INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

(410) 799-1224

Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc.

8178 Lark Brown Road - Suite 202

Elkridge, MD 21075

Emergency Line: (410) 530-1913

PhiSigHQ@phisigmasigma.org

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© 2020 by Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc. 

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. 

THE LATEST

Prior Communications & Announcements:


The week of March 30th, priorities will shift to: 

  • Developing a collegiate member survey to identify needs for additional support and resources in navigating the impacts of COVID-19.

  • Connecting and supporting fraternity/sorority advisors and partner campuses. 

  • Promoting the online member development program - Detour.

  • Hosting Zoom Touchbase calls for targeted officer groups. Including creating archon community support groups.

  • Announcing mentor pairs for graduating seniors as a part of the Next 90 Days program.

  • Finalizing and reviewing the final audit of each chapter's financial commitments and exploring the impact on each member's financial responsibilities.

  • Continued coordination of the safe retrieval of belongings from Fraternity facilities.

  • Maintaining proper cleaning and security services for all Fraternity and NHC facilities.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

With great care, we are canceling in-person activities of any size and type hosted by our chapters through Spring 2020 semester. This follows guidance by the CDC that recommends suspending events and activities with 10 or more people for the next eight weeks. As we look to ensure the health and wellness of our members and communities, it would be irresponsible for us to not follow this guidance.

 

Why have we taken this approach? Many host universities have made their decision to encourage students to return home in an effort to drastically reduce the number of people students interact with in-person each day. Any chapter programming that continues is in direct conflict with all efforts to discourage face-to-face contact. 

As global citizens, we have a responsibility to lead and serve in the best interest of our own health and the safety of others. Younger demographics may not be high risk, but could be carriers of the virus and contribute to the spread. Your discipline and dedication to being a part of the solution demonstrates your character and makes us proud to call you a sister. 

CONTINUED CONNECTION

We know that change isn't easy and that feeling overwhelmed is to be expected. We are so thankful to have the support of our sisters in a time like this! More than ever, we need to remain connected to one another. Observing social distancing best practices doesn't mean you have to feel alone. 

While social distancing directives call for the avoidance of face-to-face interactions with others, we do hope you'll establish regular check-ins with your sisters and friends. It is our responsibility as sisters to check on, support and entertain one another – send your sisters a text or schedule a video call.

If you are feeling anxious, confused, frustrated or distressed during this time, please contact your university's counseling or mental health services.

COMMITMENT TO YOU

Rites of passage are important. Ensuring our members are able to thoughtfully mark the beginning and end of their collegiate experiences with the ceremonial and informal reflection offered to all members continues to be a priority. 

New Member Education & Initiation – New member activities have been moved online to further the connections our new members just started to establish. Throughout the month of April, Phi Program Modules will be provided virtually. Chapters who have not completed big/little reveal and other Phinding Connections events may do so virtually.

Because initiation is a once in a lifetime opportunity to commit to a life of membership into the organization we all hold dear, we have postponed all ceremonies until they can be completed in-person with the reverence they deserve. Initiation will be the first priority of all chapters with new members when classes resume during the fall term. 

Seniors – This is not the way we envisioned celebrating the success you have achieved while a member of the chapter and sending you out into the world. We are committed to making the best of it! The executive board and others will work to make sure you are recognized in a special and significant way. 

The majority of our programming offered online is focused on the senior experience and the important transition into your next phase of life. 

CHAPTER ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMMING

We understand this is disappointing news as the chapter has put a lot of hard work into planning these events and was looking forward to them, but at this time the safety, health and wellbeing of our sisters and our communities must be our top priority. 

Composites – Fortunately, we have the opportunity to reschedule any scheduled composite photos for the next available date in the fall and will ensure that everyone from the 2019-2020 chapter is incorporated. For anyone who is graduating or will not be on campus in the fall, we will endeavor to include a prior year’s photo if needed. 

Formal/Date Events/Socials – While canceling social events for this semester is upsetting, Phi Sigma Sigma’s contract team is working with the venue to ensure that rescheduling for the fall is a priority. 

Philanthropy & Fundraisers - If you had previously planned or started a philanthropy or fundraising initiative, the chapter will reschedule or cancel the event. If tickets were sold, we can assist the chapter in offering refunds for anyone who is unable to attend the rescheduled date and requests one. You may continue to use online methods to fundraise or generate awareness for your cause. 

