PHI SIGMA SIGMA & COVID-19
Given the landscape is quickly evolving, we will continue to update this page with information and resources to keep you informed about Phi Sigma Sigma operations in response to COVID-19.
Phi Sigma Sigma believes in fostering a Culture of Care within our chapters and communities. To prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our sisters, we have adjusted our COVID-19 protocol to align with the latest expert guidance. Please find Phi Sigma Sigma's updated COVID-19 protocol, below.
We cannot predict the impact of COVID-19 over the coming year and therefore will be reviewing and adjusting our protocols, procedures and guidelines on a regular basis. Please continue to work with your chapter services manager to plan events and activities to prioritize safety and sisterhood.
PROTECTING EACH OTHER
As women of substance, character and influence we recognize our responsibility to foster a community of care. The simple measures to reduce the risk of transmission have not changed and include:
Wearing masks when around others (even if you are vaccinated)
Washing your hands
Limiting close contact with others
Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all state/province, local health and/or public health department, venue and university directives regarding attendance at events and participation in activities associated with the chapter, and Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held.
As part of our Culture of Care, we believe that mask wearing protects you and protects those with whom you interact. Where appropriate, wear a mask.
Rules on masking vary by location and are changing as the pandemic evolves. Phi Sigma Sigma members, volunteers, staff and guests, are required to follow all state/province, local health and/or public health department and university directives regarding mask requirements. Additionally, Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by any vendors or venues associated with chapter activities or events.
If masks are not required at an event, Phi Sigma Sigma requests that you consider what makes sense to keep people as safe as possible. If you will potentially be interacting with vulnerable populations, consider wearing a mask even if it is not formally required.
Outdoor settings have a lower rate of transmission and allow for more social distancing. Therefore, you generally do not need to wear a mask when outdoors. However, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Phi Sigma Sigma highly recommends wearing masks outdoors when social distance cannot be maintained. This includes bid day, football games, etc.
At this time, masks are not mandatory for day-to-day life in Phi Sigma Sigma facilities. Chapters are required to wear masks during recruitment activities conducted in the chapter facility and at any trainings conducted in the chapter facility by a member of Phi Sigma Sigma staff or other outside presenters. Chapters may consider a mask requirement for other events where high risk community members are present such as Parents’ Day.
Phi Sigma Sigma facilities are not to be used as an isolation or quarantine space. All residents are required to submit a personal isolation/quarantine plan in case they show symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
STAFF SAFETY PROTOCOLS
As Phi Sigma Sigma staff members are not a part of the campus communities they are visiting, staff members will continue to wear masks when attending chapter events or meeting with chapter members in an indoor environment. To prioritize everyone’s safety, all chapter members will be asked to also wear a mask when meeting with a staff member or volunteer, regardless of vaccination status.
MANAGING POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES
Should an advisor or a leader of the chapter become aware of a member who has tested positive, follow the university's protocol for isolating. Sisters who have been in contact with her should follow the university's protocol for quarantining.
You ISOLATE after a positive test. The isolation period is 10 calendar days from the positive test. You QUARANTINE after a known exposure or close contact with a person who has COVID-19. The quarantine period is 14 calendar days after the last known exposure.
Sisters affected will likely feel overwhelmed and scared. It is important that we continue to support them. We advise virtual check-ins on Zoom, coordinating meal delivery, etc. Chapter services managers will help you to create a support plan.
The archon should document any known positive cases on the Phi Sigma Sigma website. Each individual member who tests positive should follow state/province, local health and/or public health department and university directives to report cases as required.
HEALTH & SAFETY EXPECTATIONS
All members and new members are provided and asked to acknowledge the following expectations and can be held accountable by the chapter or the Fraternity:
I acknowledge that Phi Sigma Sigma recommends adherence to the guidelines provided by the CDC.
I acknowledge that Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all state/province, local health and/or public health department, and university directives regarding attendance at events and participation in activities associated with the chapter, and that Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held.
I agree to wear a mask and/or maintain social distancing in accordance with state/province, local health and/or public health department, and/or university directives, as well as with directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held.
If Phi Sigma Sigma maintains a housing facility and/or any other type of chapter occupied space (collectively “facility”) at the university I am attending:
I will adhere to rules and procedures regarding food service, sleeping quarters, hosting of guests, including non-resident members, scheduling of study spaces, use of masks and social distancing in communal living areas and other stated expectations in order to keep myself and my sisters safe.
I will respect the health concerns of the house director, facility staff and other members in my interactions with them.
I understand that while precautions to clean the facility and provide procedures to assist with social distancing will be taken, it will be up to me, any permitted guests and other residents of the property to limit outside exposure and to follow guidelines suggested to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
I understand that by electing to live in, visit or enter the facility, I am agreeing to release the Fraternity, local house corporation, the NHC, and any other individual volunteer, advisor, employee or board member from liability associated with the risks inherent in a communal environment, including transmission of COVID-19 or any illness or injury associated with COVID-19.
