plus isolation rooms are currently in use.

“Most students are electing to complete their isolation period at their permanent residence,” officials said.

According to the UCF student behavioral policy put in place Sept. 1, all students, regardless of whether they are on or off campus, must adhere to guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

Students are not to engage in conduct that would endanger the safety, health and well being of others, including limiting gatherings of 12 or more.

UCF has also canceled the annual Spirit Splash and other events that take place during Homecoming week, as well as 2020 Family weekend.

UCF Interim Provost and vice president for academic affairs Michael Johnson said he’s concerned and shocked after reports of faculty members not wearing face coverings during class and advising students they can take theirs off. This coming after an entire class now is being quarantined when campus leaders say a student, who later tested positive for COVID-19, came to class and face coverings were not worn. Read more of the interim provost’s statement here.

“I appreciate the efforts so many of you are making to ensure our students are receiving a high-quality education while your classes follow the university’s COVID-19 policy," Johnson wrote. "However, I am concerned — really, shocked — about several reports of faculty members not wearing face coverings during class and advising students that they can take theirs off. Wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing are critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

Campus leaders said if students are caught going against UCF’s COVID-19 policy, they could face expulsion, removal from campus and/or termination of their housing agreement.

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