Undergraduate Reports: Life at 730 During COVID-19

From Sage Arthur Decker ’22

Rock the Vote: 100% voter registration

Sage Arthur Decker ’22 keeps track of which brothers have registered and which haven’t, consistently encouraging any of the eligible 56 brothers who have not yet registered to do so as soon as possible.
Check out the buzz:
Cornell Daily Sun

As we near three months of life as full-time online students in Ithaca, I am incredibly proud of the work that Mu Chapter has done to adjust to the difficulties of the pandemic. To this point, we have remained COVID negative as a brotherhood and continue to improve our social-distancing policies and practices. The lack of social events and inability to meet in person could have caused a divide in the house, but I am proud to say that we have experienced the exact opposite. The house continues to grow closer while staying safe and taking part in philanthropic initiatives.

We were only permitted to have guests to 730 University Avenue beginning on October 5, so the majority of brothers’ time has been spent together in smaller groups. While some adjustments were more difficult than others, I believe that we are now completely adjusted to the new normal inside the house and on campus. This couldn’t be done without the help of our steward, Christian Lippey ’21, and our new meal service, Greek House Chefs, who limit capacity in the dining hall and serve us our food to reduce the spread of germs. Hand sanitizers and signage reminding brothers to wear masks populate the hallways and common areas, and brothers are making the best of the situation we find ourselves in.

Outside of the house, we’ve used our excess time and energy to better ourselves and our community. Recently, we completed a voter-registration drive with Kappa Alpha Theta, during which all brothers registered to vote. To commend us for our action and care, Philanthropy Chair Colvin Duntman ’22 bleached his hair after we reached 100% registry.

Overall, this semester at Cornell has been unlike any other we’ve experienced. With limited ability to go outside and be social, we have had to rely on one another like never before. Even so, the brotherhood remains strong, and we are all excited to finish out the semester. When parties return, Mu Chapter will be prepared, but for now, we continue to grow closer and stay safe at 730 University Avenue.

From Steward Christian Lippey ’21

Greek House Chefs

At the beginning of this school year, the brotherhood brought in Greek House Chefs to serve as our corporate meal provider. Chef Nick Destaffan has served as our head chef, with Chef Steven Srnka as his assistant. So far, they have prepared some delicious meals, including buffalo-chicken sandwiches, barbecue pulled pork and brisket, “taco Tuesdays,” and custom burger bars, always with a side-salad option.

The grab-and-go has been stocked with fresh cold cuts, yogurt, carrots and hummus, individually wrapped bagels, and an array of chips and cereals. Overall, the brotherhood has been extremely satisfied with the quality of the food the chefs from Greek House Chefs has provided.

Not only has Greek House Chefs provided us with high-quality food, but it’s also implemented numerous safety measures in response to COVID-19. All meals are served to brothers by masked Greek House Chefs employees behind a sneeze guard. In the grab-and-go, all bagels, condiments, and snacks are individually portioned. Additionally, masks are required in the kitchen, dining hall, and grab-and-go areas at all times.

From Rush Chairs Aaron Angeles’22, Will Roth ’22, & Justin Mandel ’23


Though recruitment this semester has been different than any other semester due to COVID-19, we are confident that the process has nonetheless been a success. Through virtual events and, as of the final week, COVID-safe in-person gatherings, the brotherhood has met a number of potential new members. In the end, despite the challenges of the recruitment process during a pandemic, the brotherhood is eagerly awaiting its newest class of members from fall rush 2020.

The first rush week consisted of a Meet the Greeks session, as well as three virtual events. At Meet the Greeks, potential new members cycled around virtual stands with members from each participating fraternity represented. Brothers were introduced to rushees and vice-versa. It was a chance for us to finally meet the potential new members, and it gave us an insight into who might fit well into our house, as well as a direction for the rest of the recruitment process.

From there, interested recruits joined virtual sessions, in which we were able to show off our house and get to know potential new members better. Brothers who were available joined in the Zoom calls to meet the rushees and told of their experiences both as rushees and as brothers. We arranged breakout rooms so that we could have authentic conversations with rushees about what they wanted out of the experience and also so that we could evaluate whether Sigma Pi was the right place for them. These virtual events presented a tremendous opportunity for the brotherhood to get better acquainted with potential new members, as it was for them to get to know us better and to know what our fraternity is all about.

In the final week of rush, we were permitted to meet rushees in person at last. Needless to say, all participants wore masks and followed social-distancing protocols. These small gatherings of less than 10 people provided rushees the chance to come to 730 University Avenue for the first time and to meet with brothers in a more intimate setting. From these events, we were able to narrow down our list of potential new members, identifying which ones would most benefit from joining our brotherhood. On October 11, we were thrilled to give out bids and welcome a new group of members. This recruitment process presented challenges to the whole brotherhood, but we are proud to have worked through these obstacles together in our successful effort to recruit another impressive rush class to Sigma Pi.

From Social Chair Cosmo Gigante ’23

With the social-event moratorium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the brotherhood has had to get creative with how we can keep our Cornell community close outside of our fraternity. We have taken opportunities to see friends in off-campus settings; however, as one could imagine, things have been slow from an events perspective. We have not been able to have events and, instead, the house has been more focused on our brotherhood.

After we were sent home early last semester, the new member class did not have much time to get to know some of their older brothers. Since everyone has been stuck in the house for most of the day on Zoom classes, we now have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together, which has made the house a much closer-knit group of guys as a whole.

From Health and Wellness Chair Dillon Razler ’22

Pumping up

As health and wellness officers, Drew Mangan ’21 and I are responsible for monitoring the health of the brotherhood. We do frequent check-ins with brothers, both in Collegetown and at the house, to make sure everyone is feeling healthy and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19. When in the house, brothers must wear masks in common areas, as well as when being served food in the dining hall.

Additionally, house meetings are conducted on Zoom, so both Collegetown brothers and those at the house can attend reduced-capacity meetings instead of packing the West Lounge. PPE has been provided to every single brother, and hand sanitizer is present in every common space, the dining hall, bathrooms, stairwells, and the foyer.

The house has been doing great with these protocols. Despite the spike in cases during the first two weeks of classes, not a single one of our brothers has contracted COVID-19 since returning to campus.

Career and Internship Chair Terry Sackett ’21


2020 has been a tumultuous year for everyone. However, the brothers of Mu chapter have stepped up to the challenge when it comes to finding full-time employment and internships. It’s exciting that a large number of last year’s graduated seniors (2020s) have been employed in jobs that excite them!

As for the prospects for undergrad brothers, the landscape looks different than it did a year ago. Fortunately, many companies have lifted their hiring restrictions and are looking for analysts to fill their classes. However, there are still more applicants applying for each role, because most firms are taking fewer entry-level employees. The landscape is competitive, but many brothers have still found success in securing full-time and internship offers.

The job search has also changed drastically in the past year. As expected, all networking events and interviews are online. Having online networking events makes it more difficult for students to get a feeling of culture that they might be able to at an in-person event. Furthermore, during interviews, a constant fear is that the wi-fi might cut out or buffer. However, though there are some drawbacks to this online recruiting process, it has in many ways been beneficial. Undergraduates now have the opportunity to attend events which they might not have before. Doing so allows them to experience new industries and possibly to develop new interests. Furthermore, scheduling interviews is also easier, because everyone is on their computer all day, which allows for the possibility to interview at many more places than before the pandemic.



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