Alcohol/Drug PolicyPhi Sigma Sigma is a dynamic sisterhood that focuses on the personal development of each sister by fostering a commitment to lifelong learning, leadership through service, and strong social standards to promote the advancement of womanhood. Phi Sigma Sigma believes in order to maintain a dynamic sisterhood with strong social standards it is important to provide a framework for our members including a healthy and realistic approach to alcohol consumption. In order to do so, Phi Sigma Sigma seeks to ensure members develop responsible habits and behaviors that support a healthy and well-balanced life. Specifically: • Phi Sigma Sigma expects all members to follow local, state, and federal laws, as well as university policies. • Phi Sigma Sigma fosters a culture of care to promote personal responsibility and accountability. • Phi Sigma Sigma engages our members through proactive life-skills programming to promote responsible and healthy behavior.
Anti-Hazing PolicyHazing is against the law; therefore, all forms of hazing are prohibited. Hazing is defined as any action taken or situation created, with or without consent, intentionally or unintentionally, whether on or off Fraternity premises, that endangers the life or safety of a member or has the potential to cause bodily injury, that produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations include creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shocks; wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and jokes; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; late night sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; and any other activities that are not consistent with the regulations and policies of the educational institution. Phi Sigma Sigma believes in member development – not hazing. The objective of member development is to develop a dynamic sisterhood. Member development should promote interest in Phi Sigma Sigma and be positive, informative and enjoyable. Member development should embody the principles of our ritual and virtues. All member activities should accomplish one or more of the following goals: • Help members become better acquainted with each other. • Help members learn about life, the university, community, the chapter and self. • Help members to learn about Phi Sigma Sigma, its virtues, ritual and traditions. • Help members involve themselves in the work and success of the chapter. • Help members learn about group interaction. • Help members further develop leadership skills and accountability. It is a responsibility of all members to report any hazing incidents to Phi Sigma Sigma Headquarters.
Human Dignity PolicyPhi Sigma Sigma supports the statement on human dignity and sexual harassment endorsed by the National Panhellenic Conference member groups, “that college women should have a positive influence in the direction and achievements of the university community and that activities should promote self-worth, human dignity and a positive Greek image.” The dignity of the individual is a basic element of a civilized society. Individual self-worth is a necessary factor in establishing healthy relationship. All activities, including acts of hazing, activities based in a negative manner on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability and competitive games that are destructive, demeaning or abusive, promote a negative image of the Greek community. Participation in such activities that are demeaning to the individual do not promote a sense of self-worth nor a positive Greek image, and do not reflect the high standards, virtues and ideals maintained by Phi Sigma Sigma. Therefore, Phi Sigma Sigma does not endorse or support activities that are demeaning in nature, do not respect the dignity of the individual, cause disharmony among NPC groups or whose purpose is counterproductive. Further, Phi Sigma Sigma advocates education on the Fraternity and chapter level to promote positive self-esteem.
Overnight PolicyPhi Sigma Sigma and its member chapters are concerned about the welfare and safety of the individual members at overnight social activities. Phi Sigma Sigma supports the National Panhellenic Conference resolution which discourages overnight social activities. Overnight social activities can increase the Fraternity's host liability - on both a chapter and Fraternity level – and could reflect negatively on Phi Sigma Sigma and the Greek community. Phi Sigma Sigma recognizes that not all campuses and college communities present suitable facilities for large groups. Therefore, Phi Sigma Sigma requires that each chapter and colony adhere to the following regarding overnight accommodations: • Make every effort to hold all social functions, except those that are rededication/appreciation activities for members only (e.g., Founders' Day celebration, Leadership Conference or Convention), in the college community area where overnight accommodations are not necessary. • Whenever a social event must be held away from the campus community, the chapter must provide group transportation to and from the social function.
"Little Sisters" and "Little Brothers" Policy"Phi Sigma Sigma holds as one of its highest ideals the advancement of womanhood. Auxiliary groups, organized by fraternal chapters commonly referred to as “Little Sisters” and “Little Brothers,” or the equivalent thereof, are inconsistent with the concept and philosophies of human dignity and self-esteem. Phi Sigma Sigma believes that these groups inhibit the accomplishments of chapters by: •Diverting resources of time, effort and money, which are needed for chapter operations and programming •Distracting chapter members in the performance of essential duties such as membership recruitment and member development The North American Interfraternity Conference, the Fraternity Executives Association and several inter/national fraternities have taken a position against “Little Sister” groups. Therefore, Phi Sigma Sigma believes that auxiliary groups are not a desirable addition to the collegiate chapters of women's and men's fraternities and therefore requires that members and chapters to eliminate participation in such organizations. Further, no Phi Sigma Sigma chapter or colony shall have its own “Little Brother” group or serve as “Little Sisters” to any organization.
