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Resources for Virtual Chapter Management

Updated as of 3/20/2020

It has become clear that we are in uncertain times, and in many ways, uncharted territory with the required responses that have and will continue to create new realities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As members of the fraternity and sorority community, we are accustomed to change and certainly understand the need to evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of our society. Even with that understanding, I recognize the era we are in is unprecedented and challenging for all of us. To this end, the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life developed a one-stop shop full of resources to help you navigate the era of virtual engagement. We hope the resources below will help you maintain a strong sense of belonging, connection, and passion as you navigate a virtual fraternity and sorority experience.

SISTERHOOD AND BROTHERHOOD

MEETINGS

ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS
GROUP MEETINGS
► Facetime, Android Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangout are all great for one-on-one video calls.
Through Florida State, all students have access to a pro-level Zoom account, which does not have time limits for meetings and allows up to 300 people to be on a call. To access, click “log in with SSO” on the Zoom website, and type in “FSU” for the website. It will redirect you to log in with your FSU credentials.With “zoom bombing” becoming a challenge during virtual meetings, the following tips should help keep your meeting secure:
 Make sure to use your Florida State Zoom account for the meeting, and ask all participants to do so as well.
► Assign a co-host during the meeting to manage the waiting room feature and who can remove outside participants, if necessary.
► Use the registration feature for the meeting – there are both automatic and manual invitation options.
► More tips can be found on the ITS website at https://faq.its.fsu.edu/communications/zoom/what-are-some-ways-i-can-secure-my-zoom-meetings.

MEMBER ENGAGEMENT

Consider how to adapt the ways your members connect to the current circumstances. For instance, you could hold Zoom calls, use an app like Marco Polo so chapter members can stay up to date with each other, or watch Netflix together with the Chrome extension Netflix Party. Phired Up Productions has created a great resource that highlights 44 ways to foster brotherhood/sisterhood virtually.

If you have a brotherhood/sisterhood/retention chair or committee, you can utilize them to check in on groups of members in the coming weeks. Consider hosting small virtual get-togethers. Split the chapter into smaller groups or even by new member class/line. Assign an executive board member to each of the groups and have them host/create programs for each of those groups based on what people are most interested in doing. Check out FSU Virtual Hub and the Active Anywhere page for some great ideas. 

 If you are reminiscing on your time at the Strozier Library, consider hosting virtual study sessions or have a standing open Zoom room specifically catered to study sessions. This will give you that great feeling of being in the library and encourage you to look at your books more than your timeline. 

 Pair each member of the chapter together with someone they do not have a great opportunity to connect with throughout the year. Encourage them to connect at least once within the week either via phone or a video call. Check out this randomizer to make your life a little easier when randomizing parings or small groups. Rotate groups around every few weeks or so. This would be especially great for newer members the chapter may not know as well yet. 

If your chapter had new members this semester, think about how you can intentionally reach out to them during this time. Excitement is often high after initiation, and you don’t want them to feel lost. Get them engaged with some virtual committees early on. See if there are any of them that want to continue to lead engagement for their new member class throughout this virtual period. Encourage them to utilize some of the same resources the chapter leadership is using to maintain chapter engagement. 

Check in with your brothers/sisters to make sure they have the resources they need in this time. Refer them to Tyler Shannon with Case Management Services, at tdshannon@fsu.edu and 850-644-9561 if they are having any issues with access to reliable internet, safe housing, experiencing food insecurity, or need to self-quarantine.

COMMUNICATION

COMMUNICATION SOFTWARE

► Work with your advisor(s), headquarters or regional team, council advisor, and/or chapter coach when appropriate to ensure that official updates and communication are vetted and appropriate. Advisors are included on all communication and are great resources to help you manage the chapter. 

Consider free software that can help manage segmented communication. For example, Mailchimp can help you create specific communication to various groups (parents/families, chapter members, executive board members, advisors, etc.). Their free version allows you to create email templates and see who has opened your email and even clicked on the links you are providing. 

