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Chapter Operations and the COVID-19 Crisis

Dear Collegiate Officers and Members,

This memo will provide guidance on chapter operations for those chapters experiencing campus closures 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 campus has its own unique procedures in place for the pandemic and the information below is easily adaptable to every chapter’s situation. Your chapter should follow your college’s and local department of health mandates on face-to-face meetings or events. However, we want to emphasize that we are here to assist your chapter 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 collegiateadvisor@muphiepsilon.org (for money/ forms, email IEO executiveoffice@muphiepsilon.org).

 

CANDIDATE EDUCATION CLASSES AND/OR NEW MEMBER INITIATIONS

 

We are aware that there are chapters who were in the middle of conducing candidate education classes. We encourage you to complete theses classes and have developed 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 a number of online tools such as Google Hangout Meet, Google Classroom, Zoom Video Conferencing, etc. 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 create and send an electronic quiz to the candidates, who will complete it and return it to you for checking. Let us know if you need help with the test.    

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 online.  At the completion of the training classes, the forms and fees should be sent as usual.  When asked for the initiation date, put the date you intend or intended to have the initiation. Make June 1 your goal to have all forms and fees sent to IEO.

RITUALS – While not ideal, until face-to-face classes are back in session on your campus, performing the Candidate ceremony or Ritual of Initiation will need to be postponed.  When your school says that it is safe for students to return to campus, schedule your date for initiation.  This could be as soon as you are allowed back on campus, during the summer months, or at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester.

 

COMPLETE BUSINESS AND MEETINGS FOR YOUR CHAPTER

OPEN MEETINGS – There is likely some important business that your chapter needs to conclude. Meetings can be held (as described above) using video software, or over the phone. All meetings you have when campuses are closed should be considered open meetings with no rituals. Voting can occur by any reasonable method where votes may be accurately tallied.

TOPICS YOU MUST ADDRESS BEFORE THE CLOSE OF SEMESTER – Some schools have been instructed to close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and this effectively ends most, if not all chapter business for this year.  To make sure all necessary business mandated by the fraternity is concluded, make sure you at least cover the following in your remaining meeting(s):

  • CHAPTER OFFICER ELECTIONS – Chapters that traditionally elect officers during the Spring Semester should plan to carry out this crucial item of business.
  • SENIOR/STERLING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATION – Your chapter needs to vote on a graduating senior that will represent your chapter as a nomination for this national award. One Senior winner is chosen per province, and among those, a Sterling Achievement winner is decided for the whole fraternity. The nominee and an officer should work together to fill out the nomination form online. See the stipulations and guidelines for more information.
  • CHOOSE A DELEGATE TO CONVENTION – Each chapter is required to designate or send a minimum of one delegate to the national convention this year. Your chapter should vote on this. This individual’s contact information should be shared with the district director, and coordinate with IEO to get booked. Start thinking about travel arrangements as appropriate. Visit the website for up to date information frequently.
  • CONSOLIDATE OFFICER AND FINANCIAL MATERIALS – If officers will not be returning in the fall their materials should be handed (or mailed) to other officers if they are in physical form. Online training of new officers should occur as is possible by the outgoing officer. At minimum, financial documents or checkbook for your chapter need to be secured by an officer that is returning in the fall, or given to the faculty advisor  (dept secretary or district director are backup options).

COMPLETE FORMS AND REPORTS


CHAPTER OFFICER ELECTIONS – Complete the new officer form on the website by June 1 if your chapter holds an election for any office. If you aren’t sure whether we have this form, send one anyway. The IEB and IEO need to have current information on file for your chapter to resume business in the fall.

ANNUAL REPORT – The Annual report is still required by June 1.  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.  Consider using google drive documents to collaborate on finishing. Remember to start this report as soon as possible. Submit online.

SENIOR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD NOMINATION – Complete on the website by June 1. The nominee should help with filling out the form properly. Make sure to submit online, with a headshot.

 

DISTRICT DIRECTOR CHAPTER VISITS

 

Probably in most cases, the chapter visits by your District Director will be rescheduled or done in a new format than in previous years.  Expect them to check in with you. Possibilities include meeting virtually with your District Director using options described above. 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 schedule and discuss the type of meeting.

Thank you all for pushing through these tough times! Stay safe, and be well!

Jenny Smith, 2nd Vice president Collegiate Advisor, and Rosemary Ames, International President

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