The Pandemic and the University
2020 poses the greatest challenge to the North American fraternity system since World War II. The coronavirus pandemic closed almost every university for in-person instruction during the spring and summer semesters and life has not returned to normal this fall. Some Zete chapters are on campus, some are in their houses and some have their members spread out over the world and don’t know when they will meet face to face again. Few in the class of 2020 had a proper graduation and many career plans are on hold. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
At the same time, society is grappling with how we treat “others.” The tumult stemming from racial injustice, sexual misconduct and other issues have roiled universities, particularly those in the United States. In addition to going to class (or jumping on to Zoom), there are heightened political tensions and discussions about Black Lives Matter, sexism, hazing, elitism, ableism and more. A few have even called for the abolition of Greek life. We see Zeta Psi chapters across the world already reflecting their respective campus cultures — and from this ongoing evolution, we know Zeta Psi can remain relevant on campus despite our critics’ remonstrations to the contrary. Our active chapter members (with strong elder guidance) navigate these challenges quite well and they are doing so every day.
Finally, our brothers have been impacted by natural disasters — hurricanes, fires, derechos — and of course, personal challenges arising from the pandemic. It’s a lot to deal with and we all hope that we can come together and celebrate with each other soon.
Zeta Psi reacted quickly to these challenges and removed potential obstacles to membership. We have continued these policies into the fall semester, so that even if a university is operating in a totally remote fashion, our chapters can welcome new brothers into our noble order. (Zeta Psi’s COVID Statement)
We hope you enjoy the features in this section and understand a bit more of what it’s like to be a Zete undergraduate today. As always, we’re continually looking for Elder volunteers to help our chapters. If you are interested in engaging with students, please reach out to Zeta Psi IHQ through our online form.