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Answers to Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions

03.26.2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much confusion in the world, and our membership is not immune to these feelings. Your General Headquarters staff has been working diligently to compile the following list of answers to the most frequently asked questions that we have received from chapter officers, alumni volunteers, and campus partners. The list is non-exhaustive, and we are committed to updating it regularly. If there is any question not answered below, please send it to ghq@phideltatheta.org or direct it to your leadership consultant.

General

Has Phi Delta Theta put out any communication related to COVID-19?

  • Yes! GHQ has been releasing regular statements regarding COVID-19. They can all be found online here.

Is there a list of people to contact at GHQ for specific questions?

  • We have compiled a list of all GHQ & Foundation staff for easy reference if you have a specific question. That can be found here. Your leadership consultant can also direct you in the right direction if you are unsure.

Reporting & Chapter Operations

Will there be more reports to complete for GHQ this semester?

  • There will be one more Chapter Greatness Checklist report this semester, due on April 30. That report can be found here.
  • Also, please make sure that any spring Phikeia are reported as soon as possible. If your chapter held initiation before your school’s COVID-19 break began, please report them as soon as possible as well. This guide will walk you through the steps of reporting.

Will awards submissions still be due by 11:55pm on May 1?

  • Yes! All awards submissions will still be due on May 1. Use the pause of normal chapter operations as a chance to work closely with the chapter’s awards chairman to build a strong application. The Awards Chairman Guide outlines everything your chapter will need to do to be recognized this summer.
  • We’re aware that COVID-19 has resulted in chapters postponing key events for their awards applications. We will be altering awards criteria so that postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 concerns won’t negatively impact a chapter’s application.

What can my chapter’s officers be working on during the COVID-19 break?

  • This break is a great time for your chapter officers to review the resources that are provided on Phi Delta Theta’s website found here. In each of the officer’s folders are position guides, helpful links, tips for maximizing their efforts, and more. It is also a perfect time to begin planning for the future, building out strategic plans, and setting chapter/personal goals.
  • In each officer folder, there is a “10 Things to Focus On as ____” document. These resources do a fantastic job outlining the expectations of each officer while also providing them with new ideas on how to better their position and develop their leadership roles.

Initiation

Are we required to perform the initiation ceremony during our school’s COVID-19 break?

  • No, we are not requiring that you gather to initiate your Phikeias during this break. Many schools have suspended student organizations gathering during this time, and the CDC is recommending not to gather in groups of more than 10.

If we’ve already initiated our spring Phikeias, is there anything else that we need to do?

  • Please make sure you have submitted the initiation report within ten (10) days of the ceremony. It is extremely important that we have accurate rosters during this time. This guide will walk you through the steps of reporting.

Could we do a remote initiation?

  • All initiations must be held in person and cannot be done remotely or through online platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime.

Can we do a summer initiation if our school decides to go online for the rest of the semester?

  • If your school does not have restrictions about student organizations meeting during the summer, this is a possibility. Regardless of when the initiation is held, all CDC and state guidelines should be followed closely. Please communicate with your leadership consultant and to your school’s Office of Fraternity Life before holding a summer initiation.

Finances

Brothers are asking for a refund of dues. Do we have to refund them?

  • This would be a chapter decision and not something that GHQ would ask you to do. As many chapters are seeing their major events being cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, they will have a smaller amount of expenses this semester. If you choose to refund any of your members for their dues, please make sure that that the chapter is keeping enough money on hand to meet financial obligations through the rest of the semester. Please consult with your leadership consultant before making any major decisions.

Do we still need to file our taxes if we aren’t meeting?

  • Depending on when your chapter’s fiscal year ends, your chapter may still need to file taxes. Senior Vice President of Finance Tom Shumate can provide your chapter access to great tax-professional resources, so reach out to him with any questions. If your chapter has lost its tax-exempt status over the years, this is a great opportunity to complete the IRS Form 1024 to apply for reinstatement. Your leadership consultant can help you through that process as well.

Can GHQ help us get our deposits/money back on events that have been cancelled?

  • As the agreements for event rentals were made at the chapter level, GHQ cannot help get deposits or payments back. As these are unique times, many chapters have reported that they were able to get deposits back from venues & catering companies, but it required being proactive and communicating directly with the companies. For other specific questions about events, please contact our Insurance and Safety Coordinator Melanie Clayton.

