The Bloomingtonian

Press release: Health violations related to Covid lead to fraternity closure

The following press release was sent to The Bloomingtonian Wednesday:   

“HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS PROVIDE CLARITY

ON SANCTION TO GREEK FRATERNITY

BLOOMINGTON –On the morning of September 17, 2020, the Monroe County Health Department (“Department”) was informed of a situation, which appeared to be a serious violation of the Monroe County Health Board Regulations, by a Greek organization affiliated with Indiana University. The situation occurred the night before, just one day after the Board met and updated its regulations. 

Upon immediate investigation, and in consultation with local law enforcement, representatives of Indiana University, and Alpha Epsilon Pi, it was determined by the Department that, on September 16, 2020, individual members of Alpha Epsilon Pi intentionally instituted, permitted, or maintained conditions which may transmit the spread of COVID-19, in violation of Indiana Code 16-20-1-25. Even more concerning, it was discovered that those individual members may have, initially, provided false information to law enforcement about their actions. Upon further investigation, a pattern of behavior was uncovered, which created conditions that had put the health of residents of Monroe County at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. Those residents include Indiana University students, faculty, and administrators, as well as the general public. 

The Department, through its legal counsel, made clear to those involved that it would petition to seek an injunction to prevent similar behavior in the future and to seek fines for the behavior, unless immediate action was taken to ensure that individual members of Alpha Epsilon Pi could no longer threaten the health of Monroe County residents. It is the Department’s responsibility to prevent behavior to exist, which risks community health.  

The Department is pleased to make known that Indiana University and Alpha Epsilon Pi leadership reached an agreement to close the Alpha Epsilon Pi doors for the remainder of the academic year and through the summer of 2021. This agreement obviates the need for the Department to initiate enforcement action, as the agreement directly and successfully addresses the Department’s stated concerns, and prevents any future violations by individual members of Alpha Epsilon Pi within the Chapter facility. The fact of the matter is that all parties recognized that the actions taken on September 16, 2020, by individual members of Alpha Epsilon Pi, did not represent the responsible and caring values of Indiana University or their students, the larger Alpha Epsilon Pi organization, or Monroe County. 

The Department is already discussing a plan to work proactively with Greek organizations and Indiana University to promote the health and safety of students and the greater community. Individual and organizational accountability is, and always will be, key to such success. The leadership shown by those who came forward, to work with the Department, and to hold members of Alpha Epsilon Pi accountable for their actions is very much appreciated by the Department. The Department looks forward to proving how academic and community leaders, including Greek and student leaders, can work together for the safety of our community and increased public health. 

 -END-“

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