200824_TMG_GreekLifeOffice_003.jpg (copy)

Sixteen University of Georgia Interfraternity Council fraternities have been fined a cumulative total of $32,500 for violating IFC’s social distancing policy as of Dec. 7. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach; @taylormckenzie_photo)

Sixteen University of Georgia Interfraternity Council fraternities have been fined a cumulative total of $32,500 for violating IFC’s social distancing policy as of Dec. 7. 

Throughout the fall semester, IFC has implemented a variety of bills to promote adherence to its social distancing guidelines. The council introduced its fine system in early June, when it passed a bill that would fine organizations $5,000 for violating social distancing guidelines. A second violation resulted in a $7,500 fine and $10,000 for subsequent violations.

“The Council’s COVID-19 fine system is a success story in self-governance, a product of the leadership from our chapter presidents and one highlighted by President Morehead to the University-wide COVID-19 Response Committee,” IFC president Evan Venable said in an email Monday.

The money will go toward the IFC Scholarship Fund, a need-based scholarship administered by the UGA Foundation. 

The council’s approach to COVID-19 changed over the course of the semester as Greek life organizations faced criticism online and from the Student Affairs Vice President Victor Wilson for their pandemic response.

IFC passed a bill on Aug. 27 prohibiting IFC fraternity houses from having visitors other than “a pledge or active roster member, or the parent/guardian thereof” from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Another bill passed Sept. 24 declared IFC organizations must not allow tailgating on their respective properties. Chapters found in violation of the policy were subject to a $1,500 fine and a loss of block seating privileges for one regular football season.Three organizations have lost block seating privileges for the 2021 one regular football season, Venable said.

The Council remains committed, first and foremost, to upholding public health and safety, as such there have been no changes to the relevant policies. This system will continue into the spring 2021 semester until public health experts advise otherwise,” Venable said.