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Tips for Advising in a Virtual Environment

Stay Connected

It is important that alumni advisors stay connected with chapter officers, members, and fellow alumni volunteers through regular check-ins.

  • Select a video-based platform to be used for chapter meetings, committee meetings, and officer/advisor meetings. The General Fraternity has a limited number of Premium Account licenses available for free. Visit www.sigmanu.org/zoom to submit a request for one of these licenses. Related, the Zoom “Breakout Rooms” function can be an effective tool to facilitate small group discussions as part of your meeting.
  • Once a video platform (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangout) has been chosen, send an email to all chapter members indicating the technical requirements, applications, or other downloads they will need in order to participate in the virtual meetings.
  • Identify tools (e.g. group messaging app) to allow chapter leadership teams a pathway to effectively communicate.

Communications Plan

More communication is always better than less. Your communication plan needs to be organized and inclusive of all members (alumni, brothers, and candidates) to be effective. Doing so will ensure everyone has up-to-date information.

- Have the chapter’s officers organize a social media calendar allowing members or alumni volunteers to host social media takeovers or live chats.
- Send a weekly newsletter or email to the chapter membership to provide updates.

  • Where they are living.
  • Their physical and mental health.
  • Best way to connect (update cell phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat profiles).

- Create virtual small groups and connect chapter officers and committee members with alumni volunteers around chapter operations (e.g., recruitment, chapter finances, housing).

  • Have small groups provide regular updates to the chapter.

- Set up weekly or bi-weekly video calls to allow members the opportunity to connect virtually. In addition to chapter business, conversations could focus on the following:

  • Checking-in to see how members are doing.
  • Discussing ways to manage classes virtually.

As always, be mindful of items posted on the chapter’s website or social media accounts as they can be screenshotted and shared. Consider – is this post appropriate in the current environment? Does it perpetuate negative perceptions that younger citizens are not taking the pandemic seriously?

Closely proofread announcements and other communications.

Executive Officer and Chapter Meetings

  • Review tips for Planning the Ultimate Virtual Meeting.
  • Keep in regular contact with chapter officers, members, and alumni volunteers.
  • Post regular updates in your group messaging platform.
  • Regularly ask about the health and well-being of chapter members.
  • How chapter members are handling feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or emotional distress through this time.
  • Encourage brothers to seek help if needed.
  • Ask and assist chapter officers in posting comments into the chapter’s group messaging platform, each week, regarding chapter business and other updates, in addition to updates provided in the weekly chapter meeting.
  • Collaborate with chapter officers to start calendar planning for the late summer months and Fall 2020. Begin by pre-populating chapter meeting dates, campus events such as formal recruitment, holidays, breaks, etc.
  • Continue with discussion and voting on chapter business, as usual. Voting on chapter business can take place virtually.

© 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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