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Chapter Consultation Program

Overview Winter/Spring 2021 Model Fall 2020 Model & Results Our Commitment

2020-2021 Chapter Support Overview

At the onset of the pandemic during the winter/spring term, the Fraternity established three guiding principles for its support of collegiate chapters, alumni advisors, and house corporations: 1) the health and safety of members, volunteers, and staff; 2) continuity of the Fraternity’s operations at all levels; and, 3) enhanced communication with constituents.

The Fraternity has maintained these guiding principles throughout 2020 and in its plans to support collegiate chapters for the 2020-2021 academic year, as also seen in the updated Pursuit of Excellence Program framework within Sigma Nu’s Pandemic Plan.

The same was true in determining how best to provide ongoing assistance and personalized guidance to chapters, officers, and advisors for both the Fall 2020 and Winter/Spring 2021 academic terms, especially through our Chapter Consultation Program.

In planning out scenarios for what the 2020-2021 academic terms may look like, we researched and evaluated the campus return plans for every campus where a Sigma Nu chapter is present, evolving CDC guidelines, and the shifting landscape of state and local restrictions. Our team ultimately concluded that the traditional model of having Leadership Consultants physically visit every Sigma Nu chapter across the country would not deliver the level of extra support and service needed by collegiate chapters and would also not be prudent from a health and safety perspective.

But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of innovation.

The necessity piece of that equation is that we (the staff) are here for you (collegiate members and officers, volunteers, general alumni, and campus partners). We refuse to accept a scenario in which your Fraternity is not offering the most robust, personalized, and impactful direct support to its chapters.

We know that your chapter’s situation will be unique and different, and that there is not a one-size fits all approach. Every chapter will encounter its own unique set of challenges this year, as they do every year. It will be your courage, dedication, strength, honor, and commitment to Sigma Nu that will ensure your chapter emerges, not just intact, but as strong as possible on the other side of the pandemic.

We want to ensure there is no doubt on this point: We are here for you.

In that spirit, we are excited to share the innovation side of the equation.

Winter/Spring 2021 Consultation Model

Virtual consultations will be conducted in a phased approach for Winter/Spring 2021. All chapters and colonies will receive two consultations between mid-January and late April. These one-day consultations will be complemented by a series of regional officer roundtables in early March, the virtual College of Chapters program in early January, and a series of national Sigma Nu Institute offerings in early 2021.

A description of the phased approach for Winter/Spring 2021 is below.

Return to School, Officer Training/Transitions, & Spring Planning – from mid-January to end of February

  • Focused on officer transitions and updating operational plans for the year, familiarity with changes to the Pursuit of Excellence Program (expectations, planning, and resources), chapter finances and budget, and adapting to campus plans and limitations (e.g. recruitment, housing, social distancing).
  • Officer Check-Ins and Training
    • Commanders, Lt. Commanders, Treasurers, Recorders, Marshals, LEAD Chairmen, Chaplain/Brotherhood Chairmen, Recruitment Chairmen, Risk Reduction Chairmen, Social Chairmen, House Managers, Advisors

Officer Roundtables – Early March

  • Staff will facilitate regional officer roundtables on the following topics:
    • LEAD / Brother Development, Candidate Education/Development, Brotherhood, Service and Philanthropy, Recruitment, Alumni Relations, and Scholarship.
  • Roundtables will be facilitated virtually within consultation regions providing geographically similar chapters the opportunity to share best practices with one another and participate in Q&A with a staff member.

Officer Check-Ins and Summer/Fall Planning – mid-March to late April

  • Focused on end-of-year programs and expectations, maintaining operations over the summer, and looking ahead to Fall campus/chapter plans.
  • Officer Check-Ins and Training
    • Commanders, Lt. Commanders, Treasurers, Recorders, Marshals, LEAD Chairmen, Chaplain/Brotherhood Chairmen, Recruitment Chairmen, Advisors

Fall 2020 Consultation Model & Results

Virtual consultations were conducted in a phased approach for Fall 2020. 99% of chapters received three consultations between mid-August and Thanksgiving. This resulted in:

  • 150% more time with a consultant for every chapter
  • 200% increase in personalized officer training and support time for most officers
  • individual training with multiple officers not included in a traditional in-person consultation.

The Fraternity's chapter support team - a collection of 12 consultants and directors - provided 460 consultation days to chapters and colonies over a ten-and-a-half week period in the fall term. This included more than 3,400 officer meetings and nearly 400 advisor check-ins.

A description of the phased approach is below.

Return to Campus & Fall Planning - from mid-August to mid-September

  • Focused on updating operational plans for the year, familiarity with changes to the Pursuit of Excellence Program (expectations, planning, and resources), chapter finances and budget, and adapting to campus plans and limitations (e.g. recruitment, housing, social distancing).
  • Executive Committee meetings
  • Officer Check-Ins and Training
    • Commanders, Lt. Commanders, Treasurers, House Managers, Recruitment Chairmen, Risk Reduction Chairmen, Social Chairmen, Advisors

The Membership Experience – late September to late October

  • Focused on how the chapter is engaging and supporting all members
  • Officer Check-Ins and Training
    • Commanders, Lt. Commanders, Treasurers, LEAD Chairmen, Chaplains, Brotherhood Chairmen, Scholarship Chairmen, Community Service & Philanthropy Chairmen, Marshals, Alumni Relations Chairmen

Transitions and Maintaining Operations after Thanksgiving – late October to late November

  • Focused on officer transitions, plans for a virtual end to the term, looking ahead to Spring campus/chapter plans
  • Officer Check-Ins and Training
    • Commanders, Lt. Commanders, Treasurers, Recorders, Marshals, Recruitment Chairmen, LEAD Chairmen, Chaplains, Brotherhood Chairmen, Scholarship Chairmen, Risk Reduction Chairmen, Social Chairmen, Advisors.

Our Commitment

As stated above, the Fraternity recognizes that each chapter will have its own unique campus circumstances – whether operating entirely virtually or in-person with social distancing restrictions – and will need adaptive and ongoing support to navigate the 2020-2021 academic year. The shift to virtual consultations for this year is designed to be agile and flexible to both the evolving national and campus-by-campus situation, as well as flexible to each chapter’s unique plans.

During this time, it is imperative for the Fraternity to continue to provide as much support to each collegiate chapter as possible. The phased approach is designed to do just that. Shifting to a virtual model allows consultants to spend each day with chapters, to work with the same officers in an intensive format more than once during each academic term, and removes the limitations of geography in ensuring that chapters can get support at the right times to meet their needs.

Questions, concerns, and inquiries about the Chapter Consultation Program should be directed to Scott Smith, Director of Leadership Development, at scott.smith@sigmanu.org.

© 2015-2021 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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