The health and safety of PIKE members, chapters, and volunteers is of critical importance.
The Fraternity understands that many colleges and universities have made decisions regarding current operations and future class experiences. Each day involves new information and will cause each chapter to evaluate how it operates and what precautions to take. Pi Kappa Alpha will persevere as it has for 152 years through financial and social upheaval, world wars, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
If your campus is under a partial or complete shutdown, all chapters and colonies should continue to adhere to university, state, and federal guidance. If an individual within the chapter property is diagnosed with COVID-19 or another illness, follow the recommendations made by your campus immediately.
As this is a fluid situation, the Fraternity will keep this site updated as frequently as possible. If you have additional questions, please contact the Fraternity at firstname.lastname@example.org or a member of the staff.
General Resources and Information:
At this time, it is recommended that all chapters adhere to university, local, state, and federal guidance involving large gatherings for any meeting or event.
For smaller groups including executive council, cabinet, TPE, or recruitment committee meetings, consider Google Hangouts where up to 10 can meet via video. You can meet on demand or schedule through your Google calendar by “adding conferencing.” For larger gatherings, Zoom offers free video conferencing for up to 100 people. Calls are limited to 40 minutes with the free version. There are also numerous free conference call services available.
The outbreak of COVID-19 can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. These feelings are expected and appropriate, and it is just as important to take care of your mental well-being in times such as this. The following resources and tips may help:
While this time will undoubtedly have an impact on chapter operations, the Fraternity encourages chapters and chapter leaders to employ a What Can We Do vs a What Can’t We Do approach. Think proactively about opportunities to get ahead including revising rosters via MyPIKE, have officers / committee chairmen set goals for the summer / fall, review tutorials, read blogs, and establish their notebooks. Host committee retreats, revise by-laws, establish new membership contracts, contact alumni to complete your AAB. There are significant resources to refine and improve your officer operations.
Virtual Chapter Operations:
For information on running virtual executive meetings, virtual chapter meetings, and hosting elections virtually, visit covid19.pikes.org.
Chapter Events (formals):
Follow the recommendations made by your college/university regarding large gatherings and events for student organizations. If your university recommends canceling all in-person meetings/gatherings, chapter-sponsored events such as social events, brotherhood events, and philanthropy events should be considered non-essential. Consult with your chapter advisor and chapter attorney regarding any existing contracts for space and events. Contracts should be reviewed by the booking party (chapter) to review any Force Majeure “act of god” clause or otherwise to mitigate cost, cancel, or postpone. Fraternity staff may be able to assist as well.
The spring semester is usually a busy time for chapters and colonies of Pi Kappa Alpha and their fundraising efforts. Even though most colleges and universities have already moved or are moving to a virtual learning environment for the rest of the semester, it is still possible to host virtual events and fundraise online. To help chapters, CrowdChange is hosting an online session with tips on hosting an effective virtual event or campaign, highlighting other chapters' successful events, and providing creative ideas your chapter can use to replace your existing event. There are three events: March 31, 2-3 p.m. EST, April 2, 7-8 p.m. EST, and April 5, 4-5 p.m. EST. If you miss or are unable to attend the webinars, review the virtual events and online fundraiser ideas guide, and get started at pikes.crowdchange.co.
Chapters that have not yet initiated their new members for the spring 2020 semester should proceed with initiation of all eligible new members as soon as possible - only utilizing necessary roles, initiating each member one at a time, then dismissed. All regalia and other supplies should be cleaned and materials sanitized or replaced before each initiation.
If your host institution has imposed a restriction (prohibition of in-person small or large group gatherings), your chapter should plan to postpone initiation until normal operations resume. Whether your chapter initiates later this semester, during the summer months for those with the geographic ability to do so, or at the beginning of the fall semester; any remaining educational programming for new members can be completed virtually using a service such as Zoom or Google Hangout.
For ease of reporting purposes, the GreekLifeEDU requirement is being temporarily lifted.
Review of the Fraternity’s New Member Education 4-Week Program on the myPIKE Resource Center could also stand in place of facilitated sessions. Additional resources can be found in the Membership Development category on the PIKE Blog.
If you have any questions or need assistance in transitioning to an online-based delivery of your chapter’s new member education, please contact your chapter consultant.
Member Financial Obligations:
The move by many host institutions to virtual classes, temporary cancellation, mandatory or voluntary move-out of university housing, and restrictions on large and small group activities, will impact the operations and planned activities of chapters. Therefore, it is important for chapters to plan for the possible financial impact this will cause.
While a postponement or cancellation of some chapter events may reduce or delay certain expenses, there are other costs associated with a chapter’s operations – and a chapter house – that will continue whether a chapter is operating normally or not. Further, an unexpected delay or cancellation of activities could result in unexpected additional costs. It is important that chapter officers, with the assistance of advisors, consider these financial matters and plan accordingly.
Chapter officers and alumni advisors – working with their respective house corporation, if applicable – should review the budget for the remainder of the term, in a prioritized manner, to first account for fixed operational costs and then for variable expenses.
Fixed operational costs of the chapter may include:
- Dues and fees to the local IFC and college or university
- Fees and assessments to the Fraternity, which include:
- Chapter Assessments & Membership Fees
- Liability Assessments
- Initiation Fees
- Budgeted Convention Expenses
- Other items the chapter may be contractually obligated to pay.
- If applicable, items which are paid in support of the chapter house such as parlor fees.
Plans for the continued payment of fixed operational costs during any period of disruption should be confirmed to maintain essential services, including insurance coverage and utilities.
Alternatively, a chapter’s variable costs may change due to a disruption in regular business operations. Such variable costs are most often related to activities and events, including philanthropic, community service, and social activities and events.