 If you want to create graphically stimulating content, Canva.com or even Gimp.org feature free graphic design software with templates to create your next masterpiece to share through social media. If you are looking to use Adobe Creative software and do not currently have a subscription, the myFSUVlab will provide you with access to the software you need. If you would like to pick up a new skill or do not know where to start when considering best practices in communication check out LinkedIn Learning

Through Florida State, all students have access to a pro-level Zoom account, which does not have time limits for meetings and allows up to 300 people to be on a call. To access, click “log in with SSO” on the Zoom website, and type in “FSU” for the website. It will redirect you to log in with your FSU credentials. With “zoom bombing” becoming a challenge during virtual meetings, the following tips should help keep your meeting secure:
 Make sure to use your Florida State Zoom account for the meeting, and ask all participants to do so as well.
► Assign a co-host during the meeting to manage the waiting room feature and who can remove outside participants, if necessary.
► Use the registration feature for the meeting – there are both automatic and manual invitation options.
► More tips can be found on the ITS website at https://faq.its.fsu.edu/communications/zoom/what-are-some-ways-i-can-secure-my-zoom-meetings.

Adobe and IBM are allowing students to have free temporary access to their applications (adobe creative suite and SPSS). Go to this FSU News article for more information.

COMMUNICATION PRACTICES

It’s okay to say that you don’t know an answer or that the update does not address any concern - this is better than communicating information that you then have to rescind.

Use preexisting forms of chapter communication (GroupMe, Facebook, email, Omega One, etc.) whenever possible to make the communication as seamless as possible. 

OPERATIONS

CHAPTER OFFICERS

The chapter's executive board should continue to meet regularly via Zoom or other video conferencing software. Chapters are encouraged to establish a set time that works around every officer's schedule and make sure everyone attends from week to week. Utilize other communication platforms in between video meetings. 

Chapters should continue to engage chapter advisors in day to day chapter operations. Include advisors in the Zoom meetings with the rest of the executive board.

Chapter presidents are encouraged to meet with each executive board officer to discuss plan for completing position duties virtually for this semester while planning for upcoming semesters.

If any chapter officers will transition during spring 2020, consider modifying transition documents or creating transition documents for future officers. Contemplate hosting several virtual transition meetings themed to several aspects of chapter management (i.e. finances, marketing & communication, member engagement, etc.).

CHAPTER MANAGEMENT

► Keep up to date with your national organization’s expectations of the chapter. These may be shifting rapidly, but be sure to keep your chapter in good standing. 

► Consider hosting virtual chapter meetings throughout this time to have the chapter connect with each other. Remember all of us joined our chapters for human connection. It is even more important in this time to continue to encourage positive connection through strong chapter meetings/programming. 

► Should the chapter need to conduct a vote for business, consider compiling the information to be voted on and send to all voting members prior to the vote being conducted. Give members ample time to review the information you are sending over, preferably longer than 48 - 72 hours. Your chapter constitution & bylaws might already have a "reading" or "reviewing" period before votes or constitutional amendments can take place. Make sure to review those and stick to those even throughout this virtual period. You should ratify these votes at your next in-person chapter meeting in the fall. If you need to hold chapter elections during this time and do not have an electronic voting method, contact soi@fsu.edu for help in setting one up through Nole Central. 

►  Recruitment/ Rush/ Intake are currently scheduled to occur in-person. Chapters should continue to hold their planning meetings to prepare for new members in fall of 2020. Use this time to clean up your processes and hone in on the skills necessary for your chapter to have a successful recruitment period. Consider using Zoom to host recruitment training programs with your chapter. Check out this LinkedIn Learning session to learn how to design great training programs.

►  Update all chapter websites and social media platforms to reflect the current chapter life. Incoming students, prospective students, and family members are looking at your websites and social media platforms to understand whether or not they are interested in joining your organization. Most websites are outdated and present very little information to the prospective member. Consider giving visitors to your website a better idea of what your organization values. Check out this Linked In Learning session to learn top digital marketing skills.

Planning

While major operations - like events and programs - have ceased, you can use this time for planning with your executive board or officer team for the fall semester. Start to lay the foundation for how you will engage the chapter within the first month of in-person instruction. You may have new members then and they may have all experienced this virtual period in various ways. Think about how to engage all these various constituents when you are all back in person.

Think about what are things you always wish you had time to do, but never have the time to do so during the semester. Organizing think tanks, working on transition documents, brainstorming bylaws revisions, and cleaning up chapter files are all things that can now be more feasible.

