Reacting to COVID-19, looking to the future

By Sean Cauvet, The Lanthorn

Like many student organizations at Grand Valley State University, COVID-19 has had a major impact on Greek Life. Interfraternity Council President Zack Kirshner said he didn’t expect to have to deal with the virus on such a significant level.

“Every precaution and everything that (was) done in this whole situation was with the health and safety of every student in mind,” Krishner said. “Due to our social nature, it puts us more at risk to spread this virus and what we need to focus on right now as a global community is stopping the spread.”

Kirshner said the timing of the virus couldn’t have been worse for the Greek community. 

“Greek Week should’ve happened this week,” Kirshner said. “I got a notification on my phone the other day that it was a week until lip sync and that got me a little upset, but I know that anytime something gets in our way we come back bigger and stronger.”

Greek Week is a week-long celebration of the community which culminates with a lip sync dance at the end of the week. Fraternities and sororities are partnered up and rehearse for weeks in preparation. Greek Life Board President Cordelia Ryan said they were in the middle of planning the event when they got the news of cancellation.

“We had just announced the teams and the themes and I know a lot of people had already met with their partners to undergo whatever they wanted to do for lip sync,” Ryan said. “We’re no longer able to host that and we’d actually, the night it was announced, the administration and I had talked about holding an alternative event in April. We weren’t sure what it was going to be exactly, but now that everything is suspended we can’t move forward with really anything.”

Although the situation isn’t ideal, Kirshner is optimistic about next semester.

“Hopefully everything will be back to normal (next semester) and we’re able to get back into the groove of things,” Kirshner said. “As of right now, everything is on hold. We’ll get back to it in the fall and have a successful fall rush from IFC and come back bigger and stronger.”

Kirshner, in his first term as IFC President, said he was very pleased with everything going on in the Greek community this semester.

“Alpha Tau Omega had just completed their ‘Walk Hard’ for the eighth year in a row which is an impressive feat,” Krishner said. “Additionally, Sigma Pi had a week of giving coming up as well so we were really just getting into the swing of all of our philanthropic events in the community so it really sucks to have to put that on hold.”

After going through the moratorium last year, both Kirshner and Ryan are confident that the Greek community will bounce back and have a great year once things are back to normal.