Pool parties are raging at the University of Miami, where fraternities and sororities have been throwing caution to the wind, flouting the school’s social distancing protocols since classes began two weeks ago.
Large numbers of maskless Miami students are gathering to share drinks and party in cramped spaces by the pool, university student newspaper The Miami Hurricane reported.
Sorority members sometimes go to extreme lengths to cover up these parties. Fearing any incriminating information being leaked about these gatherings, students are using codes to transmit information, sending out addresses anonymously, and lying to authorities if any members get infected.
‘Why Wouldn’t They Just Party More?’
Sorority members justify their conduct, saying administrators failed to take action against similar frat parties during the fall semester, so “Why wouldn’t they just party more?” Administrators, however, stated they had no idea about these parties.
Miami is one among many universities that stood out last year for their callous disregard of social distancing rules. Although some members tried to heed university pleas to abide by its pandemic policies, it proved ineffective in deterring Greek Life members from hosting and attending parties.
Those who have tried to abide by the school’s COVID guidelines have repeatedly called out the “toxic culture” at these parties. Party-goers, in turn, have labeled the former as “snitches,” ostracizing them from sorority groups.
Once again @univmiami administration is declining to talk to the @MiamiHurricane and answer any questions about actions being taken to hold people accountable. When informed of more Greek life parties @drpatwhitely declined to be interviewed and released the following. pic.twitter.com/MHn0Nb3sIt
— Jesse Lieberman (@jessetmh) February 7, 2021
Some of these anonymous sources have also provided the addresses of several parties held during the first week of school, including one Sigma Chi party at a Florida nightclub at the end of January. This was the second time the fraternity was reported since it was suspended last semester for hosting parties that violated social distancing guidelines.
Action Taken by the University
After news of fraternity and sorority members organizing parties started pouring in, Dean of Students Dr. Patricia Whitely said her office is “investigating any report it receives of students and student organizations not abiding by public health guidelines in place to keep everyone healthy.”
Although some administrators insist “fraternities have adjusted their events to be virtual the entire week,” photos, messages, and student interviews clearly contradict this claim.