Our thoughts are with those affected by COVID-19 (commonly referred to as coronavirus) as governments, universities, and private business take steps to minimize spread of the disease. Because the health and safety of our members is our primary concern, we have provided this information to our chapter leaders and volunteers.
Special COVID-19 Edition
We’d like to take this opportunity to update our collegiate members’ parents on Alpha Delta Pi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you are all aware, the situation is still quite dynamic, and our operations evolve daily in response to new information that impacts our members and host institutions. In case you have not heard, we have created a webpage on our public website that includes updates that have been shared with our collegians, volunteers, staff, and alumnae. This special issue of the Parent Chronicle summarizes the actions Alpha Delta Pi has taken so far and the projects our teams are currently working on related to the disruption of our operations due to COVID-19.
Alpha Delta Pi is committed to providing as much of a sense of normalcy as possible to your daughter during a time when everything seems so uncertain. We know that she is missing out on important educational and social experiences, and we’re working around the clock to lessen that blow in any way we can. We’re encouraged by stories that are emerging of sisters helping sisters find jobs, finish academic projects, and provide emotional support while we all work through this together. The power and beauty of ADPi sisterhood will not be diminished by physical distancing, and we hope your daughter feels loved and supported by Alpha Delta Pi even while away from her campus home.
Dues and Finances
Alpha Delta Pi recognizes that our collegiate members have lost up to two months of their 2019-2020 sorority experience due to the pandemic, and that their individual and family finances may also be taking a hit. From the very beginning of university closures and government directives, our Executive Office finance team and volunteer Chapter Finance Directors have been evaluating options for prorating chapter dues. Because each of our 159 chapters have different income and expense structures, we cannot issue a set-amount directive to those chapters with regard to reimbursements.
We immediately asked chapter officers to evaluate their budgets and report to their Vice Presidents of Finance regarding any unused funds that can go into a pool for a prorated credit or reimbursement to individual accounts. Please understand that it will take time for our officers to negotiate the return of deposits from event venues and vendors and then work with their advisors and Chapter Finance Directors to determine what amount can go into this pool after leaving the chapters with a minimal amount in their bank accounts to fund summer operations and prepare for the fall. This is a priority for us, but it must be a thoughtful and methodical process. It is our goal to have all financial considerations wrapped up before the end of the term.
While our finance teams are evaluating their budgets, we have suspended our financial delinquency procedures through April 15, effectively extending due dates and giving members time to adjust without fear of membership cancellation. Additionally, we have removed all late fees applied since March 13 and have suspended the addition of future late fees through the end of the spring 2020 term.
On March 4, our housing staff drafted a communication to ADPi house corporations and collegiate officers with guidelines for implementing preventative care and working with local authorities as well as external resources for American and Canadian health and disease prevention organizations. As colleges and universities began taking drastic action to slow the spread of the virus, our houses followed suit. In all instances, our house corporations complied with university, state, and local directives for closing facilities, and they continue to do so at this time.
- Current residency status. Multiple states have now directed residents to “shelter-in-place,” which effectively restricts residents to their location at the time of the directive. After consulting with outside experts, Alpha Delta Pi is strongly recommending that all collegians immediately and electively move to their permanent home or residence. Such movement should be in accordance with university guidelines and policy as currently implemented, as well as within an ability of any state or local directives that may be in place. If the university or government has directed people to stay where they are, your daughter should stay where she is. However, if she has the ability to go home, we strongly recommend she electively move to her permanent home or residence at this time.
- Financial Considerations. Our house corporations are very hard at work evaluating the financial impact of university- or state-mandated housing closures. This process will take a bit of time as they consider employees, external contracts, potential sanitization expenses, and overall budget. Each house corporation is conducting their evaluation independently but in consultation with ADPi housing staff and volunteers, FinLogic (an external housing consulting firm), and local legal counsel (if applicable). Please rest assured that these teams are acting as quickly as possible and with the best intentions for your daughters in mind as they determine what may be refundable without severely impacting the corporation’s ability to function. As Alpha Delta Pi chapter facilities house close to 4000 members across the country, please know that we expect our local house corporations should have information coming to your daughter near the end of this term.
- Move-Out Status. House corporations are in contact with university officials and will communicate directly with the collegians to let them know when it has been deemed safe to retrieve personal belongings from ADPi houses. We understand that this is a frustrating situation, but we must comply with all university and state directives—even when they change from day to day. Your daughter’s house corporation will be in immediate contact with her regarding any opportunity to get back into the house, and rest assured, your daughter’s possessions remain safe in our facilities.
