Campus LifeCOVID-19News

Instagram page hosting COVID-19 parties debunked as fake

In a public statement, U of A Greek leadership disavowed Instagram account promoting U of A “COVID-19 Parties” and what it promotes

This article is an update to the July 16, 2020 breaking news article.

The University of Alberta College Panhellenic Association (UPA) and Interfraternity Council (IFC) jointly disavowed an Instagram account purporting to be hosting parties at the university despite COVID-19.

Both groups representing the Greek community at the U of A released a joint statement on July 16 in response to the Instagram account advertising U of A “COVID-19 parties” that claimed to have Greek ties. The statement is co-signed by Selen Erkut and Marcus Kant, the respective presidents of the UPA and the IFC. 

The Instagram account made explicit claims it was associated with  Greek life at the U of A in its first post. 

“We will party whether anyone likes it or not! We will not let our college lives be ruined because the school wants to shut down Greek life,” the post stated.

The joint statement from the U of A UPA and IFC condemns the Instagram account, saying both organizations “stand opposed to this [Instagram] account and the parties it is promoting.”

“We believe the account is fake, and made with the intention of stirring up controversy in our community,” the statement says. “While we do not currently know who is running the account, the reference to Greek life at the University of Alberta has made this an issue we must address.”

“The implication that the University of Alberta is trying to shut down Greek life is false. We are adapting to life in the wake of COVID-19, and this will mean that most of our activities will be hosted virtually,” the statement continues.

The University of Alberta released a statement condemning the account as well. 

“No, UAlberta does not (and will NOT) host COVID Parties,” The U of A statement reads.  

“All of our information suggests this account is a fake that was created to cause harm,” The statement continues. “If you’re invited to join it, don’t. It’s that simple: do not follow it.”

Instagram account has no clear plans to host events it promotes 

At time of publication, the Instagram account currently has updated its page with two additional posts. 

The Gateway reached out to the Instagram account to ask for additional information in regards to the party advertised in the post above.

When the account was reached out to for comment, The Gateway did not receive clear information about the event.

University of Alberta, UPA and IFC seeking additional information about the Instagram account

As the Instagram account remains active, the UPA and IFC are seeking support from students.

“If you have any information about the owners or organizers behind this account, please let the Dean of Students office know; you can contact them at [email protected],” the statement says.

Greek life will continue to host events, according to the statement, but through online means. 

“We will raise money and awareness for our philanthropies. Members will be supported academically as they transition to online schooling,” The joint UPA and IFC statement reads. 

“Parties are not the only thing we have to offer the community, and we resent this implication.”

Pia Co

Pia Co is the acting 2020-21 Editor-in-Chief and the 2019-20 Director of Marketing and Outreach of The Gateway. They're in their final year as a Sociology and Political Science student. When they aren't clicking away at a keyboard and copy editing, they can be found playing slap funk bass, or making a shockingly elaborate four course meal. 

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