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Best Practices Library

Virtual Operations

Practices from chapters are grouped by topic.

Individual and Group Meetings Academic Support Brotherhood
Recruitment Elections, Transitions, & Voting Crisis Management

General Fraternity resources and guidance for converting various programs and operations to a virtual setting can be found at the bottom of this page.

Individual and Group Meetings

VO1 - Chapter maintains normal operations through the use of video conferencing. For one-one-one calls, members can take advantage of apps such as FaceTime (iOS), Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. For group meetings, Google offers its users access to Hangouts that can support up to 10 users at a time. For larger groups, Zoom also offers free video conferencing for up to 100 people for 40 minutes and subscription options providing access to more participants and unlimited call time.

Academic Support

VO2 - The chapter created a list of campus resource centers offering virtual services for students. The chapter makes the document available through Google Drive and provides helpful information, such as the services offered and important contact information.

VO3 - The chapter facilitated a goal-setting meeting where individual members set academic goals through the end of the term. Individual goals were then averaged and weighted by the number of credit hours taken to calculate a chapter goal that everyone could work towards achieving.

VO4 - The chapter has set up a check-in schedule for big brothers and little brothers through the remainder of the term. During the check-ins, Bigs/Littles will catch up on how classes and life are going and keep members feeling connected to the chapter while also being held accountable for their academic performance.

VO5 - During weekly virtual chapter meetings the chapter Scholarship Chairman will recognize members for outstanding achievement in their classes such as high grades on exams and projects.

VO6 - The Scholarship Chairman coordinated with the university's academic success center to hold a webinar for the chapter to promote good study habits and adapting to virtual classes.

VO7 - Chapter has created a list of members sorted by major and classes. The list is used to promote tutoring and academic support among members with similar courses of study. Meetings between members or groups take place over video conferencing.

VO8 - During each chapter meeting, the Scholarship Chairman invites members to share any frustrations or challenges they've been experiencing. Brothers are then encouraged to share the best practices they've used to overcome similar situations.

VO9 - Strategies for Successfully Transitioning to an Off-Campus Environment, Online Courses, and Social Distancing

VO10 - Academic Tips for Individual Members Created By Zeta Nu (Montana State) Scholarship Chairman, Dakota Fletcher

Virtual Brotherhood Ideas

VO11 - Several members have created a book club within the chapter to stay connected. The members have chosen a book to read on their own. Discussions of the book are hosted weekly through Google Hangouts.

VO12 - Using the "Netflix Party" browser extension, the chapter has organized watch parties for movies and tv shows across various streaming services.

VO13 - The chapter is continuing it's "Brother of the Week" program. Going forward, a brother is selected and featured each week on the chapter's social media accounts. The post features the member and an update on any special projects or activities the member is doing to pass the time during social distancing.

VO14 - The chapter has created a spreadsheet on Google Drive to collect gamertags and IDs for game consoles. Brothers have used the information to set up chapter tournaments and multi-player co-op.

VO15 - Members have started organizing virtual "lunch dates" using video conferencing to share a meal with friends, virtually.

VO16 - One member has started creating a workout-of-the-day for interested members. The brother posts the workout plan in the chapter's GroupMe each morning. Interested brothers are able to do the workout at home, ideally with bodyweight movements.

VO17 - Chapter hosts a virtual trivia night. Chapter selects an emcee to host. Members can participate as a group or individually. Event is usually paired with brothers being invited to join during dinner or lunch. Winners can receive a small prize or bragging rights. 

Virtual Recruitment

VO18 - Chapter makes calls to all men currently on the Master Prospect List to see how they are doing, how their family is doing, etc. Chapter asks potential new members how virtual classes are going and giving them tips and resources that have given them success in virtual classes.

VO19 - A chapter has invited all their potential new members to a virtual brotherhood event via Zoom, where potential new members can meet active members that are on the video call, giving opportunity to interact with brothers they have yet to meet

VO20 - The Upsilon Upsilon chapters Instagram has a plan to follow incoming or current students from the chapter account. When they follow back that is an invitation to send a personal DM (making clear you’re not a robot) to invite a conversation about your chapter and to set up a phone or Zoom call. Chapter follows hashtags associated with the school, and with the incoming freshman year class such as #Hawks2024 or #GoDawgs

VO21 - Chapter hosts a Zoom interest session that has a PowerPoint about the chapter and what the benefits are of joining, even during a virtual crisis

VO22 - Notable alumni host a speaker panel via Zoom where the Recruitment Committee invite potential new members to join in to here and learn from alumni. Chapter also advertises and posts the webinar series on their social media platform as well as request the IFC Council’s social media to advertise the forum.

