In times like these, brotherhood is more important than ever.
The increase in cases of COVID-19 in the United States has created a lot of uncertainty in campus communities. Every day, more campuses are embracing an online learning strategy, cancelling events and asking that students return home. In such times, it’s easy to feel disconnected. SigEp is here to help you and your brothers maintain the strong sense of purpose, belonging, and friendships you’ve developed on your campus.
Below are important updates on how SigEp will support you and your chapter during this time, as well as guidance related to member safety, chapter operations, events, and housing.
It’s important that you stay up-to-date on COVID-19 news and guidance from the CDC and your university. University updates are likely to include changes related to class attendance, event limitations, what to do if someone experiences symptoms, and what to do if quarantine is necessary.
If a member feels he has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms, he should contact the university health center or hospital immediately and follow their instructions about testing. It’s important that he makes it clear that he is a fraternity member and lets them know if he lives in the chapter house (if applicable), so the health provider and university can provide him and the chapter with important guidance around potential quarantining.
If a member is tested for COVID-19, contact SigEp’s Member Safety Director Kathy Johnston immediately (email@example.com, 804.286.2191), so she can work with the university to help your chapter navigate the situation.
What can I do to protect myself?
The CDC recommends the following actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid shaking hands or hugging.
- Avoid fraternity or campus events when you are sick.
- When you cough or sneeze, make every effort to cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm as opposed to into your hands.
- If you use a tissue, throw it into the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your 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% alcohol.
- Ensure cleaning supplies are available at the SigEp house (if applicable), and encourage people to be extra vigilant about cleaning up after themselves and wiping down areas where they have just eaten or may have touched a hard surface.
- Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and make sure you’re getting enough Vitamins C and D.
Supporting Our Chapters
With many universities closing, moving classes online, and limiting events and gatherings, the reality of campus operations are uncertain in the weeks ahead. Your regional director will still be a resource in this time of uncertainty. Each regional director will be based at a location within his region to provide your chapter support and service remotely. In this rapidly-changing environment and with fewer students on campus, this approach will ensure every chapter receives consistent service. Our goal remains helping you provide the best SigEp experience possible.
Using online tools like Google hangouts, your regional director will work with you to adjust strategies and continue to advance important priorities of the SigEp experience like year-round recruitment, member development, and Balanced Man Scholarship planning. As a leader, continuing to drive forward with priorities like recruiting and the BMP — even remotely — will be critical to your chapter’s long-term health. We don’t know how long the period of uncertainty related to COVID-19 will last, but we do know that your leadership over the next few weeks will determine your chapter’s future when this period of uncertainty is over.
Your RD will help you stay connected and continue operation using these tools, even if your campus pauses operation and/or moves classes online, pushing your chapter, committees and teams to meet remotely to work on the goals important to you and your brothers. Companies across the country are addressing these same concerns, so you have an opportunity to build the leadership skills that CEOs at companies in every major industry in the country are employing.
Events & Gatherings
Campuses are providing COVID-19 guidance based on what’s happening in your area, and many have begun to implement event cancellation periods or restrict the size of programs. Follow your university’s event guidance, and additionally, we advise that you:
- Postpone large-scale events like social or philanthropic events.
- Hold off on signing any new event-related contracts — booking space, accommodations, transportation, catering, etc. — to prevent potential financial hardship.
- If you already have contracts in place for an event this spring, work with the vendor to see what your options are in case limitations arise and you need to cancel. If you need guidance to do this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Utilize online tools to continue recruitment, member development and other programs. For example, through Google hangouts, you can host a speaker for up to 250 people and record it to share with others.
- If your campus pauses operations or closes for a time, the university will provide recommendations concerning student housing and/or staying on or near campus or returning home. If you need guidance or assistance in this situation, contact SigEp National Housing Managing Director Ben Hutto.
- Keeping your SigEp home clean must be your top priority. Make disinfectant products available in common spaces for members to use, and encourage people to be extra vigilant about cleaning up after themselves and wiping down areas where they have just eaten or may have touched a surface.
- We recommend increasing the hours your cleaning crew spends in the facility to provide additional service. Direct the cleaning crew to do the following:
- Disinfect frequently touched, hard-surface areas each time they visit the facility, including counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.
- Fully stock soap and paper products (tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.), and ensure you have enough supplies on hand for an additional two-week period.
- Direct your food service providers to do the following:
- Have a supply of nonperishable food items in stock.
- Have the ability to pre-order emergency meals that can feed live-in members for up to two weeks.
- Sanitize common use items (like dishes, silverware, etc.) after each use.
- No member should be quarantined in a SigEp house, nor would this be allowed by health providers. It’s critical that if any resident exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, he follows the steps outlined under Member Safety.
If you have other housing related questions, please contact SENH Managing Director Ben Hutto.
We are here to help keep our brotherhood strong during this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to members of SigEp staff if you have additional questions or concerns.