At the time of this message, only three campuses with ADPi chapters have not yet made final decisions about on-campus vs. remote classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 term. What this means is our chapters will not be able to hold their in-person meetings, social and sisterhood events, leadership programs, philanthropy fundraisers, and other campus activities. Alpha Delta Pi staff and volunteers have mobilized to offer options for online meetings and to modify expectations for reporting and deadlines.
- Our Leadership Consultants came off the road in early March and have been conducting virtual visits with chapters to help them navigate remote operations and plan for the future.
- Staff and volunteers have been working on resources to allow chapters to hold virtual meetings to conduct vital business or just to engage with each other from far away. We’ve increased our number of Zoom conference lines to accommodate these needs.
- Due dates for reports and award applications have been postponed (and in some cases eliminated), and International Officers are considering each collegiate officer’s personal situation when looking at these items. Chapters will not be penalized for late submissions.
- We’re planning to take this opportunity for one-on-one leadership development with our collegiate chapter officers as they operate through the crisis and plan for the future when our operations return to normal.
We want our women to focus first on their academic success as they settle into university-mandated remote learning. Alpha Delta Pi’s Academic Enhancement Directors have developed a guide to resources, tips, and tricks for online learning and will be sharing it with our collegiate sisters early next week.
Virtual Engagement Opportunities
How we do sorority right now may look different, but our why hasn’t changed. Alpha Delta Pi is committed to providing opportunities for members to engage and resources to adjust to our temporary “new normal.” While we can’t be physically together, technology allows us to connect and build community in virtual spaces. We have provided resources and experiences for sisters to engage with and implement in their chapters, alumnae associations, and communities. Your daughter can find more information about virtual sisterhood opportunities and these resources in Pride Online, our members-only section of the website. We’ll also be providing direct links to all collegians.
Alpha Delta Pi’s Education and Programming staff have accelerated the rollout of the Be the First Webinar Series, a new virtual learning opportunity that has been in the works for a fall/winter introduction. This series provides space for members to put themselves first and develop in a variety of ways. Each webinar will be facilitated by a different speaker who will lead a conversation to help attendees learn something new, develop and enhance their skills, connect with sisters, and grow through virtual community.
In April we will begin hosting nationally recognized presenters; our first presenter is James Robilotta, author of Leading Imperfectly: The Value of Being Authentic for Leaders, Professionals, and Human Beings. We will be sending sign-up information to all collegiate and alumnae members in the coming days and are excited to engage with our members in this way.
Executive Office Update
Effective March 16, all Executive Office staff moved to a work-from-home status. On March 23, the city of Atlanta ordered a 14-day stay-at-home order, and remote work has been extended until at least April 6. Business has been carrying on as usual, and all staff are working regular hours. Planned meetings and conference calls are taking place, and staff are able to receive voicemail messages and return them per our standard response time (within two business days).
We do not have any large meetings or gatherings involving collegiate members planned for this summer. As this is a non-convention year, only International Officers planned to meet in Minneapolis this July for strategizing and planning for the future. Grand Council and Executive Office leadership are monitoring travel restrictions and recommendations and will make a decision regarding this meeting in the coming weeks based on the advice and guidelines of United States and Canadian health professionals.
For Those Who Love To Read
Here are a few resources for parents who might like to keep up with the news from higher education and Greek Life professionals.
- Inside Higher Ed is tracking how higher education institutions and related entities are responding to COVID-19. Their site includes news about specific institutions, professional organizations, and legislative updates.
- The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is the governing body for all 26 inter/national sororities. They are maintaining a webpage with general and sorority-specific resources for members.
- The American College Health Association is a resource for campus professionals and students with regard to student health and wellness. Their COVID-19 webpage includes FAQs and recorded webinars on related topics.
Our landscape has rapidly changed in a short amount of time. International Officers, staff, advisors, and chapters have been working hard to support the transition in operations and we want to start by saying THANK YOU! How we do sorority right now may look different, but our why hasn’t changed. Alpha Delta Pi is committed to providing opportunities for members to engage and resources to adjust to our temporary “new normal.” Here is a list of guidance, resources, and virtual experiences available to members.
Guidance for Operations and Engagement
As most campuses have transitioned to virtual learning for the remainder of the academic term, Alpha Delta Pi has adjusted requirements for operations and is offering guidance for chapters and associations to use in the interim. Chapter and association officers, advisors, and International Officers should review these resources to ensure awareness of adjustments to procedures. The following resources are available to members on Pride Online:
- Virtual Chapter Operations includes information on essential operations as campuses move to a virtual setting and ideas for engaging with members.
