Fall 2020 Resource Guide

Brothers-

This is a very interesting time for our world for a myriad of reasons. We can plan, have back up plans, and those plans can have back up plans, and I don’t think any of us can truly wrap our minds around what everything will look like for the next 12-18 months. Specifically, we know there are countless questions and notions of what is happening as we approach the Fall semester and your return, whatever that may look like, back to campus and classes. While we can’t answer all of your questions, we want you to know we are here to support you, provide you with resources, and help out wherever we can.

Each chapter will be assigned a staff member to be their primary contact and will set up regular zoom meetings with the chapter Executive Board and other chairmen to ensure you are getting the support you need during this difficult time.

Below, please find access to a few very important recommendations and resources; more detailed information can be found at the bottom of each section. You will notice that there are a significant amount of links in the sections below. We want to provide you with as many resources and spots to find information as possible. Please note, that in all applicable places, please follow your local and state guidelines and mandates.

General:

  • If you do not have it already, please collect all emergency contact information from every member. In the case something should happen, including outside of COVID-19, this information will help your members be connected to the people they need to be.
  • Psi Upsilon expects our chapters to follow CDC, state, local and institutional expectations when it comes to programming and social events.
  • It is true that we need to take care of ourselves, but more importantly, we need to take care of each other. Here are some things you can do to look after each other: Practice social distancing when possible; wear masks in all common places and especially when you cannot social distance; and regularly wash your hands. Understand the ways in which we can prevent the spread of the virus, and ways to protect not only our physical health, but also our mental and emotional health as well; we need to be considering our overall wellness, not just specific COVID related illness. All of these things will help you stay safe and help keep those you are closest with safe, too.
  • We know you can get tons of resources and information from so many places. We believe you should stay current on what is happening and want you to have direct ways to find out up to date information. We have found Holmes Murphy to be a great resource, and are updating their Resource Center daily, and they have specific resources for fraternal organizations.

  • James R Favor & Company, who are risk management consultants, have a list of great resources and recommendations for you. They have information on ideas for standard operation procedures, campus/university information, and are tracking current news situations. We want to draw special attention to their article Breaking the Chain of Infection which has some direct robust information on housing, operations, and general member guidance.
  • As noted above, we need to be focusing on our overall wellness. With unprecedented semesters on campus being planned, we want to be sure that you have resources that include receiving mental health support. Members may potentially feel isolated, left out, and a little lost with not having frequent in-person social interactions. Here is a webinar from Pennington & Company on College Students & Mental Health that we recommend that everyone watches.


Chapter Operations:

  • We know lots of things in normal Chapter Operations will need to look different this academic year. It is important to understand that Chapters should still plan to function as close to normal as possible, including meetings and ritual, both of which can be completed virtually. Ritual is the foundation of what keeps our bonds strong and relevant, and should be completed regardless of what the semester looks like; it might be needed even more so now than ever before.
  • To aid in completing virtual Chapter Operations, we have provided Zoom business accounts to all Chapters who have requested them. Should you still need one, please fill out this form. With this, you can have up to 100 participants, utilize the breakout room features, unlimited time limits on meetings and stay connected with your Chapter members.
  • Reports: All Chapter reports are still due on a timely basis. This is important so we can continue to support you. If you have any outstanding reports, please connect with our Director of Member Services, Ashley Stein, at Ashley@psiu.org, to set up a time to speak.
  • Refer to our Officer’s Calendar for due dates.

  • Financial Obligations: be clear and up front as soon as possible with deadlines, exactly where dues money is going, and what accountability will look like. Work with your Housing/Alumni Board to discuss budget resources for appropriate COVID cleaning resources as needed.
  • The Risk Management Assessment, Member Taxes, and New Member Fees are still due in a timely basis, but we are happy to work out payment plans with chapters prior to October 1st. If you need to set up a payment plan contact Thomas Fox at tfox@psiu.org.
  • Make sure that committees are still functioning as normal, any maybe even expand each committee by a few additional members. This will hopefully increase member engagement in a structured, fulfilling way.
  • Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to hold a Commitment to Excellence Goal Setting retreat! Our guide can be found here.
  • Additionally, Holmes Murphy has provided this resource on Event Hosting Considerations, and here is some great information on Operations and Recruitment from the NIC.


