Three massive student parties that were hosted by, or associated with, students participating in Greek life at Syracuse University (SU) were confirmed to be the source of at least 20 positive COVID-19 cases. So far, one Greek chapter has been suspended.

Ricky Sayer, a reporter from SU’s student-run Citrus TV News, posted a statement on Twitter from SU spokesperson Sarah Scalese that confirmed the Sigma Chi chapter has been placed on interim suspension “for alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct, as well as public health directives.”

Vice president for student experience Robert D Hradsky highlighted the magnitude of the consequences after “a small but significant number of our students” attended the parties.

“Over the past six days, members of the Greek community have hosted three large parties in the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Already, these parties have been identified as the source of at least 20 new COVID infections, with more likely to follow,” he wrote.

The partygoers violated the state’s public health law, which prohibits gatherings exceeding 10 people who are not a family unit. As a result, the university will notify city authorities about the parties. They will also be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for violating the “Stay Safe Pledge” they signed upon returning to campus. 

Leaseholders of the areas where the parties were held will also face immediate “conduct sanctions.”

Disrupting Other University Activities

Hradsky added that the likelihood of athletic events occuring at the Carrier Dome “is now in question” after the rash actions of the partygoers and Greek organizations.

Furthermore, Hradsky noted that the university may be ordered to “pause” in-person learning. This includes closing down recreational facilities and dining halls and suspending all student activities if the university records 100 positive COVID tests within a 14-day period.

“People in this community and across the globe are still dying from this virus. The University will not tolerate behavior that puts any member of our campus community at risk,” he said.