COVID-19 Chapter Operations Guidance

**FALL COVID-19 UPDATE**

 


With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many of our member’s lives, the International Headquarters (IHQ) professional staff remains dedicated to developing resources and tools to assist through this turbulent time. Members must do their part as well by strictly following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and strictly following all applicable state and local COVID-19 related laws and orders regarding activities and behavior.

In this guide, you will find topical resources for different areas of chapter operations, as well as some frequently asked questions. If there are topics for which you would like additional resources, email support@phisigmakappa.org.

More than ever, Phi Sigma Kappa’s members must dedicate ourselves to preserve and promote courageously and unselfishly the chosen ideals of our mutual affection and common endeavor.

Click here to download the PDF

MEMBER HEALTH AND SAFETY

During this upcoming academic year, it is important that you and your chapter members are informed and up-to-date on the latest information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS?

The CDC provides information on How to Protect Yourself and Others.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK?

First, you should Know the Symptoms of COVID-19. Second, the CDC provides information on What to Do If You are Sick.

ARE THERE ANY MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES AVAILABLE?

Of course! Check out the Wellbeing Resources we have compiled. Similarly, the CDC has additional resources on Taking Care of your Emotional Health.

SOCIALS, EVENTS AND GATHERINGS

Chapter members should follow local, state, and federal guidance on events and gatherings. Campuses are providing guidance based on what is happening locally in your area. Therefore, chapter members should also follow campus event guidance.

Chapter members should discuss, and have knowledge of, the campus, local, state, and federal expectations and guidance. Chapter leaders are encouraged to share real-time news with those suggesting social gatherings:

Additionally, it is advised that chapters continue to utilize software that assists in creating a virtual experience for members, specifically in recruitment, associate member education, and brotherhood events.

HOW CAN WE HOST EVENTS SAFELY?

Holmes Murphy has adapted a CDC resource that is perfect for addressing things to consider when Hosting Events During COVID-19.

ARE WAIVERS AVAILABLE?

Yes, Holmes Murphy provides a Participant Release for COVID-19 on their resource’s website. Please have an attorney in your state review it.

CHAPTER OPERATIONS

Basic chapter operations should continue as normally as possible, just virtually! It may take some out-of-the-box thinking and brainstorm with your Chapter Adviser/Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) members and IHQ coach, but it is likely the chapter will be able to conduct (almost) all of the business it would in a non-coronavirus year.

SHOULD WE HOST CHAPTER/EXECUTIVE BOARD/COMMITTEE MEETINGS?

Yes, you should continue to have these meetings. However, it is recommended that chapters meet virtually wherever possible. Chapters can use online tools, such as Zoom, to host these meetings.

Consider using chapter funds to purchase a full version of Zoom to host longer meetings. This paid version could also be used for brotherhood events or associate member education. Your campus or fraternity/sorority life office may be providing a paid version of Zoom as well.

HOW CAN THE OFFICERS/COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN KEEP TRACK OF TASKS AND PROJECTS?

Officers and Committee Chairman can use collaborative tools such as Google Drive for file storing and Google Docs/Sheets/Forms for working on projects. Websites such as ASANA, Milanote, and Basecamp can help track tasks.

HOW CAN CHAPTER MEMBERS VOTE ON AGENDA ITEMS VIRTUALLY?

Programs such as Mentimeter, SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms can be utilized so that chapter members can vote on chapter business, such as Executive Board elections or budgetary items.

Recruitment

RECRUITMENT

Chapters are facing an unprecedented recruitment period. While it may seem overwhelming and impossible to recruit members, it might be easier than you think. Through Phi Sigma Kappa’s partnership with Phired Up, we are able to provide our members (FOR FREE!) with a multitude of tools to make recruitment as easy as possible.

HOW CAN I LEARN HOW TO RECRUIT IN A VIRTUAL-BASED MODEL?

Phired Up’s Digital Classrooms has a bonus module available in which members will learn the tools and skills needed to recruit virtually. Chapter members can also reference our list of Recruitment Resources and tips to assist in virtual or hybrid recruitment.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RECRUIT SOMEONE IN PERSON, IF ALLOWABLE?

The same way it always has! Having a one-on-one conversation with someone, getting to know them, and sharing your Phi Sig story will always be the best way to recruit someone to join your chapter. Although in this case, it is recommended that this conversation happens at a socially distant location,

ideally outside and with facial coverings. There are some tips for in-person recruitment in the Recruitment Resources document, as well.

FINANCES

FINANCES

Chapter Executive Board members should examine areas of the budget that can be reduced or moved to other areas of the chapter. For example, it is likely that your campus won’t be hosting intramural events this year. Consider moving any budgeted intramural dollars to things like brotherhood events.

Our friends at OmegaFi have recorded a webinar to assist in making your chapter’s Fall Budget Pandemic Ready.

