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Coping with campus coronavirus: U.S. fraternities, sororities give it the old college try

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Sixteen gallons of hand sanitizer sat in the foyer of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority house at the University of Wisconsin as house mother Karen Mullis reconfigured tables in the dining room to maintain social distancing.

Upstairs, the sorority has moved beds 6 feet (2 metres) apart and rooms in the basement will be used to quarantine any house members who test positive for the novel coronavirus, which has killed over 163,000 people in the United States, the most in the world.

Masks are mandatory and house guests prohibited.

“We have all of these rules but it is dependent on these kids taking it seriously,” Mullis said. “If the girls are not responsible, then this is not going to work.”

Only 17 of 38 members plan to live at the sorority house near the Madison, Wisconsin campus this fall. The rest will stay home or live in an apartment, Mullis said.

The chapter is one of hundreds of fraternities and sororities grappling with how to persuade hundreds of thousands of young adults to follow safety protocols when in-person learning resumes at many universities in coming weeks.

12 August 2020

News Source Reuters

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