Action News Jax Investigates UNF disciplining organizations for COVID-19 policy violations

REPORT: 12 UNF organizations violated COVID-19 policies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The University of North Florida has disciplined several organizations amid accusations that they violated the school’s COVID-19 policies.

An Action News Jax investigation found since Aug. 1, there were 24 code of conduct investigations into UNF organizations, including clubs, Greek Life and sports teams. More than a dozen fraternity and sororities made the list.

Four of the sororities were cleared of any wrongdoing following the investigation. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega Sorority have been investigated more than once, according to the document.

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The report reveals 12 organizations have been slapped with sanctions. Five cases involving a sorority and fraternity are still under review.

Examples of discipline range from formal warning letters to one fraternity being put on probation. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity was placed on disciplinary probation and banned from social events through fall 2021.

The report indicated Aug. 14, the fraternity provided alcohol to underage people through common source containers at an unsanctioned event and didn’t follow social distancing and mask guidelines. The fraternity was also given a formal warning letter for tabling an event on the Green on campus and not following social distancing or mask guidelines on Aug. 24.

The Alpha Chi Omega Sorority was under investigation three times in September. Two of the cases are still under review.

The sorority received a formal warning letter for not following social distancing guidelines and not wearing face masks Sept. 6. The report indicated the sorority faces other possible sanctions for “failure to self‐report positive Coronavirus tests” and a “social event with potential illegal drug use.”

The UNF Women’s Swim Team faced a minor sanction for a September incident where the university reported alcohol was available to underage people at an unsanctioned social event with no masks.

As part of the discipline, the report stated meetings were required along with a team intervention. Bob Greenlaw, UNF’s COVID-19 task force coordinator, said the guidelines apply to students' behavior on and off the campus and that the university will continue to crack down on any violations.

Greenlaw sent Action News Jax this statement:

“The University takes very seriously the protocols put in place to keep the Osprey community safe and healthy during the pandemic. The importance of the four key pillars of shared responsibility found at www.unf.edu/coronavirus have been repeatedly communicated to the campus community through all communication channels. Creating a safe and healthy environment is a shared responsibility that includes taking steps to protect your own health as well as the health and well-being of the entire Osprey community. Based on CDC guidelines, the campus community is required to follow the four key pillars of shared responsibility which include: practice social distancing, wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor areas at all times, practice proper personal hygiene, and monitor health on a daily basis. The conduct cases at the University are a direct result of organizations not following the University’s safety guidelines. Our Student Code of Conduct and the disruptive behavior regulations at UNF apply to behaviors on and off campus and the University will continue to take swift action against any organization(s) who are intentionally putting the campus community at risk.”