by Arielle Champion

After a brief interview with Abhi Kaneria, who is the risk manager and postulant educator of Fraternity Alpha Chi Rho, it’s clear that COVID has really gotten in the way of Fraternity life here at Rutgers-Camden.

“I definitely wish that things could go back to normal,” said Kaneria.”Being at home during quarantine has taken away one of the important aspects of my daily life that I used to enjoy.”

Before the pandemic, Fraternity Alpha Chi Rho was a well-functioning brotherhood with 14 members at RUC who lived and met in a frat house off-campus. They had great member engagement and were successful in bringing in new members each semester. The group was able to plan and host events, take part in community service, and collaborate with other greek organizations.

Not only were they committed to the community, but also to one another. Before COVID came crashing down, Alpha Chi Rho took part in many events and traditions within their brotherhood.

Kaneria talked about how the members used to meet up with one another for chapter meetings at the AXP house. They even did fun things like host group dinners, movie nights, and football watch parties. Ultimately, the Greek organization was a fun, interactive, and successful social environment.

Since the virus has struck, the fraternity has faced multiple changes as a group. Instead of traditional in-person meetings, they now meet as a group over  Zoom calls and group chats. They also can no longer host as many events as they did before and any event has to be done through Zoom. Many service activities have also been suspended due to the health concerns of their members. Events like movie nights, football parties, and game nights can no longer take place. Overall, the physical interaction amongst the entire group has been limited.

The virus has also brought on many challenges for the organization as a whole. Although they might be able to communicate amongst themselves through group chats and Zoom calls, it has been hard to converse with those who aren’t so comfortable with virtual interactions.

Kaneria mentioned the difficulty of doing bonding activities with any new members since everything has to be online. Some of the current members have even expressed little motivation to create events and activities with everything having to be virtual. They are trying their best to stick together and pull through these rough times.

Although COVID has created a variety of obstacles for most of the Greek organizations, it’s a time that holds a significant opportunity for growth and development.

“One of the positives it brings is we are able to focus more on learning our history and values in-depth which was something we normally didn’t do,” said Kaneria.

RUC’s Alpha Chi Rho members have acknowledged the difficulties COVID has brought, however, they are using this time to dig deeper into their roots and grow as a brotherhood.