Due to the rapid evolution of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) across the world, Alpha Delta Phi is taking a proactive step to ensuring that our chapters remain safe and functional in the event of an outbreak on or near your campuses.
Since the spread of the virus has already forced numerous colleges/universities to alter normal operations for students on campus. We can expect more to follow in the coming days and weeks. Of course, we all assume that campus operations will return to normal in the near future and business will resume as usual.
In the case that your college or university cancels events and/or classes, please follow suit and cancel or postpone your events until your college or university’s activities resume. We understand the hard work you put into planning your events, but the number one priority is your health and safety. Please heed the advice of your college/university, local, state/provincial, and federal officials as the safety of you, your family, and your brothers is paramount. Remember, our greatest strength and asset are our members. Take care of each other and be sure to check on your members frequently.
Per the CDC, there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive 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.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in 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
If a member feels they have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have symptoms, they need to go to the hospital immediately for testing
Alpha Delta Phi wants to help your chapter remain stable throughout this period of uncertainty. If your campus is closed for an extended period of time, we have included some frequently asked questions on how to remain both operational during this time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q: Who should I notify if my college/university take preventative action?
If your college/university takes preventative action that requires your chapter to cancel meetings or activities, contact your chapter advisor(s) and the Director of Chapter Services, Mitchell Fratrik (email@example.com). These volunteers and staff will help you assess your chapter calendar to identify if events need to be cancelled or rescheduled based on the action taken by your university. Only essential chapter business needs to be completed this academic year.
Q: What is defined as “essential chapter business”?
Essential chapter business for the remainder of the academic year includes:
Approving chapter budget for the 2020/21 academic year
Selecting a Convention delegate and alternate delegate
Q: What activities can we do if our chapter can’t host social/philanthropy events?
If your college/university takes preventative action that requires your chapter to cancel meetings or activities, you can still focus on other activities to help your chapter grow. These include:
Creating a newsletter to share with alumni and parents.
Nominate a chapter leader for the Order of the Sword & Spear.
Submit entries for the Annual Literary Competition.
Call alumni and share positive updates on the chapter.
Create an online philanthropy campaign to raise money for the Brothers in Arms Challenge. Share with friends and family by posting to social media.
Create a chapter website or update an outdated website.
Apply for Seward Scholarships through SELEF.
Deep clean your chapter house or take care of neglected home improvement projects.
Write thank you notes to alumni donors for their current/past support of the chapter.
Work on any annual reports that your college/university may require.
Start making goals and detailed plans for summer or fall recruitment.
Schedule a video call with the Executive Office to discuss your chapter’s goals or areas of opportunity.
Q: What if my college/university has cancelled activities for the remainder of the academic year?
Depending on how much and what business your chapter still needs to conduct at the time that meetings and activities are cancelled, chapters may have to adapt and utilize technology to conduct E-board and committee meetings, but they should be able to continue to, at least, conduct long-term planning. Chapters can continue to meet and operate using virtual meet-ups like FaceTime or webinars to further educate members or just keep in touch. Work with your chapter advisor and the Executive Office team to determine the best option for your chapter in the event that activities and meeting are cancelled.
The Executive Office team can help walk you through any issues your chapter might have if you are forced to cancel contracts or any other agreements associated with events (e.g., DJs, venues, formal hotels, caterers, etc.). Please contact us if you are having any such difficulties.
Q: What should we do about local chapter dues and fees if activities are cancelled due to COVID-19?
Chapter officers should work with their chapter advisor(s) and Director of Chapter Services to determine if it is appropriate to pro-rate and refund local chapter dues. Chapters should consider the amount of activities that have already been offered during the academic term to make determinations about appropriate pro-rate/refund amounts.
While refunding or pro-rating local chapter dues may be a popular idea among within the chapter, we strongly recommend collecting the full amount which will give your chapter the ability to meet your financial obligations this coming fall. The Fraternity will be posting invoices for the chapter’s Annual Organization Fees on schedule. Chapters can expect to see those invoices in their OmegaFi accounts starting May 1, 2020. College/university closures will not serve as a valid excuse for delinquency or unpaid dues.
The Executive Office team can work with chapters to reallocate chapter funds and/or maximize the chapter budget so brothers still get the most out of their Alpha Delt experience this academic year.
Q: Do we still have to report new members to the Fraternity?
Chapters are always required to report new members (pledges) to the Fraternity using the initiation application feature in OmegaFi. The Fraternity expects applications to be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to each scheduled initiation. Chapter should consider initiating new members as soon as possible (assuming it is safe to do so).
Q: Do new members still owe the full initiation fee to the Fraternity if my college/university has cancelled activities?
Yes, each new member will still be expected to pay the $350 initiation fee prior to their initiation. These fees are used by the Fraternity for services that are not affected by the cancellation of college/university activities (ie. General liability insurance, badges and membership certificates).
Q: We have members returning from study abroad, what should we do?
Members returning from study abroad should follow guidance from the college/university’s study abroad office regarding returning to campus.
