AGD Smackdown: Coronavirus Edition

Attending college amid a pandemic is not something the average Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) student envisioned when they pictured their four years on campus. And Emma Plucknett, the Director of Property for Alpha Gamma Delta, and Junior Exercise Science and Spanish double major at NWU, did not picture spending her summer break creating social distancing protocols for her Greek chapter.

Alpha Gamma Delta sisters keep each other and themselves safe by remembering their masks.
Photo by Alpha Gamma Delta- Beta Alpha (@nwuagd) via Facebook

Plucknett took this massive surprise in stride, and her careful procedures are undoubtedly a success since there have been zero positive cases among Alpha Gamma Delta members in the seven weeks students have been back on campus.

As Director of Property, Plucknett’s normal duties involve assigning rooms and chores, arranging food service for chapter members, and occasionally helping bats escape from the house’s third floor. But for the past few months, she has been working with the international chapter to put in place the Safe on Purpose Guide, a system that ranks different subcategories, such as dining, into levels of safety. Before the chapter’s members moved back into the house for the fall semester, Plucknett met with the other members of the Executive Council and “decided what level of safeness we needed to be at for each of those subcategories.”

Part of this process involved, “reassigning rooms to lower the house’s capacity, so there were no quads which encourage less transmission.” Furthermore, she changed the typical move-in day arrangements so, “Women could move in without being in contact with other people. The move-in process was spread throughout a few days, and people signed up for specific time slots.”

While Plucknett hoped there would be no need for members to quarantine, she knew this was unrealistic. With that in mind, she knew, “with the way the house is laid out, we can limit transmission.” For instance, Plucknett designated specific bathrooms for quarantine, and certain women are in charge of dropping off meals to those who cannot be present in common areas. Sure enough, “while we’ve had cases where women quarantine in the house while awaiting test results, every test has thankfully been negative.”

While she admits there were a few complaints about wearing masks at all times in common areas and limiting the number of girls sitting on sofas, she is, “very proud of how responsible members have been. Everyone realizes we are paying to be at NWU and in Greek life, so the attitude overall has remained positive despite the uncomfortableness of new procedures.”

Photo by Alpha Gamma Delta- Beta Alpha (@nwuagd) via Facebook

 Plucknett has high hopes the chapter can continue keeping their members safe throughout these unprecedented times. For many students, one of the most memorable aspects of college is Greek life. Alpha Gamma Delta wants to guarantee its members the opportunity to experience this once in a lifetime chance despite the country’s current health issues.