Brothers, Alumni, Volunteers & Friends:
Triangle Fraternity’s National Council and staff is committed to promoting the health and safety of its members. As COVID-19 continues to spread and impact our partner institutions, Triangle is working to support our students and volunteers on the ground. This document serves to provide recommendations for moving forward through this period. To download a copy of our plan to reopen the HQ office, click HERE.
The care, safety, and well-being of our members is our top priority. With a reported coronavirus case in every state, it is important to follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization…
Protect Yourself from Becoming Infected:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to receive medical care.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Prevent the Spread of Germs in Chapter Houses:
- Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the chapter facility, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Wipe down doorknobs and other common surfaces at least daily, twice a day or more if possible.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by members before each use.
- Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the chapter facility and ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.
- Consider performing a deep cleanse during spring break or times of inactivity in the chapter facility.
- Consider using posters around the house to remind members of the issues.
Your chapter’s first step should be to contact your local institution and follow the policies and protocols they have adopted or recommend. Finally, inform your campus and the national office immediately if a member is diagnosed with COVID-19.
Moving Forward in an Uncertain Environment
The closing of classrooms at many campuses and the likely decision of many students to return home, will complicate chapter operations and, particularly, recruitment. With all that is occurring, we cannot be sure what anything will look like in the fall, but we are engineers and problem-solvers and will adapt.
Chapters should consider carefully the best options to continue operations, but here are several ideas from Triangle HQ…
As mentioned previously, follow any directive from the institution and/or local government as it pertains to the size of gatherings that are allowable. One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to eliminate or limit non-essential social interactions, especially in large group settings.
Each University and/or local municipality will communicate their own set of rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. We ask that you follow those recommendations first and foremost. Our utmost concern is the health and safety of our members and those localized guidelines will have the best interest of the community in mind. If any of our suggested actions contradict a local edict, please defer and execute the local guidelines.
Initiations/New Member Education
Many local institutions have already begun moving to online classes and restricting meetings. We expect more to do so in the following weeks. As such, the National Council has voted to temporarily suspend the required new member education period as defined by the National By-Laws Article 1; Section 1; Para. 3h, for chapters that are located at campuses that are or expect to be closed down. We also will be waiving any fines for chapters that do not observe the required 14-day advance notice. This status will continue until March 2021 or until suspended by Council.
A Chapter may submit an expedited request for initiation to the National Office. Said request should include details of what new member education has already taken place, the proposed plan to finish new member education once the respective school is opened back up. Each submission will be granted on a case by case basis. Submit your requests here: https://www.triangle.org/initform/ If approved, you may initiate and move your men from NM to Undergraduate in ChapterSpot.
Operational Tasks & Planning
- Continue to meet weekly via virtual methods:
- Chapter meetings and executive board meetings. This presents an opportunity to invite alumni that may not otherwise be able to attend in person.
- The executive board can meet with individual officers virtually to plan and discuss what can be done during this time.
- Recommended Services; Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts (all are free)
- Review these documents:
- Create a master Summer Calendar
and master Fall Calendar.
- Should include: meeting dates, academic calendar dates, institution sporting events, Homecoming, alumni events, founding dates for other organizations.
- Recommended Services: Google calendar
- Have the Scholarship Chair/Academic Affairs Chair reach out to all members to keep them engaged during the suspension of in-person classes.
- Schedule Social Media Posts and
update various platforms that may be outdated (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
Webpage); these will become more important for recruitment.
- Recommended Services: HootSuite, Postify
- Take this
opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to your governing documents.
- Update Constitution
- Update Officer/Position/Committee Descriptions
New Member Education Recruitment Planning
- Organize Summer/Fall Recruitment.
- Create templates for chapter
use during Recruitment.
- Wish List of potential members (name, email, phone)
- Contact Listing (who has reached to individual and when)
- Fall Orientation Planning
- Determine how chapter will communicate with PNM’s at this time and over summer.
- Determine what events the chapter must plan/ What events institution has planned.
- Assign specific roles to individuals for who will be completing various tasks.
- Create and schedule social media graphics to promote chapter now.
- Recommended Services; Canva, Hootsuite, Postify
- If you are contractually obligated for an upcoming event, review the terms of the contract and contact the vendor with any questions.
- Have the Treasurer reach out to
all members to determine how members will be paying their bills during this
- The chapter must still pay all outstanding debts and balances to the National Headquarters, vendors, and itself. The chapter will want member funds to continue hosting activities once classes and events resume.
- Phone calls/texts should be sent to individuals who may still owe. A GroupMe or Slack message to everyone is not always effective.
- Develop newsletter to be shared with alumni
- Recommended Services: Canva, MailChimp
- Reach out to alumni via phone to reconnect
- Develop 2-4 talking points on what chapter has accomplished.
- Contacts can be provided by staff upon request.
- Ask to collect contact info and update them on the chapter.
- Assign members to collect chapter history and
stories from alumni.
- Develop 2-4 questions that can be shared with alumni ideally via phone or survey to document the history of the chapter.
- Should an individual in your chapter facility fall ill, or is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact your local institution or health professionals immediately for next steps.
- Contact your local institution to learn about policies and procedures that might affect access, resources, and support.
- If campus residence halls close, consider providing space at the chapter house for any members who need short-term accommodations.
- Contact the Triangle Building and Housing Corporation (TBHC) for housing support – Mike Fouts, TBHC Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Review your cleaning procedures and ensure that members are diligent in following them.
- Consider restricting house access to non-members and non-residents.
- Consider stocking food supplies should outside vendors become unavailable.
- Begin planning for the possibility that your local institution will request that you vacate the chapter facility.
Staff Visits and Operations
- The national office has no plans to close or reduce
services to members.
- Contact Director of Chapter Services, Drew Hopson (email@example.com), with any updates to a planned visit or requests for assistance.
For Alumni Volunteers
- All alumni boards (advisory teams, housing corporations, and alumni chapters) should communicate with their local institution for guidance.
- Review any vendor contracts to determine your financial obligations.
- Encourage members to follow all recommendations by their local institution, national staff, and the CDC.
- Work with the chapter to provide a communication to parents; here’s a good example from ISU.
As of this date, we know of no Triangle undergraduates who have tested positive for the virus – but this is a very fluid situation and relatively uncharted territory for our chapter leaders. Should you have any questions not addressed above, please contact Triangle HQ (firstname.lastname@example.org) or us directly.
With hope this situation will be over soon,
Joe Cerrato, Triangle President
Tom Pennington, Executive Director