After virus outbreak tied to rush party, Ole Miss tells Greeks no more parties

Published 7:41 am Friday, June 19, 2020

The University of Mississippi Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life issued a statement this week to fraternities caught hosting off-campus parties, stating that any chapter found out of compliance will be placed on social probation.

The statement comes after an estimated 162 Ole Miss students tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Tuesday announcement by Mayor Robyn Tannehill during a meeting of the Oxford Board of Aldermen. It was reported that many of the cases could be traced back to “rush parties.”

The director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Dr. Arthur Doctor, stated in an email that his office has “instructed all fraternity chapters to refrain from hosting recruitment or social events in Oxford or any other cities.” Doctor also said that they have also instructed all fraternity and sorority chapters to comply with state and federal public health guidance, as well as local and University guidelines related to COVID-19.

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“These decisions are extremely important to the safety of all of our students and contribute to a safe return for our campus community in the fall,” Doctor said.

Doctor also sent out an email to Ole Miss fraternities asking them to have a conversation with their members “to ensure they comply with local social distancing guidelines.”

According to the Oxford Police Department, there have been several reports relating to loud music, but they can’t say for sure that they are related to fraternity rush parties.

“The Oxford Police Department has responded to approximately 109 calls for service that have been identified as loud music calls from February 1, 2020 to June 18, 2020,” said Oxford Police Deputy Chief Sheridan Maiden. “Some of which were not parties, just people playing music loud. These calls include both Oxford residents and students.”