This is a great time for you to research whether your inter/national organization has an awards process and consider applying for one or all of the awards. Even if you choose not to submit an application for an award, your chapter can learn a lot from reviewing what is considered a great chapter by the standard of your inter/national organization. 

 Your council advisors and chapter coaches continue to be available to assist with chapter needs and goals. The chapter coaches will be reaching out to schedule bi-weekly chapter support calls. In the meantime, please reach out to them to schedule a Zoom call or feel free to contact them during their open office hours.

 Work with your executive board and chapter advisor to sketch out a return plan and priority list when operations resume. Construct your plan to be a day by day format with specific tasks and deadlines rather than specific calendar dates to allow for flexibility while accomplishing the tasks.

WELLNESS

RESOURCES

 Check out the FSU Virtual Hub for up-to-date information about campus services that are available online and even more ways to stay engaged during this virtual period.

 The health and wellness of the FSU community is University Health Services first priority. Services are available for acute care and via telehealth. Visit uhs.fsu.edu/telehealth for more information about Teleheath options and services, including speaking to a nurse, refilling medications, psychiatry appointments, and acute care. 

 The FSU Counseling Center will continue to offer services virtually during this time via Zoom, as well as, around the clock crisis, telephone support via 850-644-TALK (8255). They will also offer daily psychoeducational workshops via Zoom and WellTrack for self-help interactive therapy.

 Headspace is a great app that is offering some fantastic resources throughout this period of COVID-19. For additional resources on how to meditate, visit FSU Campus Recreation.

 Maintain, to the best of your ability, a schedule during the day. Tune into online classes at a table, desk, or outside instead of your bed or a couch to help with concentration and information retention.

 The Food for Thought Pantry remains committed to supplementing students' nutritional needs and preserving food access. To ensure the Pantry can serve as many students as safely as possible until in-person classes resume, the Pantry will be open from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays by appointment only. Students can review relevant policies and sign up for an appointment slot by visiting our website.

 Campus Recreation wants you to find what moves you wherever you are. Staying physically active, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and spending time outdoors in nature are proven ways to stay healthy and happy. Visit their Active Anywhere page or follow @FSUCampusRec on social media for daily challenges, workouts, and more.

 Down Dog is an app that provides yoga workouts at all levels. Down Dog is offering free access to workouts for students and teachers through July 1st when you sign up with your .edu email address. 

ADVISORS

RESOURCES

 Fraternity & Sorority Life partnered up with Phired Up Productions to create an online advisor training course to prepare you for the ever changing role that is the chapter advisor. This course is available to you for free and you can access it here. Just add the course and create your username and password. This course is open to any of your FSU chapter advisors. 

 Students may be feeling anxious, nervous, scared, lost, etc. it is the job of the advisor to be the steadying force for the chapters. This is a chance for all advisors to step in and be that calming force and to support the executive board teams to maintain a "sense of normal" as best advisors can for the students. The advisors should be reaching out to the executive boards to regularly check in and see how they can be helpful. 

 Ensure that you have signed up to receive FSU Alerts at alerts.fsu.edu. This website provides the most up to date information as it relates to CODIV-19. 

 Your council advisors and chapter coaches continue to be available to assist with chapter needs and goals. The chapter coaches will be reaching out to schedule bi-weekly chapter support calls. In the meantime, please reach out to them to schedule a Zoom call or feel free to contact them during their open office hours.

MEETINGS

ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS
GROUP MEETINGS
► Facetime, Android Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangout are all great for one-on-one video calls.
Through Florida State, all students have access to a pro-level Zoom account, which does not have time limits for meetings and allows up to 300 people to be on a call. To access, click “log in with SSO” on the Zoom website, and type in “FSU” for the website. It will redirect you to log in with your FSU credentials.

HOUSING & COMMUNITY LIVING

RESOURCES

 Please continue to monitor alerts.fsu.edu for on-campus residence hall announcements.

 Check out these Disinfection Guidelines for Fraternity and Sorority Life to get your house move-in ready upon everyone's return. 

 Prior to returning to your off-campus apartment, please check to ensure they will be open. Many apartments will have certain requirements and expectations for you to move-out.

 The UPS Store at FSU has some useful services to make your move-out experience more seamless. They have options to store and ship items to help assist you in your move-out. Check them out their website and their brochure. 

As this crisis evolves, we will continue to update this page with additional updates, information, and resources. 
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