- Alumnae Association Operations includes information on operations and suggestions for virtual engagement.
- Volunteer Resources includes tips and strategies for volunteers to support virtual operations.
A communication will be sent to chapter officers with this information later this evening.
Virtual Tools and Engagement
While we can’t be physically together, technology allows us to connect and build community in virtual spaces. The following resources and experiences are available for sisters to engage with and implement in your chapters, associations, and communities.
- The A Sisterhood from Coast to Coast webpage provides an overview of resources and upcoming virtual sisterhood events for members.
- The Virtual Tools and Strategies resource provides information on tools available through ADPi, like Zoom and Basecamp, as well as other technology, connectivity resources, and online instruction tips.
- Building Community in Virtual Spaces offers resources and ideas for wellness and self-care, connecting with others, and virtual event ideas.
Be the First Webinar Series
Alpha Delta Pi is excited to launch the Be the First Webinar Series. This series provides space to put yourself first and develop YOU in a variety of ways. Each webinar will be facilitated by a different speaker who will lead a conversation to help you learn something new, develop and enhance your skills, connect with sisters, and grow through virtual community.
The first webinar, Living Imperfectly: The Value of Being Authentic for Leadership, Professionals, and Human Beings, will be led by professional speaker, coach, and author James Robilotta on Thursday, April 2 at 1 pm ET.
More information on upcoming webinars can be found on the Be the First Webinar Series page or in the Pride Online Calendar. For this initial launch, we will be sharing communications in The Chronicle and Collegiate Chronicle first to offer an opportunity to prioritize access to these webinars for collegians and volunteers as capacity is limited to 500. Communications will be shared out to members in the Alumnae Facebook Group after these initial communications have been sent. You are welcome to share this information through your channels starting Tuesday, March 31. Thank you for helping us through this communication plan!
Chapter Response Guidelines
The chapter response guidelines document, which was shared on Thursday, March 12, has been updated. Updates include recommendations for house corporations when following college/university guidelines and responses in the Q&A section in regard to chapter finances and reducing the spread of the virus.
The number of campus closures and/or movements to virtual learning is ever increasing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Recruitment and Marketing Directors (RMDs) recognize the need for our chapters to have clear guidance on how to conclude this semester and prepare for our upcoming recruitment season in the fall.
Below is a list of the recruitment areas impacted with campus closures and our team’s recommendations on how to proceed. RMDs recognize that each chapter, campus, and situation is slightly different and there will inevitably be exceptions. Overall, these are our suggested best practices.
Continuous Open Recruitment
Chapters are encouraged to cease all COR efforts until further notice.
We understand this may result in your chapter not reaching total for the semester, which could affect awards. This will be taken into account, and further communication will follow.
Please revisit your Fall 2020 COR plans and make necessary adjustments to ensure total can be reached.
Chapters should follow their campus policies on group gatherings. This may mean you will not be able to complete scheduled workshops. Content that will be missed this semester should be incorporated into an alternate workshop.
Consider hosting workshops in a variety of methods:
Zoom Trainings – All officers have access to schedule and host a Zoom webinar for free by using Alpha Delta Pi’s Zoom account. Click HERE to schedule and learn more about Zoom webinars.
Examples of appropriate Zoom workshop topics – Conversation Workshops, New Delta Workshop, Needs Assessment
Examples of inappropriate Zoom workshop topics – MSS (as it contains ritual)
Summer Workshops – Several chapters already use summer workshops to train and bond their chapter members prior to spirit week. If this is something you are interested in, please check your campus recruitment rules to verify if this is an option.
Spirit Week – Adjust your current spirit week schedule to include missed material.
The Total Membership Experience Directors (TMEDs) recently announced that all chapters who currently have Alphas may elect to hold Diamond Days and Initiation during Spirit Week. Please work closely with your fellow chapter officers and advisors to make these adjustments.
Spirit Week may be the first time your chapter gathers again as a whole. Please adjust your Spirit Week to include ample bonding time. This will help with chapter morale, retention, and yield a better recruitment. Collaborate with membership experience officers to ensure the best approach for your chapter.
Total Reset Method
All campuses must vote on the method used to reset total in Fall 2020. Based on the MOI, as long as your campus is in session (even if they’ve gone to virtual learning), your campus Panhellenic may conduct business, either in person or virtually. This includes voting.
Collaborate with your Vice President of Panhellenic Relations to ensure proper procedure is being followed on your campus.
Communicate a clear deadline and acceptable reasons for Spirit Week or primary recruitment excuses.
