London

Frat house cancels frosh week parties, says Western University

Delta Upsilon, an established frat house in London, Ont., was offering incoming first year students an alternative to Western's mostly virtual O-Week called "Faux Week 2020."

'Faux Week 2020' was going to include parties and social gatherings

The Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Western University is considered the oldest affiliated with the campus. It is located on Central Avenue in the city's downtown. (Delta Upsilon/Facebook)

Western University says one of its fraternities has cancelled plans to hold an unofficial version of frosh week.

Delta Upsilon, an established frat house in London, Ont., was offering incoming first year students an alternative to Western's mostly virtual O-Week called "Faux Week 2020."

The lineup of events, which included parties and a field trip, raised the eyebrows of local health officials. 

Using an account on social media that has since been deleted, Delta Upsilon said they decided to host their own celebration because they thought "it ought to be a downright crime to rob frosh of the late night mini-raves and partying that makes the week one of the most memorable experiences of our lives as Western students." 

CBC News first reported on the parties Wednesday morning. The fraternity has declined all requests for comment.

The social media platforms linked to Delta Upsilon promote "Faux Week" to incoming frosh at Western University. (@fauxweek2020/Instagram)

Jennifer Massey, Western University's associate vice president of student experience, said Delta Upsilon decided to to cancel its plans after being contacted by the university. 

She noted that "Western does not officially recognize fraternities or sororities and has never had affiliations or formal relationships with them." 

Tickets for the week-long event were $100, and gave attendees access to multiple events including a small toga paint party capped at 45 to 50 people, a trip to Grand Bend, a group volunteering event and a BBQ night. 

Organizers also wrote on social media about guidelines to keep party-goers safe from COVID-19. 

They were asking attendees to complete a health screening before attending events, have their temperatures checked at the door and wear masks. They were also planning to divide attendees into cohorts of 45 to 50 people to reduce exposure. 

The province does currently allow gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and up to 100 people outdoors. However, public health officials in London expressed their concern for the events, noting that while gatherings are permitted, people are still expected to maintain physical distance from each other if they aren't part of their social circles. 

Bylaw enforcement officers in London could issue a $750 fine to people who violate health guidelines, like exceeding gathering limits, not wearing a mask when it's required and failing to maintain two meters of physical distance.

With files from Sofia Rodriguez and The Canadian Press

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