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Virtual Chapter Management Resources

  • For one on one meetings we recommend using Facetime, Android Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangout are a great way to stay connected.. For group meetings we recommend using slack, zoom, Microsoft teams, Trello, google suites or other platforms like those.
  • 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.
  • If you are reminiscing on your time at the Hodges 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • If you want to create graphically stimulating content, Canva.com features free graphic design software with templates to create your next masterpiece to share through social media. 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.
  • 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,  etc.) whenever possible to make the communication as seamless as possible.

Chapter Officers

  • We encourage chapters executive boards to meet regularly via Zoom or other video conferencing software to maintain continuity of managing business in the organization. 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/appointed HQ officials in day to day chapter operations. Include advisors/appointed HQ officials 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 your chapter coach 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 or identify methods set forth by your headquarters.
  •  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.

Planning

  • While major operations – like events and programs – have ceased its traditional formats (following set guidelines set forth by HQ or the University), 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 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.

  • Check out the UTK Coronavirus page for up-to-date information about campus services that are available online.
  •  The health and wellness of the UTK community is University Health Services first priority. Services are available for acute care.
  • You can apply for the UTK Student Relief Fund if you have any pressing financial needs
  • For anyone seeking counseling during this hard time, please visit the UTK Counseling Center and the 24 hour hot line is available at (865) 974-HELP (4357) as well as 974-HELP .
  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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 UT Alerts. This website provides the most up to date information as it relates to CODIV-19
  • To schedule calls for chapter support, 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

  • OSFL is working to provide information and resources to the independent Housing Corporations on issues pertaining to the on campus houses.
  • Chapter House Residents please connect with your House Directors, and Corporation Leadership in regard to questions specific to your facility.
  • Please continue to monitor UT Alerts for 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.

Citation: “Resources for Virtual Chapter Management”(n.d) Retrieved from https://fsl.fsu.edu/current-members/resources-virtual-chapter-management