Keeping an accurate roster as Spirit Week approaches is vital, since we may see fluctuations in membership retention.
Update your websites and social media accounts to communicate the best way to receive Potential Member Recommendations.
Our priority at this moment is ensuring our membership is safe and healthy. Given the fluidity of the situation, members and new members should continue to pay their dues and fees. Our Chapter Finance Directors (CFDs) and Housing Resource Directors (HRDs) are working with Executive Office to determine next steps as the academic term draws to an end. At this time, a single statement cannot be made regarding a proration or refund of fees considering each chapter has unique situations with employees, event contracts, and facilities/campus communities. We ask that chapters and house corporations hold off on issuing or committing to refunds at this time.
Things chapters can do now:
Reach out to your executive chapter officers and assess what their team expenses may be through the end of the fiscal year (7/31/2020).
Schedule a call with your CFD and work through a plan that will keep the chapter in a fiscally sound state.
Financial Delinquency processing for all members, in any stage of the process, will be suspended until April 15.
As we continue to study the situation, we will release updates and guidance as new information becomes available. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work through this uncertain situation for our members. Please continue to reach out if you have additional questions or check the website for updates.
Panhellenic Relations and Organizational Liaisons
The March 24 training webinar will no longer be live-streamed, as we want you to focus on your adjusted class schedules and accommodations. The Panhellenic Relations Directors (PRDs) will still have a webinar for you this month, but it will be recorded and sent to you so that you can watch it on your own time. Since it is an expectation of all Vice Presidents of Panhellenic Relations (VPPRs) to attend the training webinars, you will be asked to email your top three takeaways from the recording to your PRD. Also, if you have questions you’d like to ask about Organizational Liaisons, FSA relations, or other general questions, please submit them here, and we will answer them verbally when we record this month’s training.
Alpha Delta Pi Housing Resource Directors and the International House Corporation are continuing to support house corporations as needed. We ask that house corporation volunteers be on the lookout for additional information in the coming days.
Conducting Remote Meetings and Voting
If a chapter, house corporation, or alumnae association needs to conduct business virtually, this document outlines best practices for remote meetings.
In addition, we have put together this resource for remote voting options.
Leadership Consultant Virtual Visits
The Leadership Consultant (LC) team is working remotely as of Monday, March 16, and will be hosting “Virtual Visits” with chapters beginning as soon as Tuesday, March 17. We have worked to identify new dates for chapters that were scheduled to have LC visits over the next four weeks. We will post the Virtual Visit schedule in the Friday Chronicle for at least the next three weeks.
The LCs will work with the Collegiate Province Directors and Chapter Presidents to determine the needs and goals for these visits and will be available for Zoom calls Monday through Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm in the time zone where the LC is currently living. The LC will share a meeting schedule with the times already adjusted for the chapter if they are in another time zone.
We are suspending Behind Happy Faces and FHSI Choices or Hazing Prevention trainings during this time, as they are best delivered in person. Leadership Consultants can assist with other trainings and workshops remotely.
March 12 Update
We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation since our initial email on Monday afternoon. Starting today, Alpha Delta Pi will be taking further actions to protect our members, both collegiate and volunteers.
Effective immediately the following will take place:
- All staff and volunteer travel is suspended until April 15. At that time, we will reassess.
- All Leadership Consultants will be flying to their hometowns no later than Sunday, March 15.
- Director of Collegiate Services Ginny-Beth Joiner will work with District Teams to assess chapter needs and timelines. Previously scheduled Leadership Consultant visits from now until April 15 will take place virtually, if possible. Individual communications will occur beginning Monday, March 16 to confirm virtual visit schedules.
- In the coming weeks Leadership Consultants will be available for virtual officer meetings and training sessions. In addition, Leadership Consultants will be working on other office related projects.
- Herff Jones will not be shipping badge orders to campuses, for fear of orders being lost or misplaced. Orders will resume when we feel confident chapters will receive them.
Over the past few days, volunteers and staff have been:
- Answering questions from chapters, volunteers, and parents.
- Tracking campuses with ADPi chapters where classes have been moved online or canceled or school has closed.
- Monitoring Leadership Consultant travel.
- Creating resources for chapters guiding best practices regarding COVID-19, members returning from study abroad, and providing links to online resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Sharing resources for house corporations regarding contagious diseases and best practices for ADPi living facilities.
Today, volunteers and staff:
Launched a webpage that we will keep current with information as the COVID-19 situation evolves (chapter officers please share this with your members).
Developed a Chapter Response Guidelines document including information about chapter operations and finance as well as housing.
