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Alumni Chapter Operations and the COVID-19 Crisis

Dear Alumni Officer and Members,

 

This memo will provide guidance on chapter operations for your chapters experiencing cancellations or restrictions on face-to-face interactions due to COVID-19.  Please note that issues regarding the upcoming fraternity convention will be forthcoming.

 

We recognize that each city/state has its own unique requirements in place for the pandemic and the information below is easily adaptable to every chapter’s situation. However, we want to emphasize that we are here to assist your chapter and your chapter members through this difficult and unprecedented time. If, after reading the guidance below, you still have questions or concerns, please reach out to your District Director or send an email to alumniadvisor@muphiepsilon.org.

 

CHAPTER MEETINGS AND OPERATIONS

 

All chapter members are encouraged to continue being in communication with each other, with chapter officers providing guidance and facilitation. Members can conduct business and keep in touch via telephone, teleconference, by e-mail, or via online tools such as Survey Monkey, Google Hangout Meet, Zoom Video Conferencing, etc. If you hold an online meeting, consider the meeting open and do not include ritual elements.

 

COMPLETION OF FORMS AND REPORTS

 

CHAPTER OFFICER ELECTIONS – Chapters that traditionally elect officers during the Spring should plan to carry out this crucial item of business, regardless of not being able to meet in person. Complete the new officer form on the website by June 15.

 

ANNUAL REPORT – The Annual report is still required by June 15. Since this a yearly fraternity requirement that does not require that a chapter meet in person in order to get it completed, there should not be any issues in completing this report on time. Remember to start this report as soon as possible. The report has been updated to include the SERV information. You can gather that information electronically from your members and be sure to complete that section of the report.

 

AWARDS – The Fraternity will still celebrate the achievements of our chapters and members, and we encourage you to continue documenting your work thus far for award consideration and recognition. Outstanding Yearbook and Newsletter will still be awarded, as will achievements in SERV, Community Service, Winners Circle, the Katherine Doepke Creative Programming Award, and the International Chapter of the Year Award. (Note for the Orah Ashley Lamke Award: In a convention year, the two host Provinces meet during convention to select a recipient from within these Provinces for the award.)

 

CANDIDATE EDUCATION CLASSES AND/OR NEW MEMBER INITIATIONS

 

If your chapter is in the process of training or developing new/prospective member candidates, below are the following guidelines.

 

ONLINE CANDIDATE TRAINING CLASSES – All chapters are encouraged to continue the training components for new members via online meetings and sessions. This can be accomplished by using the electronic/online methods listed above for chapter business. Those who are working on this in your chapter should look to implementing an online experience for the candidates and continue with the training.  You can send an electronic quiz to the candidates, who will complete it and return it to you for checking.

 

INITIATE REGISTRATION AND FEES – Initiate forms do not require face-to-face interactions for completion, therefore all chapters who will be continuing their intake process during this time should still plan to fill out the New Member Form to collect all new member fees and to send both the form and fees to IEO for processing. This can all be done on-line, but at least two weeks before the intended initiation date. When asked for the initiation date, put the date you intend or intended to have the initiation.

 

RITUALS – While not ideal, until face-to-face interaction becomes the norm, performing the Ritual of Initiation will need to be postponed. When your state and local health agencies say it is safe, schedule your date for initiation. This could be as soon as the autumn of 2020, or perhaps later.

 

DISTRICT DIRECTOR CHAPTER VISITS

 

This is the year the District Directors were to meet in person with alumni chapters. Probably in most cases, the chapter visits by your District Director will be postponed or conducted in a different format.  You can meet virtually with your District Director—perhaps not the entire chapter, but with the electronic formats available, virtual meetings should happen. Your DD may request a conference individually with the officers, or a group chat. Be flexible and help to set this up. Your DD can still review your activities and help you plan for next year.

 

If you do not hear from your DD soon, reach out to them.  They are probably working/teaching from home and will be able to work with you to discuss the type of meeting and schedule the meeting.

 

CONVENTION

 

At this time, the Mu Phi Epsilon convention is still scheduled to occur in July. Chapters will be informed of changes. In the meantime, chapters should select your business and/or music delegates so those delegates can begin to consider travel plans.


Marcus Wyche, 3rd Vice President, Alumni Advisor

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