Membership Recruitment PolicyExcellence in membership recruitment is a reflection of the high standards and ideals for which Phi Sigma Sigma continuously strives. Such excellence is reflected in the consistent increase in membership up to the chapter's maximum recruitment potential as determined by the Panhellenic/Intersorority Council (ISC), campus, and/or Fraternity. The preservation of the integrity of the recruitment process reflects the basic tenets of the ritual and traditions of Phi Sigma Sigma. Phi Sigma Sigma recognizes and supports the recruitment guidelines set forth by the member groups of the National Panhellenic Conference and the greater Greek world's practices of fairness and ethical conduct. A standard of recruitment excellence is best achieved through common and unified recruitment practices. Therefore, the following practices and policies shall be implemented by Phi Sigma Sigma chapters and colonies: • Each chapter must strive to obtain maximum recruitment potential through the formal/primary recruitment period. If maximum recruitment potential is not attained during the formal/primary recruitment period, the chapter will implement continuous recruitment (CR) until maximum recruitment potential has been attained. • When no Total figure is set by a Panhellenic/ISC or where no Panhellenic/ISC exists, the Fraternity, in conjunction with the membership manager, will set Total based upon the following factors: the number of sisters and/or new members who transfer out of the chapter, graduate and/or are no longer active from the previous year's roster; the size of the other groups on campus; and an appropriate growth factor as determined by the Fraternity. • All voting on prospective members must be conducted by secret ballot. Only sisters who have met a prospective member during membership recruitment may cast a ballot on that prospective member, except final preference list balloting following the preference events(s). • All prospective members who accept a bid must sign a written bid acceptance card. • A legacy is the daughter, sister, niece, aunt, granddaughter or, through marriage, the daughter, sister, niece, or granddaughter of a Phi Sigma Sigma. When a chapter is made aware or is aware of a verified (by the chapter membership recruitment chairman contacting Headquarters) legacy participating in the recruitment process, the legacy must be accorded special consideration as a courtesy to the soror. If the chapter makes the determination not to consider the legacy for membership, that decision must be approved by the executive director or her designee.
Multiculturalist and Diversity Awareness PolicyPhi Sigma Sigma was founded by a group of friends who at the time could not all join the same sorority because of their varying religious faiths. Phi Sigma Sigma maintains a non-sectarian based ritual. Phi Sigma Sigma's constitution, bylaws and policies do not tolerate membership selection based on discrimination. Phi Sigma Sigma is a private membership organization for those who identify as women. Candidates for collegiate membership in the Fraternity shall be fully matriculated in an institution where a chapter is located and shall be selected based upon their meeting the eligibility requirements prescribed in the local and Fraternity constitutions, and according to the rules set forth by the College Panhellenic Association, the host institution, and the National Panhellenic Conference Unanimous Agreements. Therefore, membership in each chapter shall be determined by meeting membership obligations, educational achievement, commitment to our virtues and criteria related to the goals and purpose of the Fraternity. Membership is open to those who identify as a woman without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap, disability, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other classification protected by law or ordinance. Phi Sigma Sigma encourages education on the Fraternity and chapter levels with respect to multiculturalism and diversity awareness and advocates sensitivity to such topics as it relates to daily living situations and fraternity activities. Each Phi Sigma Sigma chapter shall establish a multiculturalism and diversity committee whose purpose it shall be to conduct an on-going program as part of the member development program to develop an understanding and appreciation for cultural and other heritages brought to the group by its membership.
Risk Management PolicyPhi Sigma Sigma is concerned for the well-being of its sisters and their guests, and that concern is best realized by providing safe activities in safe environments. Phi Sigma Sigma recognizes that awareness, education and planning are vital aspects to providing safe activities in safe environments. Therefore, each Phi Sigma Sigma chapter and colony and its members shall: • Abide by all local, state/province and national laws. • Abide by all campus regulations and policies. • Abide by Phi Sigma Sigma's constitution, bylaws and policies specifically those related to risk management (such as the alcohol/drug, anti-hazing and overnight policies). • Cooperate with Fraternity personnel. Further, each Phi Sigma Sigma chapter and colony shall: • Adopt a Safety Commitment Statement. This statement shall demonstrate the chapter's commitment to safety relative to their members and guests. Chapter sisters shall enhance, review, and sign the statement on an annual basis in conjunction with installation of the chapter's executive board members. • Establish a committee to oversee the risk aspects of all chapter activities. • Include risk management education, such as programs on legal liability, financial liability, hazing, sexually transmitted diseases, date rape and eating disorders, as part of its chapter programming at least twice a year.
Policy AcknowledgementEach new member will receive an e-mail at the beginning of her new member period requiring her to review all policies and acknowledge that she will adhere to the policies. Each collegiate member is required to review the Phi Sigma Sigma policies and acknowledge that she will adhere to the policies on an annual basis. All policy violations must be reported to the collegiate chapter's member-at-large and/or membership manager.