A College of Charleston sorority has been temporarily suspended after some of its members violated the university’s COVID-19 policies. 

School officials placed the Zeta Sigma chapter of Alpha Delta Pi on interim suspension Thursday after 10 of its members participated in a photo shoot around campus and on King Street without wearing masks or maintaining 6 feet of social distance. 

As a result, the group temporarily “loses all privileges as a recognized student organization,” Executive Vice President for Student Affairs Alicia Caudill wrote in a letter Tuesday announcing the college’s decision. It was sent to presidents of the university’s fraternity and sorority chapters.

The photo shoot was organized by the sorority, Caudill said.

“Alpha Delta Pi accepted responsibility for not adhering to public health directives and announced its commitment to learning from this incident,” she wrote. “We appreciate the leadership of this organization and their efforts in ensuring actions like these do not occur again.” 

Nearly 10,000 College of Charleston students tuned in virtually for the first day of classes Tuesday. Students will continue to learn online until Sept. 14, when the college expects to begin offering some in-person instruction.

The college updated its student code of conduct to include a provision that prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more students, whether they are on or off campus. Not wearing a mask or face covering while on campus could also result in disciplinary action.

All students were also required to sign The Cougar Pledge, which asked them to “accept personal responsibility to protect the ongoing safety within the community.” Without this commitment, Caudill said, “it will be difficult to resume in-person instruction.” 

If students are found to be in violation of the new policies, sanctions could range from a warning to a suspension, depending on the severity of the behavior.

“The community watches you and looks for your leadership,” Caudill wrote. “During the time of this pandemic, we need you to demonstrate this leadership and help protect our students and greater community by adhering to our policies.”

Last week, College of Charleston President Andrew Hsu told The Post and Courier he and other school officials were committed to not repeating the mistakes of other universities that have been forced to close after widespread transmission on campus. 

“If we learn of any large parties or events, we’re going to investigate and we’re going to put a stop to it,” Hsu said.

On Tuesday, officials at the University of South Carolina announced it was quarantining students of two sororities after several members tested positive for the virus. 

College of Charleston community members can report potential student behavioral violations, COVID-19 related or otherwise, at www.deanofstudents.cofc.edu. 

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Contact Jenna Schiferl at 843-937-5764. Follow her on Twitter at @jennaschif.


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