News

Published: August 7, 2020

Theta Chi COVID-19 Updates

This page serves as Theta Chi Fraternity’s ongoing updates and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our most recent updates appear at the top.

Resources for collegiate operations

Resources for Alumni Corporations
with collegiate housing

  • Opening Checklist: A checklist from Holmes Murphy to assist Alumni Corporations in planning and preparing for students to return to the chapter facility 
  • COVID-19 Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing: Created to help owners, administrators, or operators of shared (also called “congregate”) housing facilities prevent the spread of COVID-19 
  • Force Majeure Resource: Provided by Holmes Murphy, a resource for understanding force majeure and how to incorporate this language into contracts 
  • Five Questions for Fall 2020: Information from Fraternal Law Partners about five common questions fraternities and sororities are asking as we head into the fall
  • Webinar on cleaning and sanitizing your chapter house: Holmes Murphy Fraternal Practice and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council cover timely topics such as proper use of disinfecting cleaners, creating your "bubble", masks and face shields, how to respond to a positive case in your house, and much more.

General COVID-19 resources


To: All Chapter/Colony Presidents
From: Michael Mayer, Chief Executive Officer
CC: All Chapter/Colony Executive Officers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisory Boards
       All Alumni Corporation Officers
       Official Family
Date: April 17, 2020
Re: Updates from Theta Chi CEO Mike Mayer

Dear Brothers —

I hope this message finds you, your family, and your chapters brothers well and in good health. This past week’s Founders Day was certainly most unique in the history of Theta Chi Fraternity, but I was so proud to see so many of our chapters and members finding ways to celebrate our brotherhood over virtual channels.

I am writing with two important updates for you and your chapters concerning Theta Chi COVID-19 Relief and this summer's International Convention.

Theta Chi COVID-19 Relief

The Grand Chapter (our International board of directors) and International Headquarters staff members are very aware of the unique challenges your chapter is facing as a result of the current pandemic. As we progress through the spring and into the summer, the Headquarters staff will be in touch with your chapter to offer resources, educational opportunities, and training tailored to the distinctive times in which we live.

In addition to resources, the Fraternity’s leadership feels strongly in providing chapters financial flexibility during these times. I am therefore pleased to announce that the Grand Chapter has approved a resolution for Theta Chi COVID-19 Relief which will be implemented in support of every active chapter for this fall.

Theta Chi COVID-19 Relief will consist of a 23% per man credit ($100 credit per man) applied to your chapter's 2020 Annual Programming and Benefits Fee (APBF). The APBF will be due on October 1, 2020. This relief will hopefully provide your chapter with added flexibility as you plan for successes in the next year.

Questions regarding Theta Chi COVID-19 Relief may be directed to Chief Financial Officer Jim Powell at jpowell@thetachi.org / 317-848-1856.

164th Anniversary Convention and 39th School of Fraternity Practices

Many of you have been asking about the status of this summer’s International Convention in Lexington, KY, on July 17-21. As International President Tait Martin announced in his Founders Day message, YES, ABSOLUTELY!, the Convention is still on as scheduled and we are continuing to plan a Theta Chi event for the history books. The work of the Fraternity must continue and it is more important than ever that our brotherhood rally together to celebrate our traditions and ideals.

The Fraternity recognizes that the current realities of our world will likely require us to make certain adaptations and we are prepared to do so. As International President Martin said in his Founders Day letter, “…This year’s Convention will be different, and that’s OK.” We are asking for your flexibility and patience as we adjust and work through these modifications together. We will have an outstanding event while maintaining our commitment to promoting our Sacred Purpose.

One such area where we will need to be flexible and prepared to pivot is if government regulations prohibit gatherings in Lexington. If such regulations are in place or if other outside factors make the holding of an in-person event impossible, the Convention will be held online in a remote format during those same Convention dates.

It is recommended that all Convention attendees refrain from booking airfare until June 1. On or before June 1, the Fraternity will make a definitive announcement as to whether the Convention will be held in Lexington or online.

I am extremely optimistic that we will be able to gather together in Lexington, but if we can’t, we will be together remotely thanks to modern technology. Either way, please hold July 17-21 on your calendar and plan to participate in Convention. It will be an outstanding event that you will not want to miss!

We encourage you to register for Convention today – You can find information on how to register at thetachi.org/convention!

Brothers, I continue to be very proud of your continued commitment to perpetuating the ideals of our beloved Fraternity throughout these challenging times. History will remember the critical role each of you are playing in ensuring that our brotherhood thrives during this time.

We believe in Theta Chi. We are Theta Chi. We are Resolute Men!

Fraternally,


Mike Mayer
Chief Executive Officer
317-848-1856
mmayer@thetachi.org 


To: All Chapter/Colony Presidents
From: Michael Mayer, Chief Executive Officer
CC: All Chapter/Colony Executive Officers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisory Boards
       All Alumni Corporation Officers
       Official Family
Date: March 17, 2020
Re: COVID-19 Updates

Dear Brothers,

This memorandum contains several important updates that I wish to pass along for your information. As I write this update, the COVID-19 pandemic has been declared a national emergency and many governors have implemented widespread restrictions. All campuses where Theta Chi is represented have either extended spring breaks, suspended in-person courses, or instituted a closure of some length. I recommend that you review my original memorandum (found at www.thetachi.org/COVID-19) and encourage you to remain informed and to continue to consider recommended procedures from your college/university, public health officials, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

International Headquarters Staff
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the International Headquarters is taking action to limit potential contact at the workplace by asking employees to work from home effective immediately until further notice. In addition, the International Headquarters building and Theta Chi Museum in Carmel, IN will be closed for tours and outside meetings until further notice.