VO23 - Chapter creates a new social media platform via Instagram where the account allows incoming freshman to interact with other incoming freshman. The account bio says, “DM us your info to give a spotlight”, where students can dm their information such as hometown, major, GPA, and specific organizations or high school accolades. This builds their MPL list when freshmen men dm the account.

VO24 - Commander, Recruitment Chair, and Chapter Advisor host a virtual parent call to break down any barriers for a parent to be hesitant for their son to join Sigma Nu during this pandemic.

VO25 - Students request the RSVP list of the incoming male students who signed up for the school’s virtual orientation over the summer. They email all males to invite them to a Zoom info session on Sigma Nu and email the females to request referrals of male-students worthy of joining their chapter.

VO26 - Chapter created a virtual house tour to showcase their facility. During the tour chapter featured information on the chapter's history, notable alumni, recent campus recognition, and walkthroughs of important spaces, such as the chapter room, kitchen, outdoor space, study rooms, and example living space. For interested chapters, the Fraternity has created a guidance resource for virtual house tours.

Officer Elections, Transitions, and Voting

VO27 - Before chapter elections take place, nominees on the election slate send in videos of their nomination speeches to the chapter’s Recorder to distribute for the rest of the chapter to access before elections take place.

VO28 - For secret ballot voting, chapter uses polling/surveying software, like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or PollEverywhere to allow members to cast their vote. Members are prompted to complete the survey from their phone either live, during the meeting, or at an appointed time following all positions' speeches and discussion. 

VO29 - For open ballot voting, the Recorder does a roll call of members and each member verbally responds with their candidate or choice. The Recorder tallies votes and announces results at the end of the roll call. If necessary, a run-off vote is conducted per bylaw requirements.

VO30 - Chapter uses the "Breakout Rooms" function in Zoom to facilitate its annual officer transitions after elections. During the Zoom call, outgoing and incoming officers and advisors meet as a group to discuss chapter-level goals. Outgoing officers, their successors, and advisors are grouped into a Breakout Room to discuss the position responsibilities, expectations, and goals. At the end of the set time, office groupings are returned to the large group for closing buisness and final discussion.

VO31 - For chapters using Zoom to conduct their officer elections, Mu Kappa Chapter has created a resource documenting their experience and successes with the platform. This resource (linked below) complements the General Fraternity's Officer Elections and Transitions Guidance, which was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Together these resources should assist chatpers looking to navigate officer elections and transitions virtually.

COVID-19 Response and Crisis Management

VO32 - Sample COVID-19 Crisis Management Plan 1

VO33 - Sample COVID-19 Crisis Management Plan 2

VO34 - Sample Chapter Update Communication

VO35 - Sample COVID Plan

General Fraternity Resources

GFVO1 - 44 Ways to Foster Brotherhood & Sisterhood Virtually - Ideas and activities from fraternity and sorority consulting firms Phired Up & TechniPhi.

GFVO2 - Academic Support Tips - How to adjust the chapter's academic support plan to help members succeed in an online classroom experience.

GFVO3 - Chapter Virtual Operations Action Plan - Planning tool for determining the chapter's goals and strategies for chapter operations.

GFVO4 - Converting LEAD - Phase I and Beyond to Virtual - How to adjust the use of the LEAD Program and the Fraternity’s other educational programs to meet member needs.

GFVO5 - Mentoring and Networking - Advice for supporting continued professional and career development.

GFVO6 - Supporting a Virtual Brotherhood - Advice, tools, and resources for maintaining brotherhood and connectedness.

GFVO7 - Virtual Alumni Events - Guidance on organizing successful virtual alumni events.

GFVO8 - Virtual Brotherhood Building Activities - List of brotherhood building activities that can be facilitated in a virtual environment.

GFVO9 - Virtual Meetings - Tips and tools for leading effective virtual chapter and committee meetings.

Call for Practices

If you have a great example or resource that you think should be included in the Best Practices Library, we want to know about it. Send your examples and resources to Austin Lloyd  Director of Chapter Services, at Austin.Lloyd@sigmanu.org.

The Fraternity's Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response

The General Fraternity has created a dedicated webpage for information related to the Fraternity's COVID-19 response. Chapters and Colonies are encouraged to check the site regularly for new updates and resources. Click here to access the page.

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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