DO WE NEED TO PAY OUR INSURANCE?

Yes. Every chapter and its members need to maintain liability coverage for the upcoming year. This is not a risk-free year and in fact risk to members has increased in certain aspects.

DO DORMANT MEMBERS NEED TO PAY DUES?

Members who are listed on the chapter’s roster as dormant will be billed for, and are expected to pay, national fees (census and insurance). It is at the discretion of the chapter’s Executive Board whether or not dormant members should pay local dues.

WILL THERE BE ANY FLEXIBILITY OR PAYMENT PLANS IF WE CAN’T PAY ON-TIME?

The chief administrative officer or designee has the ability to negotiate terms for receivable balances with chapters that will not be able to pay off balances immediately. If the chapter is not in a position to pay an invoice on-time, contact your chapter’s coach as soon as possible.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER EDUCATION

ASSOCIATE MEMBER EDUCATION; BROTHERHOOD IN PHI SIGMA KAPPA

It is still an expectation that chapters which take an associate member class will use the Brotherhood in Phi Sigma Kappaprogram. It is already designed and structured for Inductors to pick up and use, so you don’t have to redesign a new associate member program this term, even in virtual or hybrid settings.

HOW CAN WE CONDUCT ASSOCIATE MEMBER EDUCATION VIRTUALLY?

Chapter Inductors should reference the Associate Member Education During COVID-19 document for some tips and guidance.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE BROTHERHOOD IN PHI SIGMA KAPPA INDUCTOR’S GUIDE MATERIALS?

All Brotherhood in Phi Sigma Kappa program materials can be found in Officer Portal in the Document Library, as well as on the Cardinal Journey webpage.

RITUAL FOR THE INITIATION OF NEW MEMBERS

  • Chapters who wish to report initiated members are able to do so at this time, and then host the Ritual for the Initiation of New Members at a later date.
  • It is expected that the chapter host initiation for those associate members at the earliest available opportunity during the fall semester/term
    • We are strongly discouraging chapters from combining the spring 2020 associate member class with the fall 2020 associate member class, upon return to campus. The spring 2020 associate members should have their associate member education continue this semester virtually and then be initiated immediately after returning to campus.
BROTHERHOOD

Brotherhood is about belonging. This year, brotherhood events will look different. But that doesn’t mean members can’t continue to create that sense of belonging with each other. In fact, it’s more important than ever.

WHAT ARE SOME IDEAS TO KEEP OUR MEMBERS ENGAGED?

PHILANTHROPY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE

Now more than ever, our community, neighbors, and friends need our assistance. Chapter leaders should encourage all members to continue to participate in philanthropy and community service events.

IS THERE A WAY TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT SPECIAL OLYMPICS?

Yes! Special Olympics has been hosting virtual events to support athletes and their mission. Chapters should check out the Special Olympics website to find out what their state is doing.

WHAT SOME OTHER EVENTS CAN WE ORGANIZE OR PLACES WHERE WE CAN VOLUNTEER?

  • Find a blood drive near you. Pick a week during the semester and have all members go donate blood at their nearest blood drive event.
  • Volunteer at the Crisis Text Line. Become a trained Crisis Counselor to assist those who may need it most.
  • Put your skills to work by becoming a United Nations Volunteer. UN Volunteers are connected to organizations looking for skills in art/design, technology development, research, writing and so much more.
  • Check out this list of 25 Volunteer Jobs that members can do virtually.
Housing

Whether chapter members live in traditional shared housing or live in various residents throughout the community, there are plenty of resources that can be utilized to ensure your health and safety.

IS THERE GUIDANCE ON LIVING IN SHARED HOUSING?

Yes, the CDC has created resources on Living in Shared Housing.

WHAT IF A MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE IN THE FACILITY?

First, make sure that there is a plan in place before someone tests positive. Use this What’s the Plan? resource.

The CDC recommends that someone who tests positive should stay home and self-isolate from other people and pets. This is known as home isolation and members should remain in a “sick room” and use a separate bathroom.

CAN WE REQUIRE A MEMBER TO MOVE OUT OF THE FACILITY IF THEY TEST POSITIVE?

No. Please review Holmes Murphy’s Fair Housing Act document.

GOOD IDEAS
  • Communicate the plan and expectations for chapter members in writing and over a webinar, before they return.
  • Create a pledge or agreement that members commit to. Post it, discuss it, and reinforce it.
  • Designate an officer to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. All members should know who this member is and how to contact them.
  • Engage members who are public health majors to assist volunteers and officers.
  • Create signage to help reinforce expectations (wash hands, wear a mask in the facility, etc.).
  • Order enough supplies for the facility early in advance.
  • Provide members with a checklist of what they need to bring if they are moving into the facility (e.g. thermometer, Lysol, Clorox, etc.).