FORT MYERS (CBSMiami) — Two fraternities at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers have been suspended for reportedly throwing large, off-campus parties and violating the university’s COVID-19 guidelines for crowd size, social distancing and face coverings.

According to FGCU President Mike Martin, “Conduct of this nature has many negative impacts. It reduces our ability to provide the highest quality degrees; it threatens the health of fellow students, faculty, staff and neighbors; and a campus closure would lead to widespread layoffs. A great deal of hard work by many, and considerable financial expenditures aimed at making the campus safe will have been largely wasted.”

FGCU Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan Evans confirmed the two fraternities are Sigma Chi and Phi Delta Theta. Both were placed on immediate interim suspension, so they are prohibited from conducting all operations and activities, including meetings and new member recruitment, until they are put through the “Student Code of Conduct” process.

If the fraternities are found responsible for the parties, FGCU says the organizers, participants and their organizations will have violated the “Student Code of Conduct” and put the university at risk of having to close the campus and return to online-only classes.

Martin added the university can’t currently determine whether closure will be necessary for safety reasons at this time.

“Be assured, however, that there will be serious consequences for those who choose to exercise very poor, dangerous judgment,” Martin said in his message.

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