GHQ Payments

Are we still expected to have a $0 balance to GHQ by April 30?

  • In order to get full points for the Chapter Greatness Checklist and receive the Excellence in GHQ Reporting Award, your chapter will need to end the academic year with a $0 balance to GHQ. All payments to GHQ should have been budgeted for at the beginning of the semester.

Do we have an outstanding balance to GHQ?

  • The quickest way to determine if your chapter has an outstanding balance to GHQ is to contact your leadership consultant. He can provide you with copies of any invoices or a breakdown of any outstanding fees.

How do we make payments to GHQ during this time?

  • Payments can be made just as they would be during normal operations. Checks can be sent to Phi Delta Theta, cc: Debbie Smith, 2 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, OH 45056. Please put your chapter designation in the memo field. If your chapter’s credit card is on file, a payment can be authorized by emailing Debbie Smith. Payments can also be made through the phone by leaving a voicemail for Debbie at 513-523-6345 Ext. 223.

Will there still be interest charged if we have debt to GHQ?

  • If you have previous debt to GHQ, there will still be interest charges applied, unless an approved payment plan states otherwise.

General Convention/Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute

Will the General Convention & the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute be cancelled or postponed?

  • As of today, both the General Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsyvlania in June and the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute in Oxford, Ohio in late July/early August are still scheduled to proceed. If any changes are made, all chapters, alumni volunteers, and university partners will be notified immediately.

By when do our delegates need to be registered?

  • Registrants for both conferences need to be registered by April 30 in order to avoid late fees. Registration information for the General Convention can be found here and registration information for the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute can be found here.

We weren’t able to initiate our Phikeias before the COVID-19 break. Can we still send them to Kleberg?

  • Yes! Phikeias can attend Kleberg, but they will not be allowed to participate in any ritual-centric activities such as the model initiation.

Minimum Standards

Which minimum standards will still be enforced during the COVID-19 break?

  • Many of the minimum standards for chapters can still be upheld during this time, here is a breakdown of how/if they will be affected:
    • GPA – no change in how this will be evaluated.
    • Size – no change in how this will be evaluated.
    • PDT U – Chapters are still expected to have their entire membership complete the online Your Brother’s Keeper bystander module. Use this break to ensure this is done.
    • Phikeia Education – Phikeia are still expected to complete the three online Phikeia Education modules located in PDT U. Use this break to ensure this is done.
    • Ritual – As most chapters are not able to meet in person, minimum standards like weekly chapters with ritual and monthly readings of The Bond will be affected. Take this time to check through your ritual inventory and order any missing equipment from your leadership consultant.
    • Conference Attendance – Chapters are still expected to send the correct number of delegates to General Convention & Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute. See the above section of FAQs regarding the conferences.
    • Event Planning Forms (EPFs) – If your chapter is not able to host events, please do not fill out EPFs for events that aren’t happening. You will not be penalized for missing the six (6) supported mark.

Housing

Are we allowed to live in the chapter house during this time?

  • The answer to this question varies by campus. Please get in touch with your school’s Office of Residence Life and your chapter’s Housing Corporation (if applicable) to learn of any restrictions that your chapter house might have. Any housing related questions can be directed to Director of Housing & Facilities Andrew Laporte.

We have international brothers. Where are they supposed to live now?

  • Most schools provide some sort of international student housing during this time. Please direct those students towards the school’s Office of Residence Life. If your school does not provide temporary housing for international students, this is a great time to practice brotherhood and ensure that all of your members have a safe place to stay during this time of crisis. Offering up a guest room or air mattress or reaching out to local alumni is a good place to start.

Are we expected to pay rent & utilities during this time, even if no one is living in the house?

  • If your chapter house is owned by a Housing Corporation, they would be the one to determine whether or not rent and utilities will be charged during this time. Please reach out to your House Corporation President for more information. Also, any housing related questions can be directed to Director of Housing & Facilities Andrew Laporte.

Philanthropy & Service

We had philanthropy and service events scheduled, can we still proceed?

  • See this email from Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement & Philanthropy Steve Good in regards to how you can continue to achieve your philanthropic and service goals.

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