Sisterhoods – The cancelation of in-person sisterhood events while observing social distance directives opens an opportunity to coordinate and participate in online engagement like never before. 

Many of the regular programs and benefits of chapter membership are now online.

CHAPTER FINANCES

Member Finances - We understand you paid or are continuing to pay your outstanding dues as a part of being in this organization. Once an assessment of your chapter’s 2019-2020 expenditures is complete, we will be working with chapter bursars to address how chapter funds will be used to benefit the chapter or refunded to members. More information can be found here. 

 

2019-2020 Chapter Finances – An audit and assessment of your chapter’s accounts and outstanding financial obligations may result in opportunities to provide pro-rated credits, refunds or directed capital investments. It may take several weeks before the full financial impact is clear.

2020-2021 Chapter Budget Approval – Preparations for the 2020-2021 financial year are already well on their way. As always, it is the chapter’s responsibility to work with the Fraternity to estimate expenditures for the upcoming year. The Fraternity prepared chapter budget will be presented to the membership for a vote during the month of April. This will be an exciting opportunity to look forward to the future of your chapter activities and efforts. 

CHAPTER ADMINISTRATION 

Chapter Meetings – In-person chapter meetings have been transitioned into weekly/bi-weekly virtual meetings and emails to keep all members updated on the latest. Each chapter must host at least one virtual meeting to vote on the chapter’s budget for 2020-2021. 

Executive Board & Executive Council - In-person executive board and executive council meetings have been transitioned to a virtual meetings and regular emails. The executive board and executive council have a continued responsibility to carry out alternate virtual programming/announcement where possible. 

 

Standards Board Meetings/Hearings – While away from campus, members are expected to uphold the high standards that you observe year around. Any conversations about individual behaviors that need to be addressed by the standards board will be postponed until the fall, handled informally or directed to the Fraternity

SIGNS, SYMPTOMS & MEMBER TRAVEL

Consult reputable resources provided by the CDC to determine and detect signs illness. 

If a member is diagnosed with COVID-19, have a plan for communicating with HQ immediately at prepare@phisigmasigma.org. Headquarters staff will assist in developing a communication plan for members, advisors and the university. If we are informed about a COVID-19 diagnosis, we will keep the member's identity and personal information confidential to the best of our abilities. 

Because this virus is widespread and originating in other countries, we have created the following guidelines around member travel:

 

  • Phi Sigma Sigma discourages all non-essential overseas travel to countries subject to a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice ("Travel Notice") as identified by the CDC at this time. 

  • Members returning from a Travel Notice country, per the CDC must self-quarantine for 14 days after their return to the U.S. or Canada. 

  • Members who have planned overseas travel before the end of the academic term must report the dates of travel, destination and airline, including flight number and times, to HQ. This includes spring break travel. Please report your travel plans to prepare@phisigmasigma.org.

 

connect & engage 

Your action during the days ahead provide an opportunity to connect and engage in a new and exciting way. Observing social distancing best practices doesn't mean you have to feel alone. 

The programming introduced under the Fraternity's Detour umbrella will be hosted in the Detour and Next 90 Days facebook groups and promoted on Instagram.

CHAPTER HOUSING

At this time we have closed all of our chapter houses as a preventative measure, providing accommodations by request for anyone with extenuating circumstances. We will also be conducting a deep cleaning of all residential facilities.

While we recommend returning home, we understand this might not be possible or in the best interest of all members. If you're concerned about your living situation and being displaced if the residence halls close, please reach out to us for assistance at prepare@phisigmasigma.org.

 

We are here to help!

 
STAFF VISITS - TREK 2020 - MRC INSTITUTES 
Upcoming Fraternity Travel

We are carefully monitoring the situation and will provide you with regular updates as it relates to upcoming Fraternity related travel. Given that the landscape is quickly evolving, we are waiting to book flights until we have more information. Announcements will be made as decisions are made. 

 

Staff Travel - At this time, our staff and volunteers are only being asked to travel for critical coverage and projects. 

 

Summer 2020 Treks - We are unfortunately postponing the Summer 2020 Treks to a later date. Given the fluidity and seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak, this is the best and safest decision for all our trek participants as well as the community we would be serving. The trek will be reschedule for a future date. 

 

Summer MRC Institutes - Registration for the MRC institutes has been postponed until formats and dates can be further adjusted and confirmed.