Members of Alpha Sigma Alpha at Millersville University, pre-COVID-19.

Rachel Cubbage was initially confused and worried about the future of Millersville University’s (MU) Greek Life when she learned this spring about the cancellation of in-person activities due to COVID-19. But like many of her fellow Marauders, she focused on becoming resilient instead.

Cubbage, a rising senior and Vice President of Greek Council, helped Millersville Greek Life continue in a new, virtual world through the end of the spring 2020 semester. It was challenging, Cubbage said, because Millersville has 17 active undergraduate fraternities and sorority chapters.

“It has been so exciting to maintain Greek Life involvement online,” Cubbage said. “It was challenging but we kept a really high level of activity through our member organizations.”

Alpha Sigma Tau (AST)’s recruitment get-together at Millersville University, prior to COVID-19.

Cubbage, who was initiated into Alpha Sigma Tau in 2018, was gearing up for the highly anticipated end-of-semester Greek Week, which typically includes fun, team-building exercises. The fraternities and sororities use the week as a recruitment tool, taking advantage of the chapters’ increased visibility on campus.

Due to stay-at-home orders, Greek organizations had to pivot. Meetings typically held in person moved to zoom and events had to be cancelled or altered. The cancellation of events brought in new opportunities, Cubbage said. Greek organizations across Millersville came up with new ways to remain connected, challenge one another and help the community.

For example, Alpha Sigma Tau’s Instagram page featured a #WhyILoveWednesday, where a picture of a chapter member was posted and other members would comment something positive about that person. The organization also held weekly Yoga sessions through Zoom.

“The biggest idea that we want to put across is we want everyone to stay connected,” Cubbage said. “We saw a lot of activity from all of our organizations, which was really encouraging.”

Greek Life at Millersville also came together for a fundraising challenge. The chapters competed against one another to raise money for Feeding America, with the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha raising $185, the most of any chapter. A total of $1,502 was raised for the organization.

Philanthropic efforts are what makes Greek Life at Millersville special, Cubbage said. She joined Alpha Sigma Tau because a friend encouraged her to. As she became more involved, Cubbage realized the networking advantages chapters have and how philanthropic efforts positively impacted the community.

While Academic instruction will be provided in a hybrid modality this fall, which includes in-person, online and multi-modal instruction, Cubbage said Greek Life’s schedule remains up in the air. The organizations are creating contingency plans for how they can recruit new members, positively impact the community and remain connected if they need to be remote.

“We’re still not really sure what is going to happen, so it’s difficult to say what exactly our future plans are,” she said. “But we do know we’ll find a way to remain connected and lend a helping hand no matter what.”

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