Triangle principles and our Code of Ethics place great importance on proper conduct, responsible behavior and a care and concern for the health and safety of our members, friends and guests. The Triangle Health & Safety Initiative is a combination of philosophy, policy, programs and resources intended to inform and educate members and to increase awareness of challenges common to college campuses and society at large.
NOTE: If you are coming to this website because of an emergency situation at your chapter, stop now and do the following:
1) If there is a fire, injury or persons who are non-responsive, contact 911 immediately and work with emergency responders.
2) Contact appropriate campus emergency officials and work with them.
3) Contact Triangle HQ AFTER any emergency situation is under control.
Triangle’s Philosophy Statement on Alcohol and Substances guides our policies which, in turn, direct our educational efforts. Resource documents provide guidance and ideas to help our chapters adhere to and enforce our policies. We trust and expect members to act in good faith and to care for the safety of those around them.
Report hazing or other violations here: https://www.triangle.org/reporthazing/
For assistance assessing or improving your chapter’s Health & Safety programming, contact Triangle HQ at email@example.com.
Risk Management Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY OF THE ORGANIZATION REGARDING ALCOHOL & SUBSTANCES
Triangle Fraternity is a values-based membership development organization that focuses on building brotherhood through character enhancement, leadership development, academic achievement, commitment to service, career preparation, life-long friendship and social experiences. The Fraternity believes that alcohol abuse prevents individual members from realizing their full potential as citizens and from exemplifying the obligations of brotherhood as set forth in the Triangle Code of Ethics.
We believe the moderate and legal consumption of alcohol, in and of itself, does not constitute a problem, but agree the illegal use and abuse of alcoholic beverages is widely recognized as a major problem in our society. Seeking to be a responsible member of the higher education community, Triangle is and will remain concerned about alcohol abuse.
We believe strongly in the betterment of men through the chapter experience. To support and guide that experience, our organization upholds the following philosophy related to alcohol and other substances:
- The Fraternity expects that our members follow state laws across the United States which have made consumption of alcohol illegal for people under 21 years of age and prohibit controlled substances.
- The Fraternity supports and enhances the mission of the institutions where we are present through application of student development theory.
- As a subset of the campus community, the Fraternity works to collaborate with our host institutions to address the problem of alcohol and substance misuse.
- The Fraternity works to address the negative behaviors associated with alcohol and substance misuse and abuse, and not simply the location of those behaviors. As such, Triangle seeks to address these behaviors with an educational approach.
- Through education, training, and mature adult guidance, we work to provide the tools to help students make good choices, and to understand the consequences of their choices. The organization will hold chapters and individual chapter members accountable for the choices they make.
- Triangle Ethic #8 challenges members to “Maintain my self-respect by proper conduct at all times”. Triangle expects personal responsibility from its members and accountability through local self-governance.
- The Fraternity follows a consistent and progressive discipline strategy with our chapters.
- We are concerned for the safety and well-being of our members.
Triangle members are drawn only from the student population admitted to the institution. Should we pledge or initiate members whose habits are inconsistent with our philosophy, we will work with the institution to help these men change, or we will remove them from membership.
Click HERE to download a copy of the statement.
Risk Management Policies
RISK MANAGEMENT POLICIES
Undergraduate chapters are expected to follow the Risk Management Policies of Triangle. Where local or campus policies conflict, chapters should follow the most restrictive policy/ies. Ultimately, successful adherence to these policies can be summed up as, “Obey the law; Live the Ethics”.
3.6.1 ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
In any activity sponsored or endorsed by any Triangle chapter or at any event that a reasonable, objective observer would associate with a chapter, including those that occur on or off chapter premises:
1. Chapters, members, and guests must comply with all federal, state, provincial, and local laws. No person under the legal drinking age may possess, consume, provide, or be provided alcoholic beverages.
2. Chapters, members, and guests must follow the federal law regarding illegal drugs and controlled substances. No person may possess, use, provide, distribute, sell, and/or manufacture illegal drugs or other controlled substances while at any chapter premises or at any activity or event sponsored or endorsed by the chapter.
3. Alcoholic beverages must either be: (a) provided and sold on a per-drink basis by a licensed and insured third-party vendor (e.g., restaurant, bar, caterer, etc.); or (b) brought by individual members and guests through a bring your own beverage (“BYOB”) system. The presence of alcohol products above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) is prohibited on any chapter premises or at any event, except when served by a licensed and insured third-party vendor.
4. Common sources of alcohol, including bulk quantities, which are not being served by a licensed, insured third-party vendor, are prohibited (i.e., amounts of alcohol greater than what a reasonable person should consume over the duration of an event).