Housing:

  • There are some interesting questions that are arising around housing as we think about the Fall semester: Are we allowed to move back in? How do we get enough supplies? Are we allowed on common areas? Can we host anything at the facility? How do we exist without a house? We want to stress that while these are all very important questions to explore and find responsible answers to, Psi Upsilon Chapters are more than a house. A house can indeed be a great perk that allows the facilitation of brotherhood to exist in one centralized spot. But, our bonds far exceed four walls.
  • Work close with your Alumni/Housing Board to make sure all parties understand housing policies, cleanliness expectations, decision making process to close/stay open, and protocols for when local/state mandates change. Consider this resource from the CDC as a place to start.
  • Have clear cleaning, showering, dining, and common space access protocols in place that everyone understands; this includes who has access to the facility. We want to decrease potential exposure, while simultaneously increasing health and safety protocols. Having a clear rotation that is understood and agreed upon will keep things running smoothy and safely.
  • Have a plan in place for when/if someone in the facility tests positive; this includes a quarantine room and bathroom if possible, separate cleaning and laundry time and resources, separate dining time, and a specific shower rotation and cleaning plan if a separate bathroom is not an option. For members who do need to go into isolation, be creative in ways in which you are checking in on and engaging with them while they are in quarantine; the last thing we want them to feel, besides sick, is alone.
  • Have cleaning supplies, masks, and hand soap available at all times; consider servicing your facility’s ventilation immediately, and explore additional air filtration systems as well.

  • Holmes Murphy has provided the following resources around housing: FAQ for Facility Management , Closure as a Result of COVID-19 , and Event Hosting Considerations. While these resources may seem overwhelming, they are full of information that will help facilitate safe housing practices.
  • For so many Chapters with houses, we know meal times are a great way to connect and spend time with each other. Given the need to social distance and practice safety measures more closely, we know meals will look significantly different. Here are Dining Resources from the NIC/Upper Crust Food Service, and Resources from the NIC/College Fresh.
  • If you would like to see some sample waivers and housing guides for the fall please contact Thomas Fox at tfox@psiu.org
  • On April 16th we hosted a webinar on successful strategies for fraternity housing. You can view that here. We highly recommend any chapter looking for a management company to reach out to Alpha Fraternity Management directly.


Member Engagement:

  • Finding ways to connect with each other might be one of the most important things you can do as we go virtual in how we exist as a brotherhood. As humans, we need each other for relationships and interactions; even our introverted members need some human connection. The last thing we want is for any of our members to feel lonely, left out, and searching for ways to feel a part of Psi Upsilon.
  • Each Exec position and committee chair can be creative in the ways they engage our members. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
    • Academics: Host virtual study sessions for members to connect (knowing it won’t only be focused on academics), or connect with someone from your campuses Academic Resource Center to see if they can share study tips or online workshops.
    • Health & Wellness: Call and find someone from your campuses Wellness center who can do a virtual/Zoom call with the Chapter to share new resources, or ways to take care of yourself when you feel isolated.
    • Mentoring: If you don’t already have a mentor program in your chapter, now is a perfect time to begin! Connect with your alumni advisor to match undergrads with alumni to speak about their career interests. We can assist you with getting contact information. Also, be sure to encourage members to sign up for our International Firsthand Mentoring Network.
    • New Member Education: See the section below for some more focused Educator things but be creative in the ways we connect virtually. Create virtual meet ups for New Members with random Members so they can get to know each other. Include Alumni get together for the New Members.
    • Philanthropy: See the section below for some creative How To resources, get creative in some competitions or matching ideas.
    • Service: There are several organizations that are looking for volunteers in a virtual environment. DoSomething.org has a great list of places where you can volunteer online and make an impact.
    • Social: Be creative! While in person social events aren’t a reasonable expectation this fall there are still many ways to host fun events virtually, both for brothers and guests.

