As you are aware the university has made several announcements and updates to the Coronavirus website: https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/ . We encourage all orgs and advisors to check it regularly for updates to the Student and Families tab https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/students-families and info on Student FAQs https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/students-families/student-faq.
At this time OFSL wants to reiterate a few points and help provide next steps for organization management:
The COVID-19 virus is readily spread through close human contact, which is a fact of life in a university environment, whether in classrooms, dining halls or at University events. Eliminating large gatherings and creating social distancing are important steps to help prevent the spread of the virus. To achieve this, we want as few people on campus as possible. The risk of keeping people on campus in close quarters is far greater than sending them home. (Email: March 12, 2020,
Update from Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett on Campus Planning Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic)
With that we are asking that all fraternities and sororities reiterate to their members to view this website, listen to the universities directions, and that the organization not contradict the expectations set by the university for health and safety.
- We are still on Spring Break through March 22nd. This means that all chapter operations should still be on pause like they were this past week. It is important that organizations give their members time to transition and not worry about any fraternity or sorority obligations.
- Spring Break is being extended for one week for all students, except for those students in health-related Schools and programs in which Spring Break has already occurred or who are actively engaged in clinical rotations. During this time, the University will complete planning to migrate all classroom teaching to virtual instruction for both undergraduate and graduate classes beginning Monday, March 23rd. Virtual instruction will continue through the remainder of the spring semester including examinations. (Email: March 11, 2020, Coronavirus and important changes to our operations for the remainder of the semester, President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett)
- Next week OFSL will further communicate instructions for VIRTUAL OFSL engagement during the semester, the process for requesting to continue membership intake virtually, and resources for chapter officers to continue member engagement in new formats. We are in communication with many national organizations and know that they have given you great instructions as well to help keep members engaged. We hope to partner and provide you all the best resources to help support your members, retain members, and tackle questions and challenges during this transition. Information about how to contact your OFSL advisor and work with them will come next week.
- Every organization is expected to cancel all events for the remainder of the semester. This directive is very important for the health and safety of our community. Fraternities and sororities found in violation will be directly referred to the Office of Student Conduct, council judicial boards will not handle these violations. If you have questions about rescheduling, reformatting to a digital program, or need support navigating cancelations please reach out to your OFSL Advisor via email next week. We appreciate our organizations taking this seriously and not gathering and violating this policy or risking health by not following social distancing guidance.
- ALL events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester. Any group meetings should take place virtually. No parties, events, or social activities registered or unregistered, are permitted. All registered events/parties are cancelled for the remainder of the semester. Students hosting unregistered event will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. (Student FAQ: If I receive an exception to remain on campus, will there be any student activities for the rest of the semester?)
I want to reiterate that all students should look at the Student FAQs https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/students-families/student-faq to answer their questions and see the universities guidance about travel, housing, health and wellness, campus operations, and more.
Chapters with university owned homes have been getting communication about protocol directly. Chapter with privately leased or owned homes will hear from OFSL shortly.
Thank you and please be safe.