5. Alcoholic beverages must not be purchased with chapter funds or funds pooled by members or guests (e.g. admission fees, cover fees, collecting funds through digital apps, etc.).
6. A chapter must not co-host or co-sponsor, or in any way participate in, an activity or event with another group or entity that purchases or provides alcohol.
7. A chapter must not co-host or co-sponsor an event with a bar, event promoter or alcohol distributor; however, a chapter may rent a bar, restaurant, or other licensed and insured third-party vendor to host a chapter event.
8. Attendance by non-members at any event where alcohol is present must be by invitation only, and the chapter must utilize a guest list system. Attendance at events with alcohol is limited to a 3:1 maximum guest-to-member ratio and must not exceed local fire or building code capacity of the chapter premises or event venue.
9. Any event or activity related to the new member joining process (e.g., recruitment, intake, rush, etc.) must be substance free. No alcohol or drugs may be present if the event or activity is related to new member activities, meetings, or initiation into an organization, including but not limited to “bid night,” “big/little” events or activities, “family” events or activities, and any ritual or ceremony.
10. Chapters, members or guests must not permit, encourage, coerce, glorify or participate in any activities involving the rapid consumption of alcohol, such as drinking games.
The term “hazing” means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act committed by a person, whether individually or in concert with other persons, against any individual or group of individuals, regardless of affiliation, whether or not committed at a Triangle premises, for the purpose of recruiting, joining, pledging, initiating, admitting, affiliating, or for the purpose of continued membership or enhanced status in an organization that causes an individual or group of individuals to do any of the following, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate:
a. Be coerced to violate federal, state, provincial, local law, or [organizational] policy.
b. Be coerced to consume any food, liquid, alcoholic liquid, drug, or other substance in any non-customary manner which subjects the individual or group of individuals to a substantial risk of emotional or physical harm which includes but not limited to sickness, vomiting, intoxication, or unconsciousness.
c. Endure brutality of a physical nature, including but not limited to whipping, beating, paddling, branding, dangerous physical activity, or exposure to elements or endure threats of such conduct that results in mental or physical harm.
d. Endure brutality of a mental nature, including but not limited to activity adversely affecting the mental health or dignity of the individual, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact or conduct that could result in extreme embarrassment or endure threats of such conduct that results in mental or physical harm.
e. Endure any other activity which adversely affects the health and safety of an individual, including but not limited to the disruption of academic performance or class attendance, required designated driving programs, line ups, calisthenics, or personal, physical, or financial servitude.
3.6.3 SEXUAL ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT
Triangle and its members must comply with all federal, state, provincial and local laws related to sexual misconduct. This is to include any actions, activities, or events, whether at a chapter facility or an off-site location, that are demeaning to women or men, This is including, but not limited to definitions around consent, sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual exploitation. The hiring or use of strippers, exotic dancers, or similar, whether professional or amateur, at a fraternity event as defined in this policy is prohibited.
3.6.4 RESPECT AND DIGNITY
Triangle expects it organizations, members and guests to respect the dignity of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the areas of gender, ethnicity, national origin, race, sexuality, religious or cultural practices or individuals with disabilities. Abusive, harassing or discriminatory behavior towards others is prohibited.
3.6.5 FIGHTING AND PHYSICAL ABUSE
The fraternity will not tolerate or condone any form of fighting or physically abusive behavior while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event a reasonable observer would associate with the fraternity.
3.6.6 FIRE, HEALTH & SAFETY
Chapter houses must meet all applicable fire and health codes and standards. Chapters should also comply with any recommendations as reported by the Fraternity’s insurance company or municipal authorities.
3.6.7 FIREARMS, EXPLOSIVE OR INCENDIARY DEVICES
The [organization] and its members must comply with all federal, state, provincial, local laws and campus policy as it relates to firearms or explosive or incendiary devices.
Firearms or explosive or incendiary devices are prohibited from the chapter facility and at all fraternity activities or events.
3.6.8 WATER FEATURES
The use of self-constructed pools, bodies of water, slip-and-slides or similar, on chapter premises or at any event a reasonable, objective observer would associate with the fraternity is prohibited.
Triangle prohibits retaliation against any individual – members and non-members – for reporting, inquiring, or cooperating with a report around a violation of [Risk Management Policy.]
Retaliation is any action, statement, or behavior that is designed to punish an individual for filing a compliance report, cooperating with a compliance investigation, seeking guidance regarding a compliance concern, or to deter one from taking such action.
All student members shall be informed of the Risk Management Policy of Triangle Fraternity annually. A copy of the Risk Management Policy is also available on the Fraternity’s website.