Q: My chapter house or residence hall closed and I have nowhere to live. What should I do?
Brothers who currently reside in chapter houses or residence halls that have been temporarily closed by your housing corporation or college/university should contact your chapter advisor(s) and/or the Executive Office immediately.
Depending on your location, in some cases the Fraternity may be able to assist in finding temporary housing with local alumni or family of nearby brothers. While it is not guaranteed, Alpha Delta Phi pledges to do everything possible to find a solution to each individual’s housing needs.
Additional Questions & Guidance
Annual Convention. At this time, the Annual Convention this coming August will still take place as scheduled. Alpha Delta Phi is closely working with local Tampa officials to make the appropriate decision to keep our members and guests safe and healthy. We will continue to monitor the situation and reevaluate this position in the coming months.
Chapter advisors. You are the eyes and ears of the organization. You will be the first line for questions. We appreciate all you do. Please review the material sent on March 10. Please remind your men to take care of themselves and follow instructions from authorities. We suggest volunteers consider advising via text, phone or video conference rather than in-person meetings. We are a family and we take care of each other. Please, let us know how we can help and assist you and your chapter during this time.
Chapter consultants. Alpha Delta Phi has made the decision to remove the chapter consultants from the road for at least the month of March out of an abundance of caution. As of today, 91% of our campuses have suspended face-to-face classes. We will review their travel schedules the final week of March and decide if we can continue visiting chapters in April or if we will keep our team at home for the rest of their term. We are encouraging chapter president to schedule online “visits” to discuss chapter operations using this link.
Chapter houses. While difficult, we strongly recommend that housing corporation/alumni associations consider closing chapter properties especially if their college/university has cancelled for the remainder of the academic year. Responsible social distancing and other factors have contributed to us making this recommendation. While Alpha Delta Phi does not own or manage property nor does the Executive Office have any control of those private properties, we are concerned about the health and well-being of the undergraduate residents - this includes the potential increase of irresponsible alcohol use. With the shortages of cleaning supplies and basic items like toilet paper and Clorox wipes, maintaining a clean environment will also become more difficult. In the past few days, we have seen numerous housing corporations make the decision to close their houses in an abundance of caution.
We recognize that housing corporations and alumni associations may take a more compassionate position but Alpha Delta Phi believes that in order to appropriately engage in social distancing, that chapter houses should close for as long as their host college/university remains closed. The Executive Office is available to discuss these decisions on a case-by-case basis and assist alumni leaders develop plans should they make the decision to close their facilities.
No matter the decision you make, at a minimum, we strongly recommend housing corporations/alumni associations immediately review chapter facility cleaning procedures, including who cleans, what they clean, what they clean with and how often. You may also consider investing in outside professional cleaning services.
Communal meals and food service. We recommend chapters that have communal meals make appropriate changes to move away from buffet style meals. If that is not possible, consider limiting those who serve meals and tightly outline procedures regarding those who can serve food. For those chapters who offer meal plans, consider having extra food on hand since students will be taking classes online and may be around the chapter house more in the daytime hours.
Essential staff travel. Executive Office staff will be limited to travel only for mission-critical items. As the month of March is typically a quieter month for travel we don’t have many obligations. We will evaluate this position at the end of the month.
Executive Office operations. The Executive Office will remain open and operational at this time but out of an abundance of caution, the office team with working remotely. Our members shouldn’t experience a reduction in service. We have had remote staff since 2016 and are fully equipped to run the office remotely.
General liability insurance. We have received numerous questions about if members remain insured if their college/university suspends in-person classes and/or if a housing corporation makes the decisions to close a chapter house. The answer is simple. Yes. Alpha Delta Phi considers all members in good-standing to be covered under the general liability insurance policy. While Alpha Delta Phi does not manage property, the same philosophy would apply in most property insurance policies.
Pledge programs and spring initiations. We highly encourage any chapters not currently at schools on suspension to accelerate their new member periods and initiate their men as soon as possible and report their new members by submitting an initiation application via OmegaFi. If a chapter is at a campus that has suspended face to face classes, Alpha Delta Phi will be elevating those new members to fully initiated members as of Sunday, March 15. Chapters are encouraged to hold the ceremony of initiation at their earliest convenience once it is deemed safe to do so - either later this spring or early in the fall semester.
Chapters should not hold new member events or initiation if their colleges/universities have suspended in-person instruction or if they have banned group events. New members will be billed for the initiation fee via OmegaFi. Alpha Delta Phi understands this is unusual and not the ideal experience for those new members but limiting the liability to the chapter and ensuring your health and safety is our priority. We are aiming to preserve the size of new member classes and the composition of each chapter during this time.
Social events. We realize that the current situation may require a chapter to cancel an upcoming event that involved a business contract. The Executive Office has already been contacted by numerous chapters facing contract issues. Alpha Delta Phi is prepared to assist chapters should they need the help. We encourage chapters to reach out to any venue that you are contracted with and inform them of your situation. If the venue is not willing to work with your chapter, please reach out to the Executive Office so we can have our legal team review the contract.