Spring 2021 Resource Guide
As we enter the Spring 2021 semester, we should all feel accomplished in the way we navigated the Fall 2020 semester. And at the same time, we know there is still so much unknown. 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.
Your chapter will continue to have an assigned staff member to be your primary contact and will continue with our regular zoom meetings with the chapter Executive Board and other chairmen to ensure you are getting the support you need.
Below, please find access to a few very important recommendations and resources. 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.
- If you do not have it already, please collect all emergency contact information from every member. In the case something should happen, 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.
- Through our partnership with the JED Foundation, we are excited to offer resources around mental/emotional health & wellness. We will update this section soon!
- Chapters should still plan to function as close to normal as possible, including meetings and ritual, both of which can be completed virtually.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 close with your Alumni/Housing Board to make sure all parties understand housing policies, cleanliness expectations, decision making process housing operations, and protocols for when local/state mandates change.
- Have clear cleaning, showering, dining, and common space access protocols in place that everyone understands; this includes who has access to the facility and when.
- 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.
- Finding ways to connect with each other might be one of the most important things you can do 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. Below are events/game ideas that you can try. Your goal is to have enough options and ways for people to connect and still feel the Brotherly bonds that we all need:
- You can pair Kahoot and Zoom together for a fun trivia night.
- Create a Chapter Discord server to stay connected! It can also be used during meetings, games, events, etc.
- Play Among Us (free if you use your phone) or other online games to have fun while engaging with the Brothers.
- Find a speaker and use the Connects Stipend to get funding resources.
- Find creative ways to watch a movie or new series together.
- While not everyone loves ice breakers, they can be used as fun and quick games and high points of interaction. Check out some of these and some of these to find ways to make them work.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If recruitment is an option for your community, do it! Virtual and/or hybrid is a new challenge, but it is not impossible, and we have resources. Many campuses who participated in Fall 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, and the Phired Up site has a ton of free resources and blogs as well for you to utilize.
- 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.
- If allowed to be in person, practice social distancing and wear a mask.
- Avoid handshakes and unnecessary touching, and find safe alternatives.
- If easier, while we know it doesn’t feel the same, host Ritual virtually and focus on the IMPORTANCE of what the Ritual is saying.
- 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.
- Psi Upsilon expects our chapters to follow CDC, state, local and institutional expectations when it comes to programming and social events. See the Member Engagement section above for additional ideas.
- 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:
- Alpha Fraternity Management
- CDC: Center for Disease Control & Prevention
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Holmes Murphy Insurance
- NIC: North American Interfraternity Conference
Previous resource pages: