Q: How do I access my zoom account?
A: Your executive board should have received an email with your account password. If you are having trouble finding this, please reach out to your CSM.
Q: Should we still be having weekly meetings?
A: There may not be as many updates during these times, so having weekly chapter meetings may not be necessary. We still encourage you to fill in these times with sisterhood events or programming to retain engagement.
POLICIES & EXPECTATIONS
PHI SIGMA SIGMA EXPECTATION RELATED TO COVID-19
HEALTH & SAFETY EXPECTATIONS - All members and new members are provided and asked to acknowledge the Health & Safety Expectations and can be held accountable by the chapter or the Fraternity. Members reviewed these expectations during the membership survey this summer and new members when they claimed their member account.
NHC & PHI SIGMA SIGMA FACILITIES - If Phi Sigma Sigma maintains a housing facility and/or any other type of chapter occupied space (collectively “facility”) there are additional expectations.
The NHC has prepared their protocols with industry experts and modified plans to follow local and state health department guidelines. While we cannot guarantee that our facilities will be COVID-19 free, we are aggressively minimizing risks. Residents must be reminded that taking steps to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 is the shared responsibility of every resident in the facility.
Learn more about our updated housing protocol and how this effects guests, non-resident members, meal plans and individual facility plans on our fall housing webpage.
[Webinar] Follow Us Forward: Dr. Lori Hart What’s the plan? What’s your role in re-opening your residential facility? Dr. Lori Hart provides expert guidance, in line with the CDC and American College Health Association, to help prepare your sisters and housemates to operate safely this fall.
HOW TO FIND YOUR STATE, LOCAL AND CAMPUS GUIDELINES
All chapter members are responsible staying up-to-date on the local directives guiding your actions. Risk managers should be responsible for keeping up with the latest changes and how they may effect the chapter and members.
Tips for keeping up with the latest:
Google Search [your state, city, county, province] + COVID-19 Guidelines
Google Search [your college/university] + COVID-19 Guidelines
Bookmark pages with helpful and up-to-date information, check back often
Find official social media accounts for state, city, county and university departments (Twitter has the most news related)
We suggest you keep your eye on the national news media for announcements and updates across the country pertaining to how college communities are navigating COVID-19 response.
REPORTING & SUPPORTING SISTERS TESTING POSITIVE
Archons 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.
Create a plan for supporting sisters affected. Sisters will likely feel overwhelmed and scared. It is important that we continue to support them and not connect a stigma around testing positive. We advise virtual check-ins on Zoom, coordinating meal delivery, etc. Chapter services managers will help you to create a support plan.
Calmly communicate with sisters and comply with officials. Emotions may be high. It is important that everyone keep perspective. Any hesitation to communicate with people that may have been exposed or any effort to mislead or omit information from contact tracers will impact the health and safety of your peers and the operations of your campus.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can we hold members accountable for not following the expectations? Can they be held accountable for what they do in their own apartment?
A: Yes and yes, see standards board section.
Q: Do members have to tell the archon if they test positive?
A: If they live in a Phi Sigma Sigma facility, yes. Otherwise, they are not required to, but should for the safety of others and so a support plan be put in place. Having help from sisters during this time will be important.
Q: What do we do if the school is accusing our chapter of violating a policy?
Fraternity Dues & Fees – Paid on the Phi Sigma Sigma website
Due in one payment or four payments
No late fees
Credits carried over from Billhighway are applied to the balance
Local Chapter Dues - Suspended for fall 2020
Chapter Fees - Collected only as needed (Panhellenic dues, composite fee, etc.)
Funds will only be collected if it is determined that a program can be held safely.
Approved programming will be presented to the members of the chapter with an assigned dollar amount associated with participating.
Members who wish to participate will pre-pay on a Billhighway collection (Give feature) to cover the cost of the event.
T-Shirt and Apparel Orders - needs to be ordered individually and packaged and shipped individually. Chapters should not do chapter orders without approval or distribute items in-person.
Communicate with the CSM to coordinate ongoing payments (storage, subscriptions, etc.)
Assist chapter chairman in planning events to eliminate costs. For events that might have costs; request and receive approval.
Remind members about their statements and monies owed. There is no need for standards admin meetings at this time.
