UA sorority cancels 600-person farm party approved by Tuscaloosa city council

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Students wander among heavy car traffic on The Strip, the University of Alabama’s bar scene Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. More than 20,000 students returned to campus for the first time since spring break with numerous school and city codes in effect to limit the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It didn’t take long after an Alabama sorority was set to host a 600-person party at a farm for the sorority to cancel the large occassion.

Kappa Delta sorority at the University of Alabama planned on hosting a 600-person party at an off-campus farm venue with 13 acres used for the event. The Tuscaloosa City Council approved the alcohol license for the farm party that would be held Tuesday, Nov. 17.

While the party would be rotating shifts of no more than 200 attendees at a time, Kappa Delta President Lizzie Bonhaus tells CBS 42 the party has been canceled due to the pandemic.

“While we followed all local guidelines and protocols in getting the event approved by the University of Alabama Office of Student Involvement and the City Council, we made the decision to cancel it to protect the health and safety of our campus community, guests and our members,” Bonhaus said.

During the party planning, the University of Alabama required the chapter to follow extensive rules and safety guidelines.

Among the numerous and specific guidelines, the event was to take place outdoors, with rotating shifts of no more than 200 attendees at a time, and a 30-minute pause between each group’s arrival and departure for required cleaning and sanitizing of tables, chairs and the overall venue.

While the party was at an off-campus farm venue, the only way attendees would be able to access the area was by specially chartered buses filled to 50% rider capacity. The university reported before boarding the buses, all attendees would have their temperatures taken and masks checked. In between bus rides, the bus would be disinfected.

During the 13-acre farm party, students who attended would have also been required to adhere to all state, local, University and national sorority policies is required, including social distancing and masks.

In addition, a special events management group trained in COVID protocols was hired to manage and enforce safety guidelines. A security vendor and 14 security guards were hired to monitor and secure the event. And student IDs would be checked prior to entrance.

The University of Alabama maintains its adherence to the coronavirus pandemic, including offering free COVID exit testing to ALL students before they return home. In-person classes will end Nov. 20; exit testing will continue through Dec. 11.


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