  • Explore ways in which you can program and host members in fun atmospheres using some of these activities:
    1. We used Kahoot during our Summit this year, and found it to be very fun to host a trivia event. Pair it with a Zoom call, and you have an easy and creative way to engage the whole Chapter.
    2. Here is a list of 57 Virtual Team Building Activities. You might find some will work better for your Chapter than others, but it is really great list of ideas.
    3. Consider creating a Chapter Discord for your members to stay in touch and connect with each other.
    4. 100 Engaging Virtual Ice Breakers for Your Team. Yes, we know you might be tired of ice breakers, but be creative in the way you virtually use them.
    5. Lastly, here are 16 Virtual Team Building Activities Your Remote Team Will Love.
  • If your Chapter is full of gamers or people who want to try out gaming, set up tournaments for your choice of game. While this might not appeal to everyone, it will to some, and our goal is to continuously make sure we are providing opportunities for people to engage with each other.
  • Explore ways in which you all can watch a movie or show together; maybe someone can Zoom screenshare and host a movie night. Here, we are trying to replicate, the best we can, what a normal night or activity might look like for your Chapter.
  • If you are interested in bringing in a speaker for the chapter or campus, even virtually, but cannot afford to do so think about applying for a Connects Stipend from the Psi Upsilon Foundation.


New Member Education:

  • New Member Education, including ceremonies, can all be done virtually! New Member Education is the only way we make sure newly invited members learn the importance of our fraternity and individual Chapters. While it will look differently, we need to be sure we are providing a great educational environment for our newest members.
  • Be creative in ways other brothers, including Big Brothers, and alumni can safely and responsibly be involved. During New Member Education, our newest members and current members continue to forge bonds and relationships that create the perfect foundation for brotherhood. Maybe Big Brothers or Alumni are taking virtual walks with New Members, playing games, or even watching a show or movie together. The goal is to make sure New Members feel like they are a part of the brotherhood, not separate from the brotherhood.
  • Here is a New Member Educator Resource, A Mighty Friendship. Use this resource to enhance your Education period, includes a sample syllabus, and considerations for the New Member Educator.
  • In addition, anyone who is currently in, or enters, the New Member Process is still expected to complete the GreekLifeEDU online program.

Philanthropy:

  • Just because things will look different for this academic year, it does not mean that we must stop supporting and raising funds for excellent causes. Chapters can still find ways to be creative and raise funds for causes that are important to them. A core value of any Psi Upsilon member is Service to Society, and we want to be sure you feel supported in your endeavors in this arena.
  • Crowd Change, our fundraising platform partners, have tons of resources to help you run a successful virtual event. Their site allows for you to create fundraising pages, set up teams, allow for individual members to have teams, and streamline the fundraising process to make your philanthropy event a wild success. Here are some links to register for online training from Crowd Change (times listed in EDT):

Recruitment:

  • If recruitment is an option for your community, do it! Virtual is a new challenge, but it is not impossible, and we have resources. Many campuses who practice summer recruitment have already been extremely successful in hosting virtual recruitment. While they said it was an adjustment, it actually allowed for better conversations as the only thing to focus on was talking to each other.
  • We have purchased Phired Up Digital Recruitment Classrooms for every chapter; please download instructions here. This classroom will give you tons of robust information on recruitment, such as:
    • The Fundamentals: Dynamic Recruitment Principles and the Fraternity Recruitment Funnel
    • How to maximize your recruitment efforts with technology
    • How to market your chapter (including a sample marketing plan)
    • How to grow your names list and fill your prospect funnel
    • The art of Social Excellence™ and how to make authentic connections with PNMs
    • How to use values-based selection to find the right members
    • How to give a bid the right way
    • How to systemize recruitment for the future (including an example of a successful recruitment plan!)
    • How to Recruit Digitally

  • Here are additional Webinars, hosted by Phired Up and the NIC, that allows you to further explore recruitment, growth fundamentals, marketing, and technology.
  • Also, here is a list of important blogs from our Phired Up partners to really guide you through this academic year:
    1. The Complete Guide to Virtual Recruitment, which is packed full of ideas, additional resources, videos, and templates.
    2. 11 Fraternity/Sorority Instagrams We Love Right Now for you to explore as we think about a digital and virtual recruitment.
    3. Free Webinars called Phired Up Fridays, which has 12 hours of additional education
    4. A blog on how to Be More Human, as we enter a virtually focused time
  • If your Chapter is full of gamers or people who want to try out gaming, set up tournaments for your choice of game. While this might not appeal to everyone, it will to some, and our goal is to continuously make sure we are providing opportunities for people to engage with each other.
  • Explore ways in which you all can watch a movie or show together; maybe someone can Zoom screenshare and host a movie night. Here, we are trying to replicate, the best we can, what a normal night or activity might look like for your Chapter.


