As the response to the Covid-19 virus escalates, your Fraternity continues to adapt. Below are FAQs on housing, finances and dues, member education and initiation, risk management and programming and general operations.
Housing corporations: A FAQ document was sent to all housing corporations from Andy Longo. Please refer to this document for questions.
If shelter is closed, how will I retrieve personal items?
Contact housing corporations or other housing authorities to collect any items if the shelter is closed.
If shelter remains open or there are other group gatherings?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when sick. If flu symptoms are present, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to get medical care.
- Cover any cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Maintain at least six feet distance from anyone coughing or sneezing.
- If a member feels they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or has symptoms of having coronavirus, they should call their healthcare provider immediately.
Please note: These steps are not meant to be an exhaustive list of actions. House corporations and chapters are advised to be prudent and do those things necessary to help protect tenants and chapter members.
Finances & Dues
Will we be reimbursed local dues?
Local dues are at the discretion of the chapter’s director of finance and the finance board. If there were certain events that the members paid out of pocket that is now canceled, the finance board will have to determine the viability of reimbursing members. We advise keeping a reserve for the fall as no one knows currently how long this state will last. Every chapter should carry a reserve from year to year.
Will national dues be reimbursed?
Annual dues and liability insurance will not be reimbursed as all annual dues and liability insurance bills were assessed during the fall semester, and cover members for the full year. Moreover, all campuses are still operating, albeit remotely. You will continue to receive benefits of membership throughout the year.
What should we do if we paid for events that were cancelled?
Contact the business or venue and determine if refunds are an option. If you have an alumnus who is familiar with contracts, please contact him for help.
Should we continue to collect on payment plans/promissory notes?
- As mentioned above, that is up to the discretion of the director of finance and the finance board. Any chapter funds collected now could roll over to next semester.
- Chapters are expected to pay any remaining balances with the national fraternity. If the chapter is unable to, please contact Veronica McSorely at the Central Office.
Should seniors still pay dues for the rest of the semester?
The local chapter finance committee will determine how members pay dues for the rest of the year. Seniors should be no exception.
New Member Education & Initiation
Should chapters still hold New Member Education meetings?
- If a chapter is at a campus that has suspended face-to-face classes, the “clock” on the 8-week new member period requirement will automatically pause. The Fraternity has already noted all such campuses internally. Once a campus resumes operations the “clock” will resume.
- Chapters should NOT have any new member activity if their “clock” has stopped. Such activities may recommence once a campus has resumed full operation. However, a chapter may hold virtual new member meetings to continue education and brotherhood building.
If a campus remains open, refer to local/state health department and CDC guidelines on maximum number of people per gathering (As of 3/18/20 this number is at a maximum of 10).
We recommend you still engage with your new members virtually if possible. These are your friends and brothers. We encourage you to give them a call, FaceTime or reach out on social media.
Should we initiate our members if we’re on campus?
- If your campus is currently engaged in distance learning, no ceremonies/activities should be held.
- Refer to the local health department and CDC guidelines on a maximum number of people per gathering (As of 3/18/20 this number is at a maximum of 10).
What should we do if we can’t initiate our members this semester?
Chapters should begin planning to hold their initiation ceremonies after their campuses have fully reopened (most likely near the beginning of the fall semester).
Can new members still finish DTAA and the online Good Delt program?
While not a requirement at this time, new members can continue to complete DTAA and the Good Delt program online.
Do we need to pay for initiated members this semester?
- If the chapter has initiated men this semester already, an initiation report needs to be submitted through OmegaFi.
- Once initiated and reported, chapters are expected to pay any remaining dues for their new initiates.
- If the chapter has not initiated any men this semester, the initiation report will not need to be submitted until immediately after the ceremony has completed. As you determine when initiation will take place please contact Kathy.Sargent@delts.org to make her aware of the new date.
Is the MRG still in effect, even though our campuses have moved to distance learning?
- Yes. Chapters and members are expected to continue following the policies and procedures prescribed by the MRG in relation to chapter events, member conduct, and shelter policy (if members are still living in).
- Additionally, each campus may have issued further guidance on student organization operations during periods of distance learning. Chapters and colonies are expected to adhere to those guidelines in addition to existing MRG and campus policies.
- If your university has limited gatherings to fewer than 10, there should be no social gatherings of any kind. You would be involved in a potentially illegal and foolish event.
What do we do if one of our members has notified us that he contracted coronavirus?
- Should a tenant/member test positive for the coronavirus, follow any and all recommendations from the CDC and local/state health authorities. They may conduct contact tracing which might lead back to the fraternity facility (if applicable).
- If this occurs, please contact the chapter advisor, house corporation president, host institution and the Central Office as soon as possible.
- If this occurs, the shelter MAY be under the control of the CDC and the local health department to determine the next steps. Individuals should not be quarantined in a fraternity facility, nor will it be allowed if there was a known case of the coronavirus. Should the coronavirus be present in any facility, the facility needs to be properly decontaminated prior to approved reentry. Local health department officials will advise on this process.
Chapter Programming & General Operations
Can we still continue to host chapter programs or events?
Due to the nature of the coronavirus outbreak, while campuses are closed to students, physical events or programs should not be held. Note: many universities are treating this as a conduct violation. Hosting an event in contradiction to order from the university could result in a conduct hearing with the university.
What if we made deposits for a formal event or philanthropy?
It is recommended members refer to the cancelation policy of their contract and communicate concerns directly with the third-party vendor they have contracted with.
What should we do if our IFC or Fraternity and Sorority Life Office has not given us many details?
If a chapter/colony’s campus has moved fully online, it is advised that they avoid any programming at this time. If a group is between quarters, look at what the local/national government is recommending. Most likely it is safe to avoid any chapter programming for the next couple of weeks.
If we can't really do anything at all, what can we do to be productive?
- Despite social gatherings currently being limited to 10 people, there are plenty of opportunities to plan for after social distancing comes to a close. Recommendations include brainstorming ideas, developing a calendar, planning for summer and fall recruitment, and/or reviewing past FAAR results and seeing what programming can be completed later this year.
- This is also a great opportunity to review how the chapter operates digitally. Take this time to review chapter social media, google/office applications, sharing of digital resources, newsletters, alumni engagement, and other avenues to better communication.
- If chapters are interested in more ideas, they are encouraged to contact their chapter consultant for more assistance.
- Many chapters are continuing with virtual meetings via Zoom, Google Hangout or Facetime. The Fraternity highly recommends the men gather regularly through virtual means. It is good for personal and chapter morale and wellbeing.
What are some ideas to keep in contact with brothers and have fun?
Ideas to interact with brothers “online” could be through video games, hosting a Zoom social, watching videos/movies through social platforms, and other creative ways to connect digitally.