University of Texas at Austin Media Statement

A group of University of Texas at Austin Pi Beta Phi new members gathered to celebrate their new affiliation outside a private dormitory near the campus Monday evening, August 24. Joining many of them were their parents and family members. The gathering followed virtual Bid Day events, in which undergraduate women participating in sorority recruitment are officially invited to join a sorority. The actions of those gathering did not conform to expectations for limiting the spread of COVID-19.

This year, the in-person, large-group gatherings typical for recruitment were foregone for a fully virtual recruitment experience in an effort to keep students safe and healthy. The UT Panhellenic Council outlined expectations for all chapters and new members participating in recruitment. These expectations noted group gatherings, including those traditional for Bid Day, would not be condoned. The Pi Beta Phi chapter complied, canceled in-person events and reorganized celebrations virtually. Expectations were shared with parents and family members of initiated members.

Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and it’s Texas Alpha Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin are disappointed by the disregard for personal and public safety exhibited by those gathering Monday evening. The chapter has immediate plans to re-clarify expectations for all members regarding local and University safety regulations and will hold accountable any member who violates those regulations.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Texas Alpha Chapter is adhering to heightened precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Chapter gatherings will remain virtual at this time. Only those living in the chapter facility are permitted to enter. The Fraternity has issued a guide for Pi Beta Phi chapter operations, informed by Center for Disease Control and other health official recommendations.

At this time, there are no known confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Pi Beta Phi’s Texas Alpha Chapter membership. Members are expected to monitor themselves and immediately report to chapter leadership should they experience any symptoms.

Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi has installed 204 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae organizations worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve®, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential. For more information, visit


Published: August 26, 2020

For information please contact: 
Shawn Eagleburger 
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives