Clean may be the last thing many would expect a college fraternity house to be. However, COVID-19 is changing a few things at the University of Cincinnati's (UC) Delta Tau Delta house on Clifton Avenue.
Steven Noung, a second-year marketing student and brother of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, signed the lease to live in the house in February of last year, a month before UC's campus shut down.
He is missing out on some of the things that make living in the house great, like the convenience of walking downstairs for weekly chapter or attending big events thrown at the house.
"For meetings, we moved everything to Zoom, and we also added hand sanitizing stations on each floor," Noung said. "We also ordered 1,000 disposable masks. We also can't have any parties or any big events at the house because we would get in trouble."
Even with placing all of these precautions into place, someone at the Delta Tau Delta house tested positive for COVID-19 last month.
"We did have COVID in the house back in September, so we did a full lockdown so no one could leave their room for ten days. Or, you could go home and quarantine, which is what I did," he said.
As far as capacity goes, not much has changed with the house. Last year, the fraternity had 33 people living in the house, and this year, it is holding 29 students.
Noung chose to live at the Delta Tau Delta house despite the pandemic because of the affordability and friendship.
"It is cheaper than some housing, and I wanted to live with my friends," he said. "Living in the house has been nice because the support system and living environment is really good and a lot different than what most people would think would be like living in a fraternity house."
Second-year student from Milwaukee, Kent Attwell, also decided to live at the house to build friendships.
"I wanted to hang out with my friends. There is always something going on at the house, and you become close with brothers you would have never thought," said Attwell.
Although large in-person events aren't allowed this semester, Noung says COVID hasn't changed the brotherhood.
"A lot of people see Greek life just to party and drink, but there's a lot more to it than most people know," he said. "The emotional support is truly there."
Although this semester is not what Attwell was expecting, there is one thing he is grateful for; not having to fall asleep to the noise that gatherings bring.
"There aren't any parties, so living in the basement isn't as bad," said Attwell.