BLOOMINGTON — A fraternity house at Indiana University Bloomington will be closed through summer 2021 for violations of measures designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
According to information from the Monroe County Health Department, health officials were notified on Sept. 16 of a situation at Alpha Epsilon Pi that appeared to be a serious violation of Monroe County Health Board regulations.
The health department, after consulting with local law enforcement, representatives of Indiana University and the fraternity, determined that on Sept. 16 individual members of the fraternity "intentionally instituted, permitted, or maintained conditions which may transmit the spread of COVID-19." In addition, the investigation uncovered 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," the health department said in a statement. "Those residents include Indiana University students, faculty, and administrators, as well as the general public."
The health department informed those involved 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."
According to the health department, Indiana University and Alpha Epsilon Pi leadership reached an agreement to close the fraternity house doors for the remainder of the academic year and through the summer of 2021. The health department will not pursue enforcement action as a result.
"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," the health department said in its statement.
A spokesman for Indiana University issued the following statement:
This agreement directly addresses the concerns in this particular Greek house and reflects the serious nature of ensuring student safety. As the latest COVID testing results of our students show, the positivity rate is declining among all students including fraternity and sorority members. We will continue to work with the students and our partners at the county health department to keep IU and the surrounding community healthy.