Approved by the National Council August 11, 2019
Download a copy of the Risk Management Policies here: Fraternity Regulation 3.6 – Aug.19.Update
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy
REG. 3.1.2 – DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION POLICY OF TRIANGLE FRATERNITY
Triangle Fraternity is fueled by balanced members who cultivate high moral character and live their lives with integrity. These individuals bring a diverse story, personal history, and perspective that create an organization unlike any other. This policy is not intended to alter our status as a single-sex organization or conflict with existing membership policies.
The Ritual of Triangle defines the standard by which each brother should be judged — individual merit, not class or category — and the restriction of membership due to any other criteria is inconsistent with the guiding principles of our fraternity. We find value in an organization that fosters companionships amongst men with similar professional interests and goals and remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization. We believe our members’ lived experiences and perspectives make Triangle a relevant and valued partner to the STEM industry, our local communities, and institutions of higher education.
Potential members who self-identify as male and meet Triangle’s academic or professional requirements are eligible for membership. Triangle Fraternity welcomes potential members of all races, ethnicities, ages, religions, abilities, and sexual orientations. No member shall lose their membership rights due to a change in biological sex, gender identity, or gender expression. Our organization will not condone or tolerate any acts of bigotry, hate, and/or discrimination towards individuals or groups of people by our members, volunteers, or staff.
Triangle Fraternity is driven by a diverse community of members, volunteers, and staff, all of whom are expected to uphold this policy. Individuals who experience or observe any act incongruent with this policy, that may be associated with the fraternity or its members, are expected to report it to the Triangle Fraternity National Headquarters. Triangle remains steadfast in our commitment to equitable treatment and the elimination of discrimination in all forms, at all organizational levels, and throughout all programs and services.
Honoring the dignity and fundamental value of all individuals will allow the organization to focus on progress for the betterment of all people. Triangle Fraternity will continue to develop and maintain an environment that respects the identities, experiences, and heritages of our members, volunteers, partners and staff. By promoting these values, we aim to create an environment that encourages a sense of belonging among both our members and stakeholders.
Last updated on September 2, 2021
Download a copy of the DEI policy here: Fraternity Regulation 3.1.2 – DEI Policy
Triangle Risk Management Initiatives
The National Council adopted three initiatives for implementation during the 2019/2020 academic year. Chapters should have them in place as of July 1, 2020. These initiatives respond to:
- a) a sincere concern for the health and safety of our members, friends and guests
- b) a tightening market for fraternity insurance coverage, and
- c) expectations from our membership in NIC and from our host institutions.
1. FHSI Training
We have been training alumni voluteers at LTW each year in the Fraternity Health & Safety Initiative (FHSI) programs. These award-winning, research-based programs were developed to allow trained alumni volunteers to present to their or other chapters in areas of alcohol/substances, hazing, sexual assault/misconduct and mental health. Through a presentation and discussion process, these programs help members understand the issues better and are better able to intervene and correct troubling behavior.
All active chapters will be expected to hold at least one FHSI program per term (or 2 per year). It is hoped chapters will do one of the four sessions each semester/term so that all members will have seen all four sessions during their time in the chapter. HQ will help coordinate programs and materials and will continue to offer training during LTW and at regional events, to expand the ranks of trained facilitators. For more information, to request a program or discuss a waiver, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapters that have equivalent programming from their local campus experts can apply for waivers, but we encourage you to utilize the FHSI resources available to you. Some chapters have found good results by inviting Phi Sigma Rho or others to their programs or providing the program to the campus community.
2. 15% Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
All NIC member fraternities voted to adopt a policy to prohibit alcohol of 15% ABV or more in any chapter house or facility or at any event or activity associated with the chapter unless provided by a licensed and insured third-party vendor. The ban on hard alcohol already is in place for common areas of houses and for all events through the risk management policies we’ve had for several years.
This new clarification adds the private rooms of members – even those who may be 21 years of age or older. We know that more than 85% of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with fraternities involve hard alcohol. If we can prevent one tragedy with this policy, it’s worthwhile.
The presence of alcohol products above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) is prohibited on any chapter/organization premises or at any event, except when served by a licensed and insured third-party vendor. Chapters will have until June 1, 2020 to be fully compliant. Compliance will include the following:
- Vote by chapter at official meeting to adopt the policy into their local bylaws and into practice
- Confirmation from alumni advisor or alumni chapter president that vote has taken place
- Walk-through by alumni advisor or alumni chapter president to confirm all hard-alcohol has been removed
Chapters are expected to complete these steps no later than June 1 each year. During the year, we will provide additional information and resources to help chapters make the change. Chapters not in compliance will see an increase of 20% in their risk management fees for the next academic year. Contact Executive Director Tom Pennington at email@example.com with any questions.