Posted materials from the Total Membership Experience Director Team regarding questions chapters and volunteers may have around Alpha member classes, sisterhood events, initiation, ritual, etc. for the remainder of the academic year.
- The housing team is supporting house corporations as needed. We ask that house corporation volunteers be on the lookout for additional information in the coming days.
- If your alumnae association is hosting Founders’ Day early this year, please decide whether you should reschedule or cancel your celebration.
- We strongly recommend that members refrain from holding hands or sharing the Alpha Delta Pi handshake during Initiation and/or Founders’ Day events until this season of illness has passed.
Alpha Delta Pi will continue to monitor COVID-19 and provide updates on the newly launched webpage.
Thanks for your partnership as health and safety recommendations continue to evolve. The well-being of our sisters is at the forefront of our minds as we make these decisions.
March 10 Update
As a proactive measure to limit potential exposure to COVID-19, Alpha Delta Pi is asking collegians, volunteers, and staff to evaluate upcoming Alpha Delta Pi travel and events/meetings and make the best decision whether to proceed based on location, event, number of people present, and personal situations. We are continuing to monitor travel closely for our Leadership Consultant staff. Any changes in Leadership Consultant visits will be shared with chapters and volunteers immediately.
We have shared the following information with Chapter Presidents, Directors of Facility Management, Property Management Specialists, All Advisors, All House Corporation Board Officers, International Officers, Executive Office Staff, and Leadership Consultants. This information remains relevant.
Because this virus is widespread and present in many countries outside the US and Canada, the following guidelines around member travel and those members who may be returning from study abroad programs have been created:
- Alpha Delta Pi discourages all non-essential overseas travel to Level 2 or Level 3 countries as identified by the CDC at this time.
- Study abroad members returning from Level 2 or Level 3 identified countries per the CDC must self-quarantine for 14 days after their return to the U.S. or Canada. These members may not quarantine in a chapter facility.
- Study abroad members may return to the chapter facility after a 14-day quarantine, if they are symptom free, their University will allow the member to return to campus, and (if applicable) the Alpha Delta Pi facility is still open.
As COVID-19 has become a heightened concern on campuses all around the country and Canada, most universities have changed or canceled classes/events and closed living facilities. As almost all of our Alpha Delta Pi chapters have been affected by such changes and closures, first and foremost, the chapter is to follow all guidelines and quarantines put in place by the university and state, particularly as they relate to group living. We understand this may result in closure of chapter facilities and foregoing Alpha Delta Pi chapter operations and events/meetings. Any inconvenience is far outweighed by the safety, health, and well-being of our members.
Multiple states have now directed residents to “shelter-in-place,” which effectively restricts them to their location at the time of the directive. After consulting with outside experts, Alpha Delta Pi is strongly recommending that all collegians immediately and electively move to their permanent home or residence. While we are confident that our house corporations have a good handle on the situation, they are not above the law, and should individual governors or mayors impose further movement restrictions, our ability to provide necessary support to residents may be impacted. It should be stated that this directive does not alleviate any financial commitments to your house corporation that you may have.
As always, the health and safety of our members and residents is our primary priority. If you are currently in a situation that prevents you from moving to your permanent home or residence, please contact your house corporation to discuss your options.
If your campus has not closed dorms and your facility is still open, chapter leaders should stay in touch with university health centers to stay on top of any local developments that relate to their campuses and surrounding communities. Chapter leaders should continue to keep advisors and Collegiate Province Directors informed as decisions are being made. For those currently residing in the US, follow the Center for Disease Control website for additional information. For those currently residing in Canada, please utilize the information found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
The following documents have been created to enhance knowledge of these illnesses, learn best practices to keep your facility healthy, and steps to take if a member is ill:
House Corporations are welcome to forward these resources to those living in the chapter house, post the documents in common areas of the facility, and share this information at the next meeting.
It is believed that members—collegians and alumnae—not only in Alpha Delta Pi, but all Greek organizations, are overseas in countries that are closing their borders and find themselves unable to find a way home due to cancelled flights.
The State Department has a Repatriation Task Force that is working around the clock, in conjunction with US Embassies around the world, to return citizens to the United States. Should you know a member who is stranded overseas, the first step is to immediately suggest the member register with the State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/). This way, the United States Government can account for the individual. The Task Force (referenced in the article below) is arranging flights by the hour/day so the sooner an individual completes the registration, the better so she can be accounted for in the planning process.
It is also encouraged that the individual contact American Overseas Citizen Services which may be reached at 888-407-4747 or from overseas at 202-501-4444.