Fall 2020 Statuses – Phi Sigma Sigma has expanded the use of our membership statuses to promote the retention of our current members, who stand to benefit from sisterhood and belonging now more than ever.
We seek to accommodate members who may not be enrolling at their institution, but plan to return to campus in the future. This opportunity allows women to stay connected and retain their Phi Sig collegiate “identity” while away from campus.
Reporting Roster Number to Campus - Work with your CSM to ensure that your roster number is accurate with the campus. Use the View Chapter Data function on the Phi Sigma Sigma website to access your roster.
MAL Status Responsibilities - Suspended until further notice.
In an effort to ensure a thoughtful, consistent and streamlined customer service experience for members, the status change process will remain an automated experience between the member and the Fraternity for the time being.
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
All chapter meetings, gatherings and events must be held in accordance with state/province, local health and/or public health department and university directives. Should in-person events be permitted by the university, chapters must implement social distancing best practices and mitigate risk wherever possible. Chapter services managers will assist chapters in planning any events.
It is advised that the majority, if not all, chapter events are held virtually. Members will need to get creative and think outside of the confines of a "typical" event when planning the fall calendar. We are here to help brainstorm ideas or help you think through how to adjust a favorite event to fit the virtual format.
[Webinar] Follow Us Forward with Dr. Lori Hart: As we prepare for fall 2020, we are faced with new challenges. Challenges we must meet with great caution and care as our personal responsibility to one another will be tested in a new environment.
[Webinar] Follow Us Forward, Campus Panel: A panel of fraternity/sorority advisors discuss how they'll be preparing their students and fraternity/sorority community for the fall.
Consider the COVID Core Four: vice archon, risk manager, bursar and event chairperson
Submit Your Event For Review
BUDGETING & FUNDING
Events with NO COST:
Netflix party [virtual]
Trivia night [virtual]
Game nights- Scribbl, Codenames, Playingcards.io
Pick-up sporting events
Events with LOW COST:
Socially distant picnic
Crafting activity [virtual]
Cooking class [virtual]
Private workout class [virtual]
Educational speaker [virtual]
Steps to take when an event has a cost to be passed along:
Have a meeting of the COVID Core Four to determine a cost and safety plan
Use the Bill Highway GIVE feature to setup a participant link (reach out to your CSM for more information)
Announce event and collect RSVPs
ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION
Chapters should focus on engagement and track attendance to ensure that members are well. Chapters should NOT track points or use penalties to motivate participation or attendance.
Virtual Accommodation - All chapter business (not sisterhood events) should be virtual and/or have a virtual option to join. Those joining virtually should have an equitable experience and be able to contribute.
PHILANTHROPY & SERVICE
SERVICE, EDUCATION & AWARENESS
We encourage our chapters to focus on acts of service during this time. There are plenty of ways to do this while maintaining social distancing.
Virtual library- Chapter members can record themselves reading their favorite children's books. Unsure what to read? Here are some books that promote diversity and female empowerment:
Collect school supplies for a local school- reach out to the school to see what supplies their students are in need of
Partner with a local school to host a zoom panel about preparing for college, or host a virtual speaker that discusses the importance of saving for college, major selection, filling out FAFSA, scholarships, etc.
It is important to understand that a fundraiser might make community members feel they are unable to participate; however, if your chapter chooses to host a fundraiser here are best practices to follow.
Choosing a cause – there are many organizations and causes to consider. Many chapters are looking to support COVID-19 relief and social justice and reform efforts. Before choosing a cause it is crucial to make sure the charity is not fraudulent and that the funds will actually go toward what it appears to be going to. Research reputable organizations that disclose how the funds will be responsibly allocated. Charitynavigator.org is one resource you can use to check how funds are utilized.
Need help choosing a cause? Here are some ideas:
The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation’s Sapphire Circle Grant – the emergency assistance grant sponsored by the Foundation will be able to ease our sisters’ financial burden due to COVID-19 and provide our sisters with hope during life’s most difficult moments.
Local school monetary donation – does your chapter partner with a local school? Chances are this school is looking for donations in the form of goods or funds.
Raising funds for supplies – there are several acts of service chapters can participate in and the chapter can fundraise for materials to fulfill the acts.
