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MSU Greek life affected by COVID-19

Posted at 6:17 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 06:17:49-04

LANSING, Mich. — It's not uncommon to see large groups of people having parties on the front lawn at houses around east lansing once the school year starts.

But not this fall.

The city is implementing new rules limiting outdoor gatherings to 25-people or less.

Local law enforcement and Michigan State University are trying to work with students to keep them informed to prevent them from throwing big parties this year. There are 62 fraternities and sororities on MSU’s campus and parties of more than 25 people outside won’t be tolerated.

Steve Gonzalez, East Lansing Interim Chief of Police, specified, “Fronts yards, backyards, front porches, those types of things.”

The restricted area stretches from Burcham Drive to Harrison Road to the west and Hagadorn Road to the east. Properties adjacent to those streets are included, many of them are fraternity and sorority houses.

Gonzalez said, “We uploaded our noise complaints, unlawful parties, nuisance party-type complaints into the GIS system to create a heat map of where those gatherings typically occur. So that really drove where to place those boundaries of that area.”

Michigan State officials say they don’t want a repeat of the past.

MSU Associate Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life Guillermo Flores said, “What has really hit a reality has been when the Harper’s incident occurred earlier this summer. That became a reality where sometimes when you’re a younger person you might think these things won’t affect me but we saw that occur.”

Because of COVID-19, recruitment and chapter meetings will all be online this year. The MSU Panhellenic Council has also suggested stopping all parties for the semester.

Panhellenic’s suggestion for dismissing all parties this semester will be voted on Sunday.

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