Campus News

Greek life students feel college experience is not the same

college experience Greek life

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Many college students have had to shift to online classes and pause on traditional campus events due to COVID-19 and social distancing. In the spring of 2020, some students believe the pandemic completely changed the university environment, including those in Greek life.

Not only were students forced to transition to online learning, but those in Greek life also had to adjust how they socialized. In the case of Alpha Chi Omega, events besides big and little reveals were held virtually.

“COVID has had a huge impact on my college experience. Especially being in a sorority,” said senior Alpha Chi Omega member Catherine Rucas. “Fall 2020 was the worst semester. I was new to the chapter, so it was really hard to connect with my sisters, but it was COVID, so we couldn’t do anything about it.”

Although Fall 2020 was difficult for Rucas, that didn’t stop her from making the most of coming back to campus for her senior year.

“For my senior year, I decided to make the most of it by getting involved with as much as possible,” Rucas said.

Joining a sorority or fraternity is something that many college students dream about doing. Having a pandemic ruin the moment you pledge can be discouraging.

“COVID hit us pretty hard when it first kicked off,” said junior Pi Kappa Phi fraternity member Jalen Gomez. “Pretty much everything had to be rearranged or canceled for a bit until numbers started declining.”

Gomez said they continued to hold meetings throughout the end of that spring semester and the following semester over zoom until students were safely allowed back on campus.

Now as more students are getting vaccinated, it has allowed for some normalcy to return.

Gomez said he was still living at home in Austin when the pandemic started, so he wasn’t there for most events that went on. He moved back to Houston after he was vaccinated, at which point, he felt more comfortable going out without a mask unless he is around at-risk individuals.

“We did have to be very safe in terms of recruiting, trying to be as close yet as safe as possible with the boys, while all wanting and attempting to still live that college life,” Gomez said. 

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