3. Online Health & Safety Education
A further expectation of our NIC membership and of our insurers is that we have an annual process to educate our members on health and safety concerns and also our risk management policies. It is important every member has access to our policies and expectations and is willing to abide by them. For that purpose, we have subscribed to a program called Tightrope.
The Tightrope program is an online experience that covers alcohol/substances, alcohol culture, sexual assault/misconduct, hazing and mental health. The Full Course takes about 90 minutes to complete, but students can stop, save and return to pick up where they left off as many times as they wish. This lends itself to students working at their own pace or to chapters coordinating where everyone does one module then spends a part of chapter meeting discussing the results. Short quizzes after each module help insure participants understand the material before moving on.
All active and new members will be expected to complete all Tightrope courses by December 31, 2019. After that date, all new members will be expected to complete the Tightrope Full Course before initiation. Completion of the courses will be recorded in the member record in our national database. Chapters that already complete comparable education or training through their college/university, such as GreekLife.edu or Alcohol.edu may qualify for partial or full waiver from Tightrope.
In the 2020/2021 academic year and forward, all who have completed the Tightrope courses will complete a short online Tightrope Update Course within 30 days of the start of the Fall term (or Spring term for those not on campus in Fall). Completion of this task also will be recorded to the member’s record in our national database and can be monitored from the Chapter Dashboard in ChapterSpot. Contact Executive Director Tom Pennington at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Each of these initiatives seeks to better educate, inform and prepare members to understand and act to reduce the potential for harm to themselves and others and to encourage healthy, safe and responsible activity. Triangle has a very good risk avoidance record and with these initiatives we can build on that success and help to assure we can continue to receive necessary insurance coverage at reasonable rates.
If you would like to arrange time to talk with a National Council member about this or other issues, contact Pete Satre os89 at email@example.com. Pete is coordinating the Council Outreach program where a Councilman can join your chapter in person or via phone or video for a chapter meeting.
For answers to many of the most common questions from chapters, refer to the Q&A session elsewhere on this web page.
Risk Management Initiatives Q&A
For answers to questions not answered below, contact Executive Director Tom Pennington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FHSI Training for Chapters Q&A
Summary: Chapters are expected to host at least two FHSI programs annually to educate members on these important topics.
Q: What is the cost of doing each training?
A: There is no cost to the chapter, unless you want to host a meal as part of the day or have non-members attend. Some chapters even do the program with another men’s or women’s group, where there could be some shared costs. The risk management fees you pay include funds for us to train alumni volunteers and provide the materials you need to host the training. These are no cost to the chapter, but may have cost for materials to non-members (about $10 per person).
Q: How do we find out what programs are offered and who can present them?
A: We have a roster of trained volunteers, so can usually connect you with someone willing to present at your chapter. You would have to figure out a time that works for you both. Then we can work with the volunteer to get him on our schedule and get materials to the chapter in time for the program. Ideally, you need to work four to six weeks in advance, so we all have time to arrange travel and shipping plans.
Q: What if we can’t find a presenter in the time we have to do the program?
A: Currently, we do not have as many presenters as we’d like, so will not penalize chapters that cannot fit a limited number of presenters into their timeline. That said, we want to increase the pool of trained volunteers every year. If you have alumni who would be willing to go through the training and then be available to present at your chapter, we want to know. We can make the connection and work with them to arrange training, so you will have someone who knows your chapter and who you can feel comfortable working with.
Another way to meet our needs is to identify campus administrators who might want to go through training. These are nationally respected, evidence-based programs and would be beneficial to anyone who wishes to be able to educate on these topics. You could go even further and sponsor a campus-wide training weekend to get many chapter advisors and university staff all trained. In that way, you would always have someone local available to do programs when you need them. There would be a cost to bring our trainer there for the weekend, but if it were shared by other groups and the college, it would be smaller to each entity.
If we cannot arrange to get a volunteer to you to deliver the program, there will be no penalty to the chapter.
Q: What if the university already does comparable programs for fraternities?
A: There are a number of campuses that provide or require health and safety education programs for all students or specific to fraternity/sorority life. If that is the case, you may qualify for a waiver provided you can document the program topic, date and time, roster of members who attended/completed the program and any resulting certification the university may provide. We don’t want to duplicate effort, only to insure members are properly informed of campus risks. For some chapters, they may prefer having local campus speakers do this programming.
