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Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Next Steps to Keeping Your Chapter Safe

03.11.2020

This web page will stay up-to-date with any additional information that GHQ shares.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from General Headquarters

Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and how it is affecting our members on their respective campuses. Many institutions are moving towards online or remote education, and we have compiled the following guidelines and suggested actions.


Thursday, March 26

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.

See answers to the most frequently asked questions


Friday, March 20

An update to House Corporation members was sent to share best practices for chapter facilities, details about an upcoming webinar, how parent inquiries will be sent along to local House Corporations, and a note about community opportunities during this time.

A webinar will be hosted for all House Corporation volunteers on Monday, March 23 at 7:00PM EDT, please see the link below for more details on this ZOOM webinar.

View the email


Thursday, March 19

This fall, we introduced our Weekly Six email series, a weekly, succinct email to key chapter officers and volunteers, sharing six pieces of important information relevant to that week. We have received great feedback about the series and have decided to use this model for the foreseeable future. Our audience for the email is being increased to all undergraduates, volunteers, and campus partners. We hope the information below and in upcoming weeks will be of value.

View the Weekly Six


Friday, March 13

General Headquarters Support:

In supporting Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to promote social distancing and limit community spread of COVID-19, the Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters has limited it’s in-person staff to only those essential to business activities on a limited basis. The rest of the staff will be working remotely until March 30. All staff can still be reached through a directory by dialing GHQ at 513-523-6345, by email, or social media. All extensions, email addresses, and links to social media accounts can be found here for the Fraternity and here for the Foundation.

General Headquarters is halting all travel for staff and highly encouraging volunteers to transition to remote support for the foreseeable future. We understand that traditional in-person chapter operations may be unable to happen but do want to ensure that you are able to continue to do what you can as a chapter leader moving forward.

Read today’s email sent to chapter leaders about GHQ support


Thursday, March 12

2020 Convention Update

We’re doing our due diligence on Convention and various scenarios, but as of today Convention is scheduled to occur in Pittsburgh in June as planned.

2020 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute

Just like with Convention, we’re doing our due diligence on Kleberg and various scenarios, but as of today Kleberg is scheduled to occur in Oxford July 31 – August 2, 2020 as planned.


Wednesday, March 11

University/Government Guidelines

Each University and/or local municipality will communicate their own set of rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. We ask that you follow those recommendations first and foremost. Our utmost concern is the health and safety of our members and those localized guidelines will have the best interest of the community in mind. If any of our suggested actions contradict a local edict, please defer and execute the local guidelines.

Fraternity House Residential Status

If remote or e-learning has been established at your school, we encourage you to follow your institution’s recommendations during the online learning period. If your school is asking students to return to their primary residences during the time when face-to-face instruction is prohibited, please do so. If your members cannot return to their primary residence, we encourage you to plan to allow them to remain in the chapter house if this is allowable by your school. If students are staying in the chapter house during online learning periods, we highly recommend following the Enhanced Facility Specific Actions contained in the next section of this message. t

Enhanced Facility Specific Actions

  • If the members are still residing in the chapter facility, the House Corporation and members living in the chapter house are highly encouraged to:
  • Make hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipes, and other hygienic supplies readily available to brothers and guests
  • Make antimicrobial hand soap available (if not already)
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitization of common areas, especially bathrooms
    • Under no circumstances should COVID-19 be used as an excuse to assign additional cleaning tasks to new members or Phikeias.
  • Increase HVAC preventive maintenance cycles to ensure filters are cleaned and the system is functioning properly

Gatherings

As mentioned previously, follow any directive from the institution and/or local government as it pertains to the size of gatherings that are allowable. One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to eliminate or limit non-essential social interactions, especially in large group settings.

Initiation and Volunteer Support

Many of our chapters are in the middle or end of the Phikeia Education process. Phi Delta Theta’s General Council has approved the immediate initiation of Phikeias. We encourage chapters, if their local campus guidelines allow for it, to schedule and execute initiation as soon as possible as prescribed within The Ritual. If you have questions about conducting the initiation ceremony within the confines of social distancing, please contact General Headquarters.

Given the growing focus on social distancing from the CDC, we are encouraging Chapter Advisory Boards and Province Presidents to transition to remote support of local chapters.

Virtual Chapter Operations

During this time, in lieu of in-person chapter events, we encourage our chapters and colonies to focus their efforts on the completion of two important Minimum Standards and Chapter Expectations related to our PDT U online learning platform which are due by May 15, 2020:

  • 100 percent of the chapter completes the Your Brother’s Keeper bystander module
  • 100 percent of Phikeias completion of PDT U Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude

Update your chapter’s roster in MyPDT. The health and safety of each member is our utmost priority in this uncertain time. Accurate rosters are vital for us to provide timely communications to all members. Click here for a guide on roster updates.

Additionally, we encourage chapter executive boards to take time to focus on chapter strategic planning by hosting a virtual, executive officer retreat. Use this resource to facilitate a chapter planning strategy session to prepare for summer and fall programs and events.

Phi Delta Theta’s awards application is due May 1. Chapters can work on their application collaboratively at this link. Is your chapter aiming for a Gold Star at Convention? Pages 8 and 9 outline what is needed to receive one.

Review the Chapter Greatness Checklist with your executive committee. Are there any upcoming or outstanding items for the chapter to complete?

Risk Management Policies and Alcohol-Free Housing

In this time of change and instability, General Headquarters wants to reinforce that our policies and procedures are still active and enforceable. If your respective campus has transitioned to a remote or e-learning platform, the daily routine will differ as there are no rigid commitments and the potential of social gatherings outside the normal timeframe can become more prominent. The Chapter Advisory Board and House Corporation should keep a pulse on the situation and address any concerns regarding risk management policies and/or alcohol-free housing policies immediately so that it does not jeopardize chapter status in the future.

If a Chapter Member displays signs of potential illness

Recommendations:

  1. Currently, CDC recommends facilities housing residents follow Interim Guidance for US Institutions of Higher Education to isolate ill persons. Contact your host institution’s health center or state or local health officials for further guidance.
  2. Cleaning and/or disinfecting the chapter facility is best left to professionals.
  3. Regularly check the CDC website for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Study Abroad/Spring Break

If your chapter has members returning from study abroad or spring break trip, specifically from a CDC Level 3-country, they should not return to the chapter facility until completion of the required fourteen-day self-quarantine. For all international travel return or lodging, we encourage chapters to follow the CDC, campus, and local guidelines on self-quarantine or social distancing.

 

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