Chapters should maintain their dues structure and the collection of dues during any period of disruption. Only after careful consideration by the chapter officers and alumni advisors should any adjustment be considered to the dues structure, and only to the extent that certain variable costs will no longer be incurred by the chapter due to cancellation.
It is further recommended that this consideration should only be made if all members are paid in full so an equal application could be made. The impact of this shut down may only apply to 25-40% of the remaining term although chapter operational expenses remain. If considered at all, the adjustment should only be applied to the period of time impacted, not the entire term or past due amounts.
Communication to all chapter members regarding these financial plans will be key to ensuring their understanding and will position the chapter to promptly restore full operations as soon as possible.
If your school recommends canceling all in-person meetings/gatherings, consult with your chapter advisor, AAB, and chapter consultant on how to conduct necessary chapter business remotely.
While recruitment may be more difficult during this time of change, it gives chapters a great opportunity to prepare for the upcoming recruitment season. Whether that is the summer or the fall season, it is never too early to prepare. Here are some things your chapter can begin working on.
Chapter Builder: Now that most of our engagements have become virtual, setting up your chapter’s Chapter Builder account is a great first step. Visit our Chapter Builder page to get started.
Recruitment Scholarship: Setting up a recruitment scholarship is a great way to engage with incoming freshman during the summer. If your chapter has been thinking about offering a recruitment scholarship, contact your chapter consultant to see about obtaining our Recruitment Scholarship Program Guide to learn more.
Marketing Resources: Marketing resources, whether it’s recruitment-specific posts on social media or printed materials, are a great tool to use during recruitment. Begin designing resources and creating a strategy for distribution.
Lastly, take this time to brainstorm with your committees and chapter members. Start building your schedule for the upcoming recruitment season, think of new events or strategies, or host a virtual recruitment retreat.
The Fraternity understands that several chapters have yet to receive their consultant visit for the 2019-20 academic year. Chapter Consultants are currently working to develop a meaningful “virtual visit” and will be contacting you shortly to determine how this best fits your needs as a chapter. Please contact your chapter consultant with any questions.
The Fraternity is aware that many chapters are concerned as to how the reduction in operations may impact critical areas which are considered in determining annual awards including service, philanthropy, recruitment, and academics among others.
The Fraternity will be revising the annual awards application process in a way in which this disruption will not penalize chapters in applying for and receiving awards and recognition.
Graduation/Alumni Ceremony (Ritual)
This is an incredibly important and meaningful ceremony in the career of any PIKE undergraduate. If local conditions prevent this ceremony from occurring this spring, select a weekend in the fall to invite recent graduates back to complete the Graduation Ceremony.
Fraternity Resources and Support:
International Officer and staff travel has been temporarily suspended. However, everyone is maintaining regular office hours and remains available to assist via phone, email, or conference capabilities as appropriate.
At this time, registration remains open. The Fraternity will provide additional updates on this front should circumstances change.
Please take this time to review your rosters and make appropriate updates to chapter officers, new members, and initiates. You can do that via the Vault app on MyPIKE.
Fees & Assessments:
Please refer to the Financial Resources Page. Payments to the International Fraternity, including the liability insurance assessment, continue to be owed as planned. The Fraternity will work with chapters and colonies impacted by campus closures. Contact Director of Finance Jared Campbell if you have any questions.
What happens if a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19?
According to health care professionals, a person diagnosed does not necessarily have to be hospitalized, especially younger people. If a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health care provider should prescribe the necessary actions and protocol. At a minimum, that person is likely to be quarantined and it is reasonable to expect the health care professionals would include at least some form of quarantine for the entire facility and its residents. Be sure that the chapter and house corporation receive and follow the direction given by the local officials.
Should our facility be cleaned any differently?
It is recommended that routine cleaning occur more often, but a deep cleaning of your facility with the intent to disinfect is best left to professionals. Hazing is prohibited; as such, cleaning of common areas in a facility should never be an exclusive task for one group of members. Cleaning of common areas should be a shared task of the entire membership.
Should we still host events at the chapter house?
Follow your university and/or state/local government's guidance on gatherings of large groups of people.
What happens if our campus closes or moves to online classes only?
Unless your chapter house or the land beneath it is owned by the university, leases involving the chapter facility should not be impacted if the school chooses to do only online classes and close on-campus housing. Landlords and tenants should be expected to honor their lease obligations. House corporations should consult with their legal counsel if there is any uncertainty on this position.
What about existing leases and tenants?
Refer to the Member Financial Obligations section under CHAPTER OPERATIONS. Landlords and tenants should be expected to honor their lease obligations. House corporations should consult with their legal counsel if there is any uncertainty on this position.
Can we file an insurance claim for COVID-19 related expenses or losses?
The presence or threat of COVID–19 in a chapter facility would not normally be a covered peril in commercial property-casualty insurance. Therefore, do not expect a successful insurance claim for any costs or losses related to proactive or reactive cleaning, or disruption in revenue, caused by COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 impact our meal plan operation?
It has been determined that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through food. Communicate with your kitchen operations team about following the guidelines suggested by the CDC as it pertains to meal preparation. If your kitchen operation is outsourced to a third party, that provider should have already communicated with you about the actions they are taking to continue the delivery of safe meals.
Can my house corporation benefit from the CARES Act?
Learn more about the CARES Act and the provision that may provide loan assistance for house corporations here.
Please consider the above information guidelines and recommendations. Note, however, these are not directives. Each chapter is a separate legal entity, independently operated, and ultimately responsible for making the decisions which it believes are in its best interest.