15% ABV Policy Q&A
Summary: The presence of alcohol products above 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) is prohibited on any chapter/organization premises or at any event, except when served by a licensed and insured third-party vendor.
Q: Why is this change being made?
A: The change in the Triangle Risk Management Policy is being made to promote a healthier and safer environment for undergraduate members and guests of Triangle.
Q: Why all the fuss about hard alcohol?
A: We know the vast majority (75%+) of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with fraternity activity involve hard alcohol. Knowing that, and knowing the vast majority of the residents in our facilities (also 75%+) are not of legal drinking age, why would we not seek to eliminate hard alcohol except for special events with a licensed vendor? Allowing it in sleeping rooms, but not common areas, just pushes people to drink behind closed doors – probably the worst social model for learning to drink responsibly.
Ultimately, this is an agreement made by all NIC fraternities, in conjunction with college administrators and campus IFCs – all of whom are adopting or have adopted the same expectations. The purpose behind it is to reduce the chances for people to be harmed.
Q: What qualifies as a Triangle “facility”? We don’t have a house.
A: A facility is any property generally considered to be associated with the chapter where: a) a majority of tenants are members; b) chapter events, meetings and activities are held, or c) where students, neighbors or others in the university community know the property as a formal or informal chapter house. It isn’t related to ownership or having our name or symbols on the outside.
For instance, if five members rent an off-campus house where they host parties and where recruitment events and chapter committee meetings occur periodically, that’s probably considered a chapter facility for health and safety purposes. On the other hand, if three members share an off-campus house with two other non-members and no Triangle gatherings or activities occur there, it probably would not be considered a chapter facility.
Any property that regularly hosts members or chapter activities increases the possibility that any accident or injury there would be associated with Triangle and therefore increases the potential for liability. For that reason, chapters with some type of facility pay a slight (10%) premium increase in risk management fees. This increase is waived for chapters who either do not allow alcohol in the facility or live in university housing that does not allow alcohol.
Q: What would you define as a chapter event?
A: There are multiple factors that can contribute to any event being considered a chapter event:
• The event is being hosted or planned by one or more members of the chapter or colony and supported by the officers of the chapter or colony.
• The event is financed by the chapter and/or being hosted on chapter property.
• The event is being hosted or planned by one or more members and supported by members/associate/new members.
• Officers of the chapter have prior knowledge of the event.
• The event is listed or advertised on the chapter website or social media accounts [e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GroupMe, etc.].
• Online invitations refer to Triangle, your chapter/colony or its members.
• The event is listed on a chapter calendar.
• The event is announced at a chapter meeting or through social media.
• Officers of the chapter will be in attendance.
• The event will be promoted via the chapter communications channel(s).
• The event is actively or passively endorsed by a majority of active chapter members.
• The chapter somehow benefits from the event (reputation, recruitment, social or visibility)
• If guests were stopped on their way to the event, would they say they were going to a Triangle event?
Q: Who/What qualifies as a third-party vendor?
A: To be a qualified, third-party vendor, someone must:
• Adhere to and comply with specific liquor laws that authorize distribution by a third-party.
• The company or person must be properly licensed by the appropriate local and state authority. This might involve both a liquor license and temporary license to sell on the premises where the function is to be held.
• The person or company must be properly insured with a minimum of $1,000,000 in general liability insurance, evidenced by a properly completed certificate of insurance prepared by the insurance provider.
– If the event is being held at a location that is not operated by the third-party vendor, the above “certificate of insurance” must also show evidence that the vendor has, as part of his coverage, “off premise liquor liability coverage and non-owned and hired auto coverage.”
– The certificate of insurance must name as an additional insured (at a minimum), the local chapter of the fraternity hiring the vendor and the national fraternity with whom the local chapter is affiliated.
• The chapter should use the third-party vendor checklist when preparing for a function.
Q: How do we make sure we have all hard alcohol out of the house? What if a member is 21?
A: Like any chapter expectation, you must a) be clear about the expectations; b) educate members on the policy and why it’s important; c) encourage compliance and; d) enforce when you need to. The 15% ABV policy has been a part of our risk management policies for years – for the common spaces. The only change is, we are now expanding the ban to all private living spaces as well.
Yes, this does require even those of-age to eliminate hard alcohol from their personal rooms. That should be a small sacrifice for them to help insure the health and safety of our members and guests.
Q: What type of alcohol is permitted in the chapter house?
A: Beer, ciders, wine coolers and wine, provided they all are less than 15% alcohol by volume (ABV) or 30 proof. Even when present, the possession and consumption of alcohol should follow all federal and state laws and Triangle’s risk management policies.
