Resources For Virtual Chapter Management

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life wants to help you navigate the era of virtual engagement. We hope the resources below will help you maintain a strong sense of scholarship, leadership, service, and brotherhood and sisterhood as you navigate a virtual fraternity and sorority experience. We thank our brothers and sisters at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and at Florida State University for their help and inspiration.

Brotherhood & Sisterhood

One-On-One Meetings

Facetime, Android Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangout are all great for one-on-one video calls.

Communication

Communication Software

Work with your advisors, headquarters or regional team, and/or chapter advisor 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. You can also use many versions of your university Google Drive account for information sharing.

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.

Communication Practices

It’s OK 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 (Facebook, email, 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 Google Hangouts 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 Google Hangout meetings with the rest of the executive board.

Chapter presidents are encouraged to meet with each executive board officer to discuss a 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 online 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 we all joined our chapters for human connection. It is even more important during 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 it 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 and 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, you can set one up through Engage.

Formal recruitment is currently scheduled to occur in-person next semester. Chapters should continue to hold their planning meetings, virtually, 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 WebEx 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, such as 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 continue to be available to assist with chapter needs and goals. Advisors will be reaching out to provide a schedule for virtual office hours via WebEx. In the meantime, please reach out to them to schedule a 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

MU Student Health & Well-Being realizes the shift to a remote learning environment comes with a variety of challenges. You may be having a lot of reactions and feelings, all of which are valid and important. Health & Well-Being is finding new ways to be here for you.

The Student Health Center is open. Please call 573-882-7481 before coming to Student Health Center to schedule an appointment. You may also call with questions about treatment or medication and for 24/7 access to a registered nurse

The Counseling Center is offering remote individual therapy to enrolled Mizzou students. If you are interested in therapy, call 573-882-6601 and leave a message requesting an initial evaluation.

Owing to state licensure laws, the Counseling Center can offer counseling services only to students who reside within the state of Missouri. If you are interested in counseling services but do not live in Missouri, a Counseling Center referral coordinator can help connect you with counseling resources in your state. Crisis and consultation services continue to be available 24/7 by phone at 573-882-6601.

The Wellness Resource Center is online. Please visit Student Health & Well-Being on Engage for a full schedule of online workshops, mindfulness and yoga classes. If you have been referred to BASICS, watch your email for instructions about completing the program remotely. You can email the Wellness Resource Center at mizzouwellness@missouri.edu or phone them at 573-882-4634.

Tiger Pantry is allowed to continue to operate despite the local stay-at-home order. You are all still able to use their services as the order allows for travel to and from food pantries. As of April 1, Tiger Pantry has begun offering curbside pickup and delivery service only. Please see the Tiger Pantry website for details.

MizzouRec wants to continue being the best part of your Mizzou day and your first choice for fun. That’s why MizzouRec has partnered with FitBod to bring you the premium version of the workout app for free. Both bodyweight and weighted workouts available.

Advisors

Resources

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.

Your council advisors continue to be available to assist with chapter/council needs and goals. Chapter advisors have scheduled virtual meetings and/or phone calls with chapter presidents and council exectutive boards. If you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat please reach out to council advisors to schedule a phone call or virtual meeting.

One-On-One Meetings

Facetime, Android Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangout are all great for one-on-one video calls.

Housing And Community Living

Resources

Please continue to monitor MU Alert and your email for the latest information regarding on-campus residence hall announcements.

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.