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UBC fraternities called out for breaking COVID-19 guidelines in anonymous post

Last Updated Oct 16, 2020 at 7:10 am PDT

FILE - A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Some fraternities at UBC are being accused of flouting social distancing rules as the number of COVID-19 cases rises

UBC says it's been clear with students and staff both on and off campus about its expectations

'Your social exchanges aren't more important than everyone's health,' anonymous post targeting UBC frats says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While many of us continue to take social distancing rules serious, some fraternities at UBC in Vancouver are being accused of ignoring provincial guidelines.

In a Facebook group called UBC Confessions, a post accuses those within Greek Life fraternities of flouting the rules and still holding parties, despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

The anonymous Facebook poster calls those taking part in the apparent events selfish, and begs them to stop partying.

“Your social exchanges aren’t more important than everyone’s health and most importantly, we’re privileged enough to have a relatively lenient semester when it comes to covid (sic),” the post reads, in part.

It goes on to say that students are still able to meet up with friends “without the fear of bringing something back home” because everyone is doing their part to “be responsible.”

Matthew Ramsey, director of University Affairs, says frat houses are not on UBC property and are entirely separate from the school.

“That being said, in order to enhance community safety, the university works with all students and all student groups, including fraternities and sororities, to provide them with information about provincial guidelines, as well as safety procedures for events,” he tells NEWS 1130.

He says when it comes to the situation on the campus itself, there has been one incident at UBC where some students gathered outside a residence late at night and someone contacted the RCMP to disperse them.

“What campus security does is they patrol the campus to ensure that there are no large gatherings, and they will advise students that they see, then, to follow health guidelines. If the students do not do so, then RCMP will be called,” Ramsey explains.

He notes the school has been in communication with students “more than 250 times since February and March of this year.”

“We’ve been very clear of our expectations on their behaviour, and we expect them — whether they’re in fraternities, sororities, or just in the wider student body — to follow the rules,” Ramsey says, adding it’s not just about students’ safety, but for the safety of others, faculty, staff, and families.

“You need to be responsible, you need to be following the rules.”