Q: Will we be the only fraternity making this change?
A: No. Every NIC member fraternity is adopting this policy and most university IFCs will be doing so as well. We understand there must be a “level playing field” for all groups at each campus.
Q: When/How do we gain compliance?
A: This policy is in effect as of September 1, 2019, but we understand it may take time for the chapter to adjust. Chapters will be considered in compliance when they accomplish the following tasks:
• The chapter votes to adopt the policy and include it in their bylaws (perhaps with the full Triangle risk management policy).
• The chapter alumni advisor or alumni chapter president confirms the vote of adoption and by law change.
• The chapter removes all hard alcohol from the premises.
• The chapter alumni advisor or alumni chapter president confirms the removal of hard alcohol.
Chapters will have until June 1, 2020 to be in compliance, UNLESS your local IFC or college has already adopted this policy and expects compliance sooner. Chapters always are expected to observe the stricter of local or national risk management policies, just to be safe.
Q: What are the penalties for non-compliance?
A: Chapters not in compliance by June 1, 2020 will see a 20% increase in their risk management fee bills and may be limited in their ability to hold events with alcohol. Further, chapters who report compliance but have incidents that involve hard alcohol in violation of this policy may be fined up to 20% of their risk management fee and/or receive additional sanctions from the Standards Committee.
Q: Where can I find additional information/resources?
A: The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) has information on this policy and resources to help you make the adjustment here: https://nicfraternity.org/policy-prohibiting-alcohol-above-15-abv/ . There also are resources you can use in the “Chapter Resource Documents” of this web page.
Tightrope Online Education Q&A
Summary: Each member will complete the full Tightrope online health and safety education program by December 31, 2019. After that date, all new members will complete the program before initiation. After completing the full program, all members will need to complete an update annually.
Q: What is Tightrope? (click here for more information: http://tightropeprogram.com/)
A: The Tightrope program is an online education course in five modules. It is hosted on a learning management system (LMS) run by Plaid, our online education contractor. Developed by several health and safety experts, the program is research and data based and seeks to educate users on risk areas most common on college campuses.
Q: How do we sign up?
A: This is a web-based program that requires you to create a personal account to access and complete the course. For first-time users instructions and to create your account, download instructions HERE. Be sure to complete your profile and select your chapter so we can allow your chapter officer/s to check progress to completion. For those who have completed the full Tightrope course online, you will want to add the Update course to your profile and complete that. Download instructions HERE.
Q: What is the cost of this program?
A: There is no cost to activate your account and/or to complete the Tightrope or Update programs. This is provided through the national risk management program.
Q: How long does the program take to complete?
A: There are five modules that take about 20 to 30 minutes each to complete – alcohol/substance, campus drinking culture, sexual misconduct, hazing, and mental health. Each involves an intro, a body of knowledge and a short quiz at the end. Participants need to score 70% or better to pass each module. All modules can be paused, so you can exit and return to pick up where you left off. The Update program takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Q: What happens once we complete the full program?
A: Program completion will be registered in our database to the student member record, just like contact or initiation info. This will allow us to see what members have completed the program and what percentage of completion each chapter has reached. Full completion of the program by all chapters allows us to negotiate for best insurance rates for the future and shows to our host campuses and prospective campuses that our members are well-educated on the most important health and safety issues.
Q: Will we have to do this every year?
A: No. Once a student has completed the program and completion is certified into our database, there is no requirement to take the full Tightrope program again. However, if chapters have risk management violations, they may be required to take one or more modules over again to insure future compliance. For instance, a chapter with a hazing violation may be required to have all its members complete the hazing module once again.
Otherwise, we will have an annual “Update” course that outlines basic risk management policies and resources to make sure members know expectations and have access to download copies of our policies and find resources to help them comply. That will be required annually for all members and should take no more than 20-30 minutes.
Q: What if our campus already requires us to complete a similar education program?
A: Chapters can apply for waivers if their campus or IFC already provides and records completion of comparable online or in-person education programs. We will have an online form to allow you to present your case and may provide full or partial waivers according to the content of the courses already required for you. Our goal is not to duplicate information, but what is done on campuses must be equal to or better than Tightrope and we must be able to get confirmation from the school of which students completed the coursework and when.
Q: What’s the best way to get this done?
A: You are free to determine the best means to get your members to activate their Plaid accounts and complete the online courses. Some chapters have suggested doing a course together just before a chapter meeting. Others are thinking of picking a day/time and doing it like a study group, with discussion of the content during and after. Many will likely make it an individual responsibility, allowing their risk management officer to monitor progress and push those who are not progressing to get the work done.
