As members of UCF’s Greek community received emails about random, mandatory COVID-19 test selection, the College Republicans took to social media to call UCF’s targeting of the Greek community disturbing and hypocritical.
“In light of UCF’s declaration of action regarding Greek Life, the UCF College Republicans stand in solidarity with Greek life on Campus as it is apparent that the university does not view all students equally,” the Thursday statement posted on Instagram reads. “This targeting of Greek Life students is nothing new for UCF.”
Knight News has requested public records and is working to understand if it is legal to target students based on their associations.
UCF sent out the first wave of emails to notify about 100 randomly selected individuals in Greek life about a mandatory COVID-19 test on Thursday — the university said noncompliance could lead to disciplinary action.
The UCF community was first made aware of the targeted selection of Greek life for the random tests on Tuesday.
The College Republicans said the recent announcement of random testing — that will start with only individuals associated with fraternities or sororities on Monday — should be disturbing to those who advocate for student equality.
“Beginning the process with Greek Life simply due to their reputation of partying while also ignoring the mass amount of students attending night clubs and their own parties is either a sign of prejudice or unwillingness to investigate others,” the College Republicans said.
This is not the first time UCF has appeared to single out Greek organizations — Knight News obtained records in 2013 that showed UCF has a history of tracking fraternity stereotypes and using it in decision making situations.
The university officials that kept notes on Sigma Chi had materials prepared listing objective sections, like recruitment and GPA, as well as subjective sections like image. In the “image” section, the UCF official wrote, “Known as the partiers, guys that workout (meatheads).”
A current public records request by Knight News asking for records backing up UCF’s claim Greek students are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, and how that will help detect outbreaks in our campus population — which UCF is working to fulfill — may provide more information.
The College Republicans also said all student organizations have suffered from UCF’s COVID-19 policies, but that Greek life organizations have suffered more by “no mere stroke of chance.”
“Our country was founded on the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, yet UCF, a publicly funded university clearly seems to regard its Geek Life students as guilty until proven innocent,” the statement reads.
According to UCF’s Event Planning and COVID-19 Emergency Considerations Emergency Policy, registered student organizations must take the following actions to hold in-person events:
- Maintain active registration with the Office of Student Involvement.
- Submit an RSO COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- Authorized officers must complete the COVID-19 Safety Module.
- Comply with all university policies and procedures.
- Utilize KnightConnect or similar application for event disclaimer/RSVP/attendee verification.
- Utilize the SAFE Form event procedure for any event with anticipated attendance of 50 persons or more.
More details about the university’s COVID-19 policies can be read on the policies and procedures website.
The College Republicans said it is nothing short of hypocritical for UCF to host sporting events with the football stadium at 25% capacity while simultaneously restricting Greek life recruitment in the Thursday statement.
UCF currently recognizes 41 active social Greek organizations with a population exceeding 4,000 undergraduate students, according to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life’s website.
In August, UCF spokeswoman Rachel Williams said UCF’s total student enrollment for the fall is expected to be slightly higher than fall 2019, which was about 69,500 students — individuals involved with Greek life make up less than 6% of the total student body population based on fall 2019’s data.
UCF Housing said about 7,600 student residents will live in housing across all UCF properties this fall, reducing the overall occupancy by 484 beds.
It is not known at this time the number of beds, or to what extent Greek housing was reduced due to COVID-19 safety precautions. In fall 2019, UCF reported sorority and fraternity housing having 467 beds.
“The UCF College Republicans condemn the biased actions taken by the University against fraternities and sororities,” the statement reads. “UCF has placed large emphasis on showcasing that they support equality and fair treatment, but words without action are hollow sounds to discerning ears.”
This is a developing story. Check back with Knight News for updates.
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