Ritual:

  • There is nothing that prohibits Psi Upsilon’s rituals to be performed in a virtual environment and, with some minor modifications, can work quite well and prioritize the health and safety of our members while maintaining a reverence for our traditions.
  • A copy of The Gold Book is available to every chapter in their Dropbox. Also included is a modified version of the initiation ritual that can easily be performed via a platform like Zoom as well as audio recordings of many Psi Upsilon Songs.
  • Hosting these rituals virtually also allows the opportunity to allow alumni to participate that may not live close to campus.

  • Some items to consider when performing ritual:
    1. Observe State and Institution Expectations on Social Distancing: Policies and guidance on social distancing are expected to vary from state to state and institution to institution. It is important that each chapter and colony know and follow all expectations that apply to them specifically. For example, if a university has put into place a social gathering restriction of no more than twenty-five (25) people at an event, and the local chapter has a manpower of fifty (50), then the chapter must postpone or alter its ceremonies to meet that expectation.
    2. Limit attendance (if it’s possible to hold in person ritual) and / or hold multiple ceremonies: Depending on the size of your expected audience or ceremony participants, chapters and colonies may find it difficult to meet social gathering restrictions. Using the example above, a chapter of fifty (50) would be unable to have all members of the chapter attend any of its ceremonies. To meet social gathering restrictions, chapters and colonies should consider reducing the size of the permitted audience and participants to only essential officers, alumni, and of course, the members going through the ceremony. Similarly, if a chapter or colony were to take a larger new member class, multiple ceremonies may need to be held to induct/initiate smaller groups of the larger class.
    3. Maintain six feet apart and wear a mask: Among the more common safety recommendations during the pandemic, these two tips should be incorporated into ritual ceremonies as well. As a standard rule, mask wearing is recommended for all chapter/colony activity. Maintaining six feet of distance during ritual ceremonies should also be prioritized. Chapters and colonies are encouraged to select rooms and venues that will allow for ritual stations and participants to be spaced apart at the appropriate distance. The chapter/colony is also encouraged to pre-mark spaces on the floor (painters’ tape is a great solution) so participants and officers can easily find their spot.
    4. Avoid unnecessary touching and handshakes: Though alternatives to handshaking are not ideal for ritual ceremonies, handshaking and touching, in general, are discouraged. For ritual specific actions that call for individuals to shake hands and/or to come into contact with one another, chapters and colonies can modify these actions during the performance to eliminate personal contact (e.g. air high-five in lieu of handshake) or provide disposable gloves to introduce new members to the grip.
    5. Avoid unnecessary touching and handshakes: Go completely virtual: While some chapters may have the space to perform ritual safely using the above recommendations, not all will. In many cases it will be easier and more efficient, to host the ritual on a platform such as Zoom. We ask that you be sure you are not recording the event, and be sure to use a pro account so there are no issues regarding time limits.


Social:

  • Psi Upsilon expects our chapters to follow CDC, state, local and institutional expectations when it comes to programming and social events.
  • Be creative and don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Many of the ways you engage brothers with one another you can also use with non-members. Whether it’s a study groups, game night, Netflix watch party, or just hanging out.
  • If you’re using a platform like Zoom you can utilize Breakout Rooms to make a large group smaller and more manageable for interaction.
  • Host a virtual homecoming event for alumni – you can have events like trivia, use breakout rooms to connect alumni from similar class years, geographic locations, or careers and even recreate the feel of a chapter house by having virtual “rooms” to hang out in.
  • If you know everyone in attendance, a great Zoom hack to allow participants to move from one breakout room to another can be found here

We know this is a lot to think through, explore, and plan for. We just want you to feel supported and have access to as many resources as possible. Some centralized locations to find information can be found below:


Previous resource pages:

Summer Resource Page

Spring Resource Page