Whatever process you choose, please do not wait until mid-December to push this out to your membership. Announce it in chapter meeting and announce progress each week. “Gamify” it by posting a list of members who have started the coursework and show their progress compared to each other, or break the chapter into teams and provide awards to those who complete the process first. The goal is to have all members complete the process by Dec. 31.
Q: What is the “Optional” education available?
A: Tightrope/Plaid provides companion guides to the modules within the course so you can facilitate group or all-chapter discussions on the information you’re learning. Get info on how to use the guides in discussion sessions here: http://tightropeprogram.com/index.php/tightrope-companion-guides-introduction/. Download the discussion guides here: http://tightropeprogram.com/index.php/guides/
Good Samaritan Policies
TRIANGLE REGULATIONS – 3.8.8
a. If a member assists another person in obtaining immediate and appropriate medical care related to the use or consumption of alcohol, drugs, or to another medical emergency, then that member, as well as those who are assisted, will not be subject to individual sanction(s) with respect to the incident. This is the case even if the member who is assisting was a contributing factor to that emergency. An individual may benefit from this policy more than once, though repeated use of the policy may receive stricter scrutiny.
b. A chapter that seeks immediate and appropriate medical assistance for a person in need related to the use or consumption of alcohol, drugs, or to another medical emergency, may be eligible for mitigation of sanction(s) related to failure(s) to abide by organizational guidelines. To be eligible for this potential mitigation, the chapter will be required to meet in person or by phone with a national staff member or an alumni volunteer designated by the Fraternity. A chapter may benefit from this policy more than once, though repeated use of the policy may receive stricter scrutiny.
Chapter Resource Documents
Chapter Resource Documents will help you manage events and activities to meet Triangle’s Risk Management Policies. Click on the document name to download. Can’t find what you need? Contact the Fraternity HQ.
General Liability Insurance Certificate
Incident Response Plan
Chapter Substance Resource Guide
Event Planning Template
Event Contract Guide
Event Monitor Resource
Security Vendor Checklist
Third Party Alcohol Vendor Checklist
NIC Alcohol by Volume (ABV) Info
Safe Driving Resources
Tightrope Discussion Guides and Info:
Tightrope Program Info: https://www.triangle.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Tightrope-Info-Sheet.pdf
Discussion Info: http://tightropeprogram.com/index.php/tightrope-companion-guides-introduction/
Discussion Guides/Slides: http://tightropeprogram.com/index.php/guides/
New State Anti-Hazing Legislation
The states of Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas have updated their Anti-Hazing Laws. The NIC has provided legal analysis and advice for chapters in these states. Click here to get information on how these new laws may impact your campus.
J. R. Favor FHSI Education Programs
The Fraternal Health and Safety Initiative (FHSI) is designed to aid chapters of participating fraternities and sororities in achieving a high-quality membership experience. Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations that focus on strengthening their members through character development, academic excellence, service and philanthropy efforts, social interactions and a lifetime of brotherhood/sisterhood. FHSI Consortium Members believe that violations of the fraternities’, or sororities’ policies prevent members of the chapter from reaching their potential as citizens of their host institution. FHSI Consortium Members believe strongly in the betterment of men and women throughout our chapters and that we are building lifelong leaders of society.
Several international and national fraternities and sororities have joined together to form the Fraternal Health & Safety Initiative (FHSI) Consortium. Beginning in the fall of 2014, undergraduate members of the consortium member fraternities and sororities have been exposed to three unique research-based curriculums focused on the dangerous behaviors college-aged individuals are at increased risk of exhibiting. Representing nearly 100,000 collegiate members on more than 550 campuses, the Consortium is committed to working together to implement prevention strategies to improve the health and well-being of their members and their campus communities.
Powered by a comprehensive curriculum, chapter members from the FHSI Consortium engage in consistent identification, prevention and intervention strategies to tackle the most pressing, and dangerous, social issues on college campuses today: alcohol and other drug abuse, sexual misconduct/assault, and hazing. The curriculum’s key learning objectives are delivered by trained facilitators and supplemented by advisors, alumni and staff members of the Consortium following completion of one or more of the training modules. The FHSI training modules are also designed to help empower members to be change agents in their communities. Fraternity and sorority members often serve in leadership positions for other organizations on campus, making them the ideal catalysts for holistic change.
To visit the full JRFCO FHSI Website, click here.
Triangle National Insurance Program
Almost 30 years ago, when the liability insurance market for fraternities began to shrink, James R. Favor had the insight to create a partnership with Lloyd’s of London – perhaps the most well known insurance company in the world and an expert in specialty insurance. When many fraternities had few or no options for coverage, the Favor Company was there.
