July 29, 2020
Dear IFC and Panhellenic Communities,
As we approach the fall semester, student leaders at the council and chapter level are hard at work preparing our organizations for a successful academic year. The ongoing threat of COVID-19 will require us to operate in a selfless and public health informed way, and to make unprecedented changes to how our community operates. To this end, the University of Michigan’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association have made the decision to extend the suspension of all social events, first enacted in March, for the fall 2020 semester. This decision was made in accordance with current guidance from the CDC and State of Michigan, and under the guidelines provided by the Center for Campus Involvement for student organizations.
This fall will look different for all of us as students and as individuals. Since last March, we have learned more about COVID-19 and how it affects various populations. We cannot ignore the broader implications and responsibilities of being a member of Fraternity & Sorority Life during this unprecedented time. We must also be mindful of how the virus has disproportionately affected communities of color, and do our part to work against this inequity.
This fall’s social cancellation is focused on protecting the health and safety of our councils and the larger campus community. We have a moral duty to protect those within our community and beyond, especially those who are immunocompromised, and/or are at a much higher risk of severe illness/death due to COVID-19. We recognize that similar social cancellations have been made in the past in response to unsafe drinking/social behaviors, and want to reassure our community that this is not the case.
We urge every member of our community to be cognizant of our collective responsibility to protect others, and of the broader implications of our actions amidst a global pandemic.
This decision is subject to change if the virus is no longer an active threat, and in accordance with the latest expectations and policies provided by University, local, state, and federal guidance. We encourage you to visit the following links for more information and resources:
It is of the utmost importance that we continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, limit social gatherings, and continue to monitor our personal health. If you are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms, it is essential to self-isolate, get tested, and notify other persons you may have come into contact with.
Further information regarding accountability procedures and specific guidelines will be communicated in the coming weeks.
As student leaders, we possess an immense responsibility to protect the livelihoods of others. We understand that this is an uncertain, stressful time, and our goal is to provide chapters the support needed to follow the relevant policies and protocols. We know that this announcement may come at a difficult time for members of the community, and this may affect your plans when moving back to campus. For that reason, we remain available to address any concerns you may have throughout the coming months. In spite of the difficult challenges ahead, we are confident that by supporting one another and standing up for what is right, we will have a successful return to campus.
Yours in health,
Ian Ross Elle Jimenez
IFC President Panhellenic President
Kyle Mosley Julia Scavnicky
IFC VP Social Responsibility Panhellenic VP Social Responsibility
IFC Judicial VP