The Bloomingtonian

Delta Upsilon fraternity chapter at IU closed after Halloween party in violation of Indiana code to prevent COVID spread

November 1, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: Exterior image of Delta Upsilon chapter after police responded to the fraternity house for a Halloween party. The fraternity chapter, as a result of the gathering, “will shut down its house for the remainder of the academic year and through the summer of 2021,” according to a press release from the Monroe County Health Department. When police arrived, members refused to open the door, but police were instructed to document everything they could see outside and report it to the dean’s office, according to radio traffic heard that night by The Bloomingtonian. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

The Delta Upsilon Fraternity chapter in Bloomington has been closed through the summer of 2021 after its members held a Halloween party, which police responded to in the small hours of November 1st. The Monroe County Health Department release to following press release Thursday, November 12.

Here is the text of the statement from the MCHD:

BLOOMINGTON –– The Monroe County Health Department (“Department”) recently learned of a violation of the Monroe County Health Board Regulations, by a Greek organization affiliated with Indiana University. The violation – hosting a large gathering significantly bigger than is allowed by local regulation and with no physical distancing or mask-wearing – occurred in the early morning hours of November 1, 2020. The Department is currently attempting to verify the extent to which people may have been in contact and to what extent this gathering has resulted in the spread of COVID-19.

After reviewing a report made by local law enforcement and speaking with representatives of Indiana University, and Delta Upsilon, it was determined by the Department that individual members of Delta Upsilon instituted, permitted, or maintained conditions which may transmit the spread of COVID-19, in violation of Indiana Code 16-20-1-25. Individual members were also, initially, less than cooperative with law enforcement which hindered local health officials from determining the extent of the COVID-19 concerns.

The Department, through its legal counsel, made clear to those involved that public health concerns required swift action to ensure that members of Delta Upsilon could no longer take actions which threaten the health of Monroe County residents. The Department is mandated by state law to protect the public health from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, and is required to abate conditions which may result in the spread of disease. Recognizing the serious public health risk, Delta Upsilon leadership stepped up, and took responsibility and accountability for the actions of their members and their organization.

The Department is pleased to make known that all parties involved determined that Delta Upsilon will shut down its house for the remainder of the academic year and through the summer of 2021. During this time, Delta Upsilon will focus on developing an internal system of controls and the leadership skills necessary to, ideally, position itself as a positive example among Greek organizations on Indiana University’s campus. Specifically, Delta Upsilon will invest in education and leadership trainings for its student members so that risky behavior of all kinds is less likely to occur in the future.  This agreement obviates the need for the Department to initiate formal enforcement action, as the agreement directly and successfully addresses the Department’s stated concerns and prevents any future violations by Delta Upsilon this academic year.

The leadership shown by those who, ultimately, came forward to work with the Department and provide the information necessary to protect public health is very much appreciated by the Department. At their best, Greek organizations can and do instill leadership skills in their members. The Department is committed to continuing to develop a template for how academic and community leaders, including Greek and student leaders, can work together for the safety of our community and increased public health.  

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November 1, 2020 – Bloomington, Indiana USA: Lights illuminate Delta Upsilon’s Bloomington chapter after police responded to the fraternity house for a Halloween party. The fraternity, as a result of the gathering, “will shut down its house for the remainder of the academic year and through the summer of 2021,” according to a press release from the Monroe County Health Department. When police arrived, members refused to open the door, but police were instructed to document everything they could see outside and report it to the Dean’s Office, according to radio traffic heard that night by The Bloomingtonian. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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