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Fall 2020 Term Treasury Advisory

With the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the General Fraternity established three principles to guide our response in supporting 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.

As you know, many uncertainties remain as we approach the beginning of a new academic year. One certainty is that Sigma Nu Fraternity, and the bonds of brotherhood, will persevere through this pandemic. Over our 150-year history, Sigma Nu has overcome many obstacles, and with the dedication of all brothers and your leadership, we will meet this challenge and be an even stronger Fraternity in the future.

The coming academic year will present continued challenges for your college or university and your chapter. Disruptions to normal operations are never easy, but in times like this, officers must lead in developing plans to ensure not only the continuity but the success of your chapter. The actions your chapter takes today will have lasting effects and determine how successfully your chapter perseveres and overcomes these challenges. The staff of the Fraternity will continue to be here, at your side, to support and assist you in your critical work for Sigma Nu.

If you have not already, please review the updated Pursuit of Excellence framework for Virtual Operations and In-Person Operations. Using these resources will be essential to developing the plans for your chapter’s continuity and success. One of the biggest priorities you have right now is to make sure the financial position of your chapter is sound, and the continuity plans you have for the fall are ready to implement.

The operational status of your college or university, and the applicable restrictions and guidelines in place, will be your guide as you plan your chapter’s activities for the fall term. From a variable expense standpoint, your chapter’s budget may look much different from last fall. With many of the restrictions in place, in-person philanthropic, community service, intramural, and social activities will be significantly decreased. Other expenses around recruitment and brotherhood will exist differently, given the social distancing requirements in place.

In addition to reviewing and forecasting changes to variable expenses, it is imperative to focus on the fixed costs, or the “must-have” operational expenses and obligations of your chapter. These consist of items the chapter is contractually obligated to pay such as dues and fees to the Interfraternity Council; college or university; and dues, fees, and assessments required by The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. A summary of the dues, fees, and assessments required by the Fraternity’s law:

  1. Initiate Dues - Chapters are required under Article 4, Section 7.2 of The Law to provide updates to the chapter roster and to then collect and remit Initiate Dues as established by the last Grand Chapter. Initiate Dues are$145 per initiate per year and is billed once in the fall and once in the spring at $72.50 per initiate.
  2. Conclave Fee – This assessment is required by Grand Chapter Resolution to cover costs associated with Grand Chapter and College of Chapters. Right now, the College of Chapters is still scheduled to occur January 3-6, 2021, and the 69th Grand Chapter is scheduled for summer 2021. The Conclave Fee is $2,800 per year and billed in four equal installments of $700, two in the fall and two in the spring.
  3. Candidate and Initiation Fees - Per Article 4, Section 7.1 of The Law, the Candidate Fee is $100, and the Initiation Fee is $230. These fees are due and payable at the time of the respective ceremony.
  4. Risk Management Assessments – These mandatory assessments fund the Fraternity’s proactive and reactive risk reduction programs and the insurance coverages that protect you as officers, chapter members, your chapter, alumni volunteers, other related alumni entities, and where applicable, the house corporation that owns and/or operates your chapter home from claims of liability. Maintaining such coverage is imperative to the Fraternity’s continuity. Even with limited activities due to social distancing requirements, there will be potential liabilities, including presently-unknown potential liabilities related to the pandemic, which must be insured. More information on rates for the 2020-2021 Risk Management Assessment will be available in the coming weeks.

Once you have determined the fixed costs of your chapter, you and your fellow officers should determine what the critical variable costs will be under the likely mode of operations your chapter will face in the fall. Determining the level of activities across the chapter and what their costs will be, in addition to the fixed costs, will allow you to determine what the dues structure must be for the fall term. Communication with all chapter members regarding these financial plans will be key to ensuring their understanding of positioning the chapter to come through the pandemic in a position of strength.

As we did in the interrupted spring term, we will work with your chapter on a financial plan and, if needed, develop an alternative payment plan that will work for your chapter’s unique situation. Our goal is to not allow a short-term financial challenge to be a determent to the future success of your chapter. We encourage you to work with your fellow chapter members in the same way, by working with members to meet their financial obligations to the Fraternity.

The financial health of our Fraternity, both at the local level and the Fraternity as a whole, will be a key requirement to emerging from the pandemic in a position of strength. The General Fraternity has pivoted to assist your chapter through this unprecedented time. We stand ready to continue to assist you. Our Fraternity has weathered challenging times in the past, including the impact of a previous pandemic, and both World War I and World War II. While the world is a different place today, the dedication and courage required to ensure our continuity will be very similar. As officers, Sigma Nu is depending upon your leadership.

Please reach out to Anthony Tornini at (540) 600-3011‬ or via email at anthony.tornini@sigmanu.org with any questions or assistance your chapter might need in your financial planning for the fall term.

© 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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