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Group Meetings and Social Distancing

As a social fraternity, Sigma Nu’s member experiences often feature moments where our members our gathered together. Whether members need to be together to conduct business, meet as a committee, or organize a study group, social distancing will need to be considered as chapters and colonies prioritize member health and safety during the pandemic. Below are a set of questions to help you navigate this environment:

  1. Can the meeting be held virtually? Fraternities are certainly not exempt from the dilemma of weighing the value of social interaction versus the risk of spreading infection. Interaction and community are important, but chapters and colonies will need to make hard decisions about limiting in-person interaction when possible. Going virtual to eliminate the need to be in-person is likely the safest way that a chapter or colony could conduct meetings. The Fraternity recommends that chapters and colonies evaluate what meetings can and should be held virtually and to build that expectation into your strategic plan this academic year, even if your campus has returned students to campus for in-person classes. This will be especially important for larger chapters and colonies.
  2. Can at least six (6) feet of separation be maintained? Assuming that the chapter or colony has decided that it wants to proceed with an in-person event or meeting, the next question that needs to be considered is whether members can safely maintain an appropriate distance from other members throughout the duration of the event. For small meetings, such as study groups or committee meetings, this is likely to be easier than with a business meeting with all members in attendance. Officers need to take charge here in organizing these meetings. Being thoughtful about meeting details, such as meeting location, chair placement, and meeting efficiency/length are important for reducing exposure.
  3. What steps have been taken to keep the meeting/event sanitary? This next question is multi-faceted. Sanitation can mean several things and ideally chapters and colonies should strive to implement as many as possible. For example, the chapter or colony could require the use of masks, provide hand sanitizing stations around the house and at the entrance of where your meeting will take place, opt for the meeting to take place outside to reduce ventilation concerns, etc. Chapters and colonies should also establish a general code of conduct for members that anyone feeling irregular (e.g. high temperature, sore throat, cough, or other known COVID-19 symptoms) should not attend a meeting. Members who are uncomfortable gathering or who have a health condition that would increase their vulnerability to infection should also be encouraged to prioritize their health and not attend. When possible, chapters and colonies should offer a way to virtually participate in meetings/activities.

© 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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