CrowdChange – if choosing the fundraising virtual philanthropy route chapters must be utilizing CrowdChange. Please see the CrowdChange resource document to learn more about the platform as well as setting up and starting your online fundraiser.
A WARNING ABOUT VENMO: collecting money on Venmo may be a risk to members and chapters and is strongly discouraged. Individuals/accounts collecting money may become responsible for income taxes associated with any funds received. You will be personally responsible to the IRS.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your new member education specialist or Harriette Baker at
The SDC Guidebook is provided to each SDC at the beginning of her term. It is to serve as the lesson plan and framework for each aspect of the Phi Program. It is required that SDCs present the content as designed. Any deviations from the program need to be approved in writing by the assigned new member education specialist or Harriette Baker.
Submit Phi Program Plans - You need to submit your plans 24-hours before bid day. There is not a requirement to have a coaching call before bid day. You DO NOT need send any other planning document to your CSM or any other form – unless your campus requires that we approve something.
Weekly Office Hours - Suggested you attend one of the three a week. Your choice at which one you are attending. Used instead of required individual coaching calls.
There are no folders this semester. We have moved everything to our online learning and do not require that you distribute anything to new members in hard copy.
New member pins are included in the new member welcome/bid day box. The ceremony, which has be included in the bid day agenda, has been adapted to remove the actual pinning of the pin.
Chapter documents to provide new members (digitally) - It is suggested that new members have access to the online communication platform that your chapter uses (OurHouse is the new OmegaOne).
Welcome letter - SDC and/or archon
Executive board contact information
New member calendar
Information on new member dues
Chapter constitution (you are getting a new one this month)
New Member Welcome Gift - "Bid Day Box"
You will need to report the new members in the website. They will receive an automated email that will ask them to claim their account. When they claim their account we will ask for their t-shirt size and shipping address. They will also have to pay the first installment ($135) to complete the process. Once they have completed their account their box will be sent to that shipping address. It should arrive within 1-4 days.
Bid Day is a shared responsibility with the MRC. Bid day should be held virtually - eliminating the need for shirts, venue, decor, food/beverages that are typically the responsibility of the MRC. You are no longer responsible for new member gifts, bid cards or new member materials. Bid day gifts will be shipped directly to the new member at their provided shipping address upon registration and payment on the website. You will be focused on the first several relationships that are initiated that day, how they will be celebrated virtually and on-boarded into chapter business.
REMINDER - you will not be getting hard copy bid day cards unless you request them in advance and there are no new member folders. All new member materials are online and being provided via welcome emails from HQ.
Access Phi Program Online - Modules 2-5 - available mid-September
The Online Phi Program does most of the heavy lifting of the meeting for you. New members will complete the online module before you have that week's discussion. Use the email invitation received 9/15 to claim your account. New members will be sent an invite the day after they are added to the Phi Sigma Sigma website.
Virtual SDC Guidebook for Virtual Discussion - Weekly SDC led discussions to supplement the online Phi Program Learning
Module 6 - Pyramid Ceremony - Virtual materials will be provided to you the week leading up to the ceremony.
Initiation - Virtual materials will be provided to you the week leading up to the ceremony.
It is recommended that you use the chapter's Zoom business account. Your archon can provide you the information to log-in.
PHINDING CONNECTIONS & BIG/LITTLE
Now, more than ever, we are looking for new members to make a connection. handful (narrow) of close (deep) connections in the chapter – instead of shallow connections with many many sisters and peers. During the spring we learned that attempting to have new members meet and make connections with more than five members from the pool is counter productive to finding a mentor/big sister in a virtual setting.
Note about Big/Little Gifts: Chapter members are still recovering financially. It is important that you remain committed to eliminating the cost to be a big sister. We have taken all chapter operations and finances down to the absolute minimum. We have this expectation of you too. Being a big sister is not being a gift giver. Be a good person, friend and mentor. It is time we stop putting so much pressure [and glitter art crafts] on this relationship. Its just one of many friends we hope sisters make in the chapter.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I submit my plans if our campus won’t let us gather or book rooms?
All new member programs need to be provided virtually, regardless of local restrictions. Some of your new members might not be living on campus or feel comfortable coming to an in-person gathering. No matter what, you are required to provide a virtual accommodation – therefore it is suggested that the program default to virtual to include everyone.
