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Virtual Chapter Resources

The resources below are intended to help you navigate the era of virtual engagement. We hope these resources will contribute to your efforts to maintain a strong sense of connection and energy among your members.

Sisterhood / Brotherhood / Siblinghood

Now more than ever is the time for sorority and fraternity chapters to showcase how good they are at creating connection. How can you continue to create excitement around spending time with each other? Simple activities or gestures go a long way - a video chat call, a Zoom study session, a movie watch-party, or a quick text to check in on a friend all add up to our members feeling supported.

44 Ways to Foster Brotherhood & Sisterhood Virtually (Phired Up)
Hosting Events During COVID-19 (Holmes-Murphy)
Sisterhood Benefits Remain (National Panhellenic Conference)
How to Keep the Members You Recruit: A Guide for Retention and Engagement (Phired Up)
UT Austin Guidance #7: Meetings, Events and Mass Gatherings with Checklist
SFL Thursday Thoughts Recording - Thursday Thoughts Zoom Call Recording: Social Gatherings

Recruitment and Intake

Recruitment and intake are not just about large-scale events, performances, or showcases. Recruitment is about making meaningful connections with other people and letting them get to know your organization, and the great news is that none of that is cancelled! We've culled together several resources related to recruitment and intake below:

Digital recruitment: "What if Recruitment is Cancelled?" (Phired Up)
Generating Visibility for Culturally-Based Fraternities and Sororities (Phired Up)
Fill Your House with High Quality Members in 2020
What to Say: Text and Social Media Opening Lines (Phired Up)
Hosting Better Informationals (Phired Up)
Interfraternity Council 2020 Recruitment Resources (North American Interfraternity Conference)
SFL Thursday Thoughts Recording - Thursday Thoughts Zoom Call Recording: Recruitment & Intake

Campus Climate & Mental Health

Mental Health Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (Active Minds)
Sleep, Self-Care, and Sharing a Productive, Healthy Indoor Environment: Everything Students Need to Know about Mental Health during COVID-19

Student Chat: Student-Led Mental Health Advocacy in an Era of Physical Distancing

Communicating in Quarantine: Tips to Encourage Mental Wellness in Close Quarters

Dr. Gordon's Racial Geography Tour of UT Austin
SFL Thursday Thoughts Recording - Thursday Thoughts Zoom Call Recording: Campus Climate

General Chapter Operations

We encourage all of our chapters to continue to operate – it will look different, no doubt – but it is important that our groups continue to foster connection. Continue to host virtual chapter meetings throughout this time to have the chapter connect with each other. Human connection is why you joined! It is important that you continue to encourage positive connection through strong chapter meetings and programming. Activate your creativity and keep in mind, that sometimes less may be more – think about the purpose and be intentional. Check out this resource with some tips: Virtual Meeting Tips (Phired Up).

Community Service and Philanthropy
Do the causes and organizations your chapter has supported in the past still resonate with members? Is there interest or opportunity to expand or shift the focus of your service and philanthropic efforts right now? How can our core values of service to others be expanded to explicitly include the ideas of good citizenship, stewardship of public health, and civic engagement?

Academic Support
First and foremost, it is important to be empathetic, flexible, and supportive with members regarding their academics. A few things to consider:

  • How can you provide resources and opportunities for members to support one another? Can you create tutoring or mentoring opportunities for members within fields of study?
  • Can you take this opportunity to assess your GPA requirements and expectations – are they realistic right now? How might pass/fail impact your expectations?

Below are a handful of academic resources to be shared with your membership:

SFL Thursday Thoughts Recording - Thursday Thoughts Zoom Call Recording: Virtual Chapter Operations

Facilities

Contract Language or Addendums
Sample Membership Agreement Addendum (MJ Sorority)
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Impact on Contracts (Holmes Murphy)
Important Terms for Housing Agreements (MJ Sorority)
Free Legal Advice from Fraternal Law Partners

Cleaning and Sanitization Guidelines
6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use (Environmental Protection Agency)
Cintas Disinfectant and Sanitizer Sprayer Combo
Cleaning Guidelines for Your Chapter Facilities (MJ Sorority)
CDC Cleaning Guidelines
CDC Guidelines for Shared Housing

Reopening Planning
Opening Your Chapter Facility this Fall (Pennington & Co.)
CDC Guidelines for Shared Housing
What's the Plan? Prepare for Fall Semester (Pennington & Co.)
UT Austin Roommate Guidance

Questions your plan for the Fall should be able to answer:

  • What is our action plan for if someone living in the facility tests positive for COVD-19?
  • What is our schedule for cleaning the facility? Do we need to elevate our cleaning protocols?
  • What is your plan for operating food service? Do you need to modify your service to create a to-go system with minimal contact with the staff?
  • Are there any cost considerations that you need to weigh? If there are reduced services and amenities, do you plan to reduce rent/dues?
  • What is your guest policy? Both for non-members and members who do not live-in?