In 2006 Triangle joined with several other men’s fraternities to purchase the company to assure access to continued coverage into the future. Since that time, J.R. Favor & Company has been our exclusive agent for property and liability coverage for the Fraternity and all chapters. Coverage changes slightly year to year, based on the insurance market and the risk performance of our chapters, but Triangle has an outstanding risk record over the last two decades and we continue to endorse online educational resources such as Tightrope. As such, our rates are among the lowest in the men’s fraternity community.
Our insurance year starts on September 15. Chapters are provided an estimate of their bills in April/May, but actual invoices are sent on or about the first week of August with a payment deadline of September 15. Chapters must budget accordingly. Property insurance bills to chapters are based on the replacement value of the chapter house or the chapter property insured. Risk management fees are charged based on a three-year average of chapter membership and cover the costs of liability insurance as well as our self-insured retention (deductible).
Certificates of insurance are available at request to any chapter that needs to provide proof of insurance to their campus or a vendor. Some campuses require a copy of your insurance certificate before you can be a recognized fraternity on campus. Other campuses or vendors may ask that you add them to the policy as an additional insured. We can do this, but there is a cost, since we are extending our insurance coverage to them. If you receive this request, contact Triangle HQ.
Click here to download a copy of the current Insurance Certificate
How Risk Management Fees are Set: Chapters risk management fees are based on several variables. We start with a base per member fee, which has been $150 for at least 7 years. Triangle is one of the few men’s fraternities that has not increased the base rate for more than five years. We then consider a number of variables such as whether the chapter has some form of housing, the condition of the housing, whether the chapter has had violations, incidents or claims, and whether the chapter operates as a “dry” house by prohibiting alcohol on premises. These variable can adjust the base rate up or down, with the goal being an increase in base rate for chapters with larger risk exposure and a discount for those with lower risk exposure.
How Chapter Billings are Calculated: Chapter estimates (in April/May) and eventual final billings are based on two factors: a) the adjusted base rate (described above) multiplied by b) the number of chapter members. Chapter rosters change each term with new members and graduations, so it was decided years ago the fairest way to calculate membership was to do a census each year on or about our Founders Day (April 15) and then bill fees based on the average of membership from the most recent three years. This three-year average approach helps even out any large swings in membership in any one year and, more importantly, is an incentive for growth. If chapters grow in total members each year, they always will be paying for fewer members than are actually on their rosters.
Special or Large Events usually require a special event policy to provide insurance coverage. Any chapter event expected to involve more than 3 guests per member is considered a special or large event. Contact the Fraternity HQ to determine if a special event policy will be required to keep liability coverage in effect. These can be written for most larger group events, but should be reviewed far in advance of the event date.
Contracts with Third-Party Vendors can be complicated. Whether for housing, an event venue, transportation, or for food and beverage services, contracts should be carefully reviewed to make sure you are not exposing your chapter to undue liability. It is not uncommon for some vendors to take advantage of students to make you responsible for fees or charges over which you have no real controls. J.R. Favor & Co. will review any contract at no cost, provided you contact us well in advance of the event, to provide time for a thorough review. Contact Triangle HQ for more information.
University Relationship Statements have been emerging on college campuses to more clearly define the expectations and obligations of fraternities to their host campuses. Like any other third-party contract, these should be reviewed carefully as they can increase liability exposure or expand your responsibilities under the law. If you are asked by your school or IFC to sign such statements, we ask that you contact Triangle HQ to allow us to review the statement first.
To visit the J.R. Favor & Company Website, click here.
Many organizations exist to support those dealing with issue of substance abuse and its effects. Here are just a few, listed with their website link or phone number. Please let us know of any others you use or have helped your chapter.
National Helpline (SAMSA) – https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
American Council for Drug Education – http://www.acde.org
Cocaine Anonymous – http://www.ca.org
Columbia University’s Health Advice for Students. Go Ask Alice – http://www.goaskalice.org
Drug Help – http://www.drughelp.org
Families Anonymous – http://www.familiesanonymous.org
Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others (JACS) – http://www.jacsweb.org
Marijuana Anonymous – http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org
Narcotics Anonymous – http://www.na.org
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s College Drinking Prevention – http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov
National Institute on Drug Abuse – http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages
National Poison Control – 1-800-222-1222
Mental Health Resources
MentalHealth.gov – https://www.mentalhealth.gov/
National Institutes for Mental Health – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml
National Alliance on Mental Illness – https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-helpline/top-25-helpline-resources