Since everything is online, can we do our program faster?
YES! We have always preferred a six-week new member period, but in a virtual format momentum is key. Completing the program in 3-4 weeks is accomplishable.
All payments are made on the Phi Sigma Sigma website. Sign-in > My Profile > Pay Invoice
I don’t know if there are any rules or requirements specific to new member education from my school?
ASK! Please make sure you are asking and finding out with enough time to take care of what you need. If the fraternity/sorority advisor doesn’t need anything – great! If they do, feel free to provide them anything you have been provided. It is important you don’t miss any deadline or instructions.
Can I still work with my new member education specialist (Callie, Olivia, Taylor, Kayla)?
Yes, when you fill out the form there is a question that you can indicate that you want to have a traditional coaching call with your specialist. They will reach out to schedule if you indicate that is what you want. Outside of that, we will offer several opportunities each week for you to join “office hours” with the specialist and myself to ask questions and chat with other SDCs to problem solve. As I have mentioned a couple of times, we are all learning and perfecting this virtual process together and this active conversation and group coaching will hopefully lead to the new latest and greatest each week.
My school is not letting us gather for bid day? What are we supposed to do?
Most/all campuses across the country have moved totally virtual for student safety. Phi Sigma Sigma does not support in person bid day; here is why: Murray State, University of Texas, LSU
How and when do I put the new members into the website?
ASAP. It is more important than ever that you make time to “add new members” on the website ON BID DAY. We want to capitalize on the momentum of that day and adding the new members to the website ensures that they have quick access to create their accounts on OurHouse, have their welcome gift sent to them and pay their first invoice.
You will log on to the Phi Sigma Sigma website and use Officers > Add New Members (last on the menu).
If we are virtual and new members aren’t close to campus, how will we give them a bid card/little gifts or initiate them?
We weren’t kidding when we said everything should be virtual. Its why we are doing the auto-shipped bid day/welcome boxes (that are a huge upgrade for many chapters) and just like we did for the spring 2020 new members we have adapted rituals to take place virtually.
We are discouraging administrative meetings of the standards board related to attendance, fines and point systems.
We highly encourage reallocating the time you would spend on academic admin meetings to providing the chapter education and support on virtual learning. The grading and academic performance from members in the spring may not have been representative to our normal grading and reporting (pass/fail classes, incompletes, etc.)
Admin meetings previously held for overdue payment are on hold until you receive further instructions. We will need your assistance on this later in the semester, but many sisters are still financially recovering, and we want to give them time to establish a payment schedule.
What policies are members breaking when they are called in for COVID-19 compliance concerns?
At minimum it is likely that they are in violation of the Fraternity's Risk Management Policy, the Phi Sigma Sigma Constitution (failure to follow policy), Health and Safety Expectations, plus campus policies and local guidelines.
Additionally, there could be violations of housing agreements, chapter constitution - executive board responsibilities.
What do we do if our member(s) are being called in to answer to the university?
Encourage them to be honest and cooperative.
Offer to coordinate or partner to hold them accountable through standards board instead/in addition to.
When did members sign/acknowledge the Phi Sigma Sigma Health & Safety Expectations related to COVID-19?
When members claimed their spot on the roster through the member survey in July/August they were presented the Health & Safety Expectation and agreed to them.
Health & Safety Expectations can be found here. Note: There are three sections, one that dictates Phi Sigma Sigma events being compliant, one that requires members to be compliant in their behavior and one that specifically outlines Phi Sigma Sigma housing expectations.
Can I enforce the expectations and hold members accountable for not being socially distance or having large gatherings of people over? How am I supposed to tell them what they can/can't do in their own home that they pay for?
Policies follow you where ever you are. We are always wearing our letters and we don’t get to pick and choose when we follow/meet standards. Colleges and universities are holding chapters accountable for the behavior of their collective members.
If a member feels this is an overstep or that their actions don't effect the chapter, they don’t have to be members. Members should be expected to be held accountable anywhere and everywhere they are.
Ideas for Potential Conditions:
Suspension of the privilege to:
Attend Socially Distanced Events
Hold a Leadership Role (loss of position or ineligible for next term)