SFL Thursday Thoughts Recording - Thursday Thoughts Zoom Call Recording: Facilities & Housing

COVID-19 Specific Resources

What to do if you think a member is exposed?
The below guidance is taken from protocol that has been gathered by the City of Austin:
 
If you have a member that suspects or knows they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

  • That chapter member needs to get tested. The best plan for them is to call University Health Services nurse line directly at 512-475-6877 and tell them to report their level of contact with the positive individual. They do have to qualify for a test on campus, however a 1st degree contact would certainly qualify.  There are some details to consider regarding cost that can be found here ("Testing for current COVID-19…")
  • Communicate with anyone they have been in contact with:
    • Using this exposure chart, alert individuals to their possible exposure and then use the chart to help determine what level of monitoring is needed.
      • For anyone who just came into contact with the student, self-monitoring is the best plan – paying attention to their symptoms and noting temperature or any changes in breathing or developing a cough.
    • If a student is tested and diagnosed positive with a test in the City of Austin, they will use their contact tracing questions or process, if the student is tested and diagnosed on campus, then UT staff will follow up with them.
  • We are here to support for all students – if we know who these students are, our staff with University Health Services will reach out to establish that they have what they need or that they are assessing their situations as best they can.  UHS can assist in making isolation arrangements should they need it or talk though options as they are making their plans to monitor, quarantine, or self-isolate.
    • SFL staff can serve as a liaison if that is easiest, or calling into University Health Services directly is also a great plan.
  • Student Emergency Services is also a support office on campus for students should there be further support needed or desired.
    • SES staff can help with any missed classes due to illness, arrangements for support with food delivery from the UT Outpost, or general counsel if there are other associated worries or concerns.
  • Attached is information about the Austin-Travis County Isolation Facility that is also an option for students or residents of the city.  You can make these arrangements separate from the university, or we will assist if this is the best plan for a student that needs to isolate.

Where do I go for testing for COVID-19 or antibody?
UHS can provide COVID-19 testing (nasal swab) to determine whether a person is currently infected with the virus. UHS can also provide COVID-19 antibody testing (blood test) to help determine if a person has already been infected with COVID-19. UHS does NOT have the capacity to perform "rapid" or "point of care" testing for COVID-19.
Charges apply for both tests and depend upon whether you have insurance and whether it is accepted by Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL), the lab that runs tests on samples collected at UHS.

For more information about the testing process, please visit https://healthyhorns.utexas.edu/coronavirus.html

What do I do if a member tests positive?
First and foremost, reach out to the student to check-in. See how they are feeling, and if needed, work together to come up with a plan moving forward.

If you have interacted with your chapter members, due to social distancing measures and the use of facial coverings, you would be considered a casual contact and are advised to self-monitor and to continue practicing social distancing. Self-monitor means you should monitor for fever by taking your temperature twice a day and remain alert for new or unexplained:

  • Cough,
  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Chills,
  • Muscle pain,
  • Headache,
  • Sore throat,
  • Loss of taste or smell.

If you develop any of the above symptoms during the self-monitoring period, you should
self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare
provider to determine whether medical evaluation is needed. Students should call the UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877.

Quarantine and self-isolation options?
How to Self-Quarantine

Misc. Resources
Holmes Murphy COVID-19 Resource Center
COVID-19 Planning Resources (North American Interfraternity Conference)
City of Austin Order regarding health guidelines, social gatherings effective through Aug 15:
Alcohol Prevention and COVID-19 Prevention: Challenges and Opportunities for Universities (Higher Education Center)

General Support Resources

  • University Health Services Nurse Advice Line: 512-475-6877 — Staffed 24/7, and provides advice about how to care for an illness or injury at home, and guidance about whether to see a healthcare professional.
  • Counseling and Mental Health Center 24/7 Crisis Line: 512-471-CALL (2255) — Call when you are experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Behavior Concerns and COVID-19 Advice Line (BCCAL): 512-232-5050 - Share a campus behavior concern
  • Student Emergency Services: 512-471-5017
    • Provides a variety of support services for students facing a crisis or emergency: deanofstudents.utexas.edu/emergency
    • Emergency funds
    • Short-term emergency housing accommodations
    • Discreet absence notifications to faculty
    • Services for food insecurity and professional clothing needs
    • Private advocacy and support for Title IX incidents available on request
    • Referrals for appropriate campus and community resources
    • Information regarding course load reductions or full withdrawals
    • Act as primary advocate for students and primary contact for families
  • Counseling and Mental Health Center: 512-471-3515 — Counseling, case management and referral services for UT Austin students: cmhc.utexas.edu
  • University Health Services: 512-471-4955 — Provides medical care, including urgent care, to undergraduate, graduate and professional students: healthyhorns.utexas.edu
  • LiveSafe App:
    • Download via the QR code, Apple or Google Using the QR code at left, download "LiveSafe" from the App Store or Google Play. Register and fill out your profile. Search for & select "University of Texas at Austin- Visitor." When prompted, choose your affiliation. You're set!
    • Share Info with Safety & Security. When you see something suspicious, share that intel with the UT Austin's Safety and Security team.
    • Request Help.
    • Communicate with local emergency services no matter where you are in the world.
    • Tab Navigation: Virtual Walk & Notifications: Virtually walk contacts to their intended destination and know when they have arrived. Access broadcast messages.

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