The UR chapter of the fraternity Delta Iota Kappa is facing public backlash and potential disciplinary action after hosting an event exclusively for members of the UR community who, at the time of the party, were actively testing positive for COVID-19.

The event, titled “Staying Positive During the Pandemic,” took place last Friday, March 25 and reached about 70 students at its peak. 

“After a pledge came to our poker night and infected half of the house, we were kind of screwed,” senior and fraternity member Richard Johnson told the Campus Times, under the assumption that he would be able to remain anonymous. However, I’m graduating in a month, and this is the last piece of news I’m ever writing for the CT. Screw my reputation of journalistic integrity, and screw you, Dick.

(Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article stated that Richard Johnson was a member of UR Fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. We have no idea where that could have possibly come from, and it’s since been removed.)

Johnson also verified that the students manning the front door of Delta Iota Kappa’s house  were explicitly instructed to check for both a UR ID and a positive COVID-19 test taken in the last 48 hours.

Since the March 4 lift of the mask mandate, positive tests have settled in at around five each day, according to UR’s COVID-19 dashboard. At the time of writing, there are exactly 71 students who have tested positive, only 55 of which are from River Campus. This implies that either 98% of eligible students said yes to their invitation, or, alternatively, that the honest and upstanding young members of the UR community have personally lied to the school. Which is more likely? Drop us a line at editor@campustimes.org with your opinion today!

It is not yet clear what punishment, if any, Delta Iota Kappa will face. In a Zoom interview with the Campus Crimes, University Judicial Officer Keith Orzo repeatedly affirmed that the members of Delta Iota Kappa would be subject to the same due process as individuals, and no shortcuts or heavy-handed actions would be taken. 

However, before Orzo realized his audio was connected to the call, he said the following to an unknown coworker in the Center for Student Conflict Management:

“I just don’t understand why we can’t bring back the zero-tolerance policy for this. We change the rules all the damn time. Don’t you remember when they said ‘we’re going back in person’ and then changed their minds less than a day later? […] And we’ve been trying to kick these guys off for years, this is the perfect excuse.”

Upon realizing that I had joined the Zoom call while he was speaking, Orzo quickly requested that I strike that from the record. But as New York State is a one-party consent state, and as I’m graduating in two months, no <3.

According to Orzo, the fate of Delta Iota Kappa will be decided after a series of one-on-one interviews with Orzo and each member of the fraternity, whether they attended the event or not. Johnson Dix, a junior in the fraternity who is doing a study abroad in Japan this semester, will also have to Zoom in for a 4 a.m. meeting before a decision can be made, even though there is no possible way Dix could have attended the function.

Orzo anticipates having a disciplinary decision out by late April, with the current goal being before D-Day. Any other COVID-19 violations can be reported to snitch@rochester.edu.



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