Alpha Gamma Delta sisters Emily Roberts, Olivia Nelson and Ashley Cooke sit on the steps of the sorority's house. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has suspended classes and on campus events at East Carolina University until further notice. With most organizations having moved online, Greek Life across campus is adjusting to the new normal.

Junior industrial distribution and logistics major, Nathan Brewer, is a member of Zeta of Chi Phi at ECU, and handles social media accounts and newsletters for the fraternity. Brewer said the future events of his fraternity are still up in the air.

“We canceled all further plans/events for the spring semester but rescheduling them has a lot of conflicts. Most weekends in the fall already have events planned so it makes it much harder,” Brewer said.

Brewer said the worst part of the event cancellations for Chi Phi has been the graduating seniors missing formals and other events they normally look forward to.

Dues for fraternities and sororities have remained a topic of conversation, according to Brewer. All panhellenic organizations on ECU’s campus pay dues to remain a member and support the philanthropy their organization chooses. Brewer said he isn’t sure if Chi Phi will get money back for the spring semester.

“We have no more social events, so if they bill us for the full semester we should be fine. It’s still another complication we haven’t figured out. A huge part of our image on campus is our philanthropy. It’s hard to find ways to keep the guys active with it when we can’t do hands on events,” Brewer said.

Director of Greek Life at ECU, John Mountz, said the situation involving dues structures and policies is individual to each fraternity or sorority and done both at the local and national level.

When a member pays dues to an organization, some of that stays with the local chapter and some goes to the national organization, according to Mountz. He said every single Greek organization on ECU’s campus is working on whether or not they will have a refund policy.

“Chapters are reporting their service and philanthropy hours that they conducted in the spring. Everyone is trying to plan for fall and most groups are talking about if everything comes back to normal, and if not, we are talking about what things could potentially look like in the fall,” Mountz said.

Students and student leaders are doing their best to adjust to online classes and to stay in touch with chapter members and council officers, according to Mountz. He said members are generally doing well, just anxious to try to get back together as soon as they can.

Junior marketing major and chapter president of Phi Mu sorority at ECU, Sarah Justinson, said since the outbreak, she’s seen many people in her sorority leave for home.

“I’ve had seniors and members of all years come to me asking about events being cancelled. It’s understandable because these women have waited four years to have their senior formal, five senior speeches and to have it unexpectedly cancelled is upsetting,” Justinson said.

Phi Mu is doing everything they can to make this time special for seniors, according to Justinson. She also said she cannot personally refund dues without permission from national headquarters.

Justinson said chapters across the country are dealing with this crisis and believes it will take time for everything to get sorted out. As for fall recruitment, Justinson said they have a plan and are still preparing to recruit in fall 2020. Until then, virtual meetings are being held to stay in touch.

“Since we can’t meet in person this semester, we are video chatting with our members to keep everyone updated as we go,” Justinson said.

Discussions about due refunds and future recruitment and formal rushing are still being held, and updates will be released as more decisions are made.

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