After a spike in COVID-19 cases that saw more than 180 students test positive and 200 others quarantined, Duke University lifted the stay-in-place order for all undergraduates last week.
Officials attributed the spike to large groups of undergraduates attending recruitment parties for selective living groups, resulting in “the largest one-week number of positive tests and quarantines since the start of the pandemic.”
In-Person Instruction Resumes
US News revealed that since the stay-in-place order has been lifted, all courses will resume their standard delivery method, regardless of whether they involve in-person or hybrid instruction. Students in university-provided accommodations can now move around campus but have been asked to leave only for essential travel and health-related activities until March 28.
Students living off-campus in the Durham area will only be allowed on campus to attend in-person classes and essential academic activities, undergo COVID testing, seek medical care, or pick up food orders.
Libraries will reopen, but indoor dining is not allowed. Gatherings are limited to 10 people unless permission for a larger student event is given.
Changes to Greek Life
The Duke Chronicle reported that after university administrators put an end to the recruitment of first years, nine fraternities decided to cut ties with the university and form the Durham Interfraternity Council (DIC). This marked a significant shift in the university’s on-campus culture.
Rohan Singh, President of the Duke Interfraternity Council (IFC) until his fraternity, Sigma Nu, decided to disaffiliate, said that “the consensus amongst the nine chapter presidents is disaffiliating from the University is the lesser of two evils.”
In a statement released by ABC 11, the council expressed its support for the university’s decision to implement a stay-in-place order, expressing disappointment that some violated protocols for recruitment.
A separate article by The Duke Chronicle announced that on February 21, the DIC began its spring recruitment and is working on making sure that the entire rush process will be conducted online.