The support of our members remains a priority as we take every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Provisions have been made for International Headquarters staff members to continue their duties remotely. Staff members will be monitoring voicemails and emails during regular business hours.

Despite these adjustments to our operations, if your chapter, chapter advisory board, or alumni corporation is in need of assistance, we urge you not to hesitate to call the International Headquarters staff at anytime at 317-848-1856 or schedule a time to speak with a specific staff member. We encourage you to consult our comprehensive list of ‘Who to Contact at the International Headquarters’ that is attached to this memorandum. As always:

  • Specific questions related to chapter operations may go to your Field Executive or to Director of Chapter Development Mitch Nolan at mnolan@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions related to chapter finances may go to Chief Financial Officer Jim Powell at jpowell@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions from chapter advisers or chapter advisory boards should be directed to Senior Director of Training and Development Zack Brown at zbrown@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions from alumni corporation officers or general housing-related inquiries should be directed to Chief Housing Officer Bill Russo at bill@thetachi.org
  • For general inquiries, please write ihq@thetachi.org

If you have an urgent situation that cannot wait until the next business day, please contact the after-hours emergency line at 602-888-1856.

All chapters and colonies will be notified when regular in-person headquarters operations will resume.

Cancellations/Postponements
As a result of COVID-19, a number of International Fraternity events and meetings have been canceled or postponed, including:

  • New Orleans Alumni Reception (April 2, 2020)
  • Spring 2020 Grand Chapter Meeting in New Orleans, LA (April 3-4, 2020)
  • Brothers & Baseball – Atlanta (April 18, 2020)
  • 11th Theta Chi International Golf Tournament (April 23-25, 2020)
  • Brothers & Baseball – (April 25, 2020)
  • All scheduled chapter (re)installations and (re)colonizations

Please continue reading for additional information:

Spring 2020 Grand Chapter Meeting and New Orleans Alumni Reception
The Spring 2020 Grand Chapter meeting and accompanying alumni reception have been canceled. The Grand Chapter will conduct its business agenda virtually this spring.

Brothers & Baseball – Atlanta AND Minneapolis
Due to the delayed opening of the Major League Baseball season with no date certain of resumption, the Brothers & Baseball events have been canceled. All tickets that have been purchased by members will be refunded to their credit card. This refund should be reflected in their accounts by March 31, 2020. If you have any questions regarding this refund, please contact Chief Administrative Officer Joel Wendland at 317-848-1856/jwendland@thetachi.org. The Fraternity will explore rescheduling these events in the future.

11th Theta Chi International Golf Tournament
The decision has been made to cancel this year’s golf tournament. All paid registration fees will be refunded. The Fraternity will not be rescheduling this event during 2020, but looks forward to continuing this annual event in 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Chief Financial Officer Jim Powell at 317-848-1856/jpowell@thetachi.org.

All Scheduled Chapter (Re)Installations and (Re)Colonizations
A number of ceremonies to welcome new brothers and pledges to the Fraternity will be postponed and rescheduled to summer/fall 2020. Those groups that are affected by this postponement are listed below and have been notified by the International Headquarters staff. Announcements will be provided as events are rescheduled. Any questions regarding colonies and the rescheduling of these ceremonies should be sent to Director of Recruitment and Expansion James Jackson at 317-848-1856/jjackson@thetachi.org. Groups affected by these postponements include:

  • Omega/Penn State (Pledging Ceremony)
  • Gamma Mu/Bowling Green Colony
  • Delta Rho/NC State Colony
  • Delta Upsilon/Arizona State Colony
  • Albany Colony
  • Colorado Colony
  • Tennessee Colony
  • Young Harris Colony

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Brothers, I am aware that many of the items contained in this update are disappointing. Despite these cancellations and/or postponements, know that the Grand Chapter and International Headquarters staff are looking to the future with great optimism and enthusiasm. Our International Officers and staff all look forward to celebrating all our Fraternity’s triumphs and successes with you at International Convention this July.

The Fraternity continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide additional updates as appropriate. I again encourage you to review our previous memo found at www.thetachi.org/COVID-19 for additional information. If you have any other questions, please feel free to refer to the attached ‘Who to Contact at the International Headquarters’ listing and reach out to the International Headquarters staff at any time. If you are still unsure which staff member to direct your inquiry to, please utilize our general phone line/email address at 317-848-1856/ihq@thetachi.org. You will be directed to the appropriate staff member for any assistance we are able to provide. We remain committed to supporting each of our members and chapters during this unprecedented time.

We believe in Theta Chi. We are Theta Chi. We are Resolute Men. On behalf of the Grand Chapter and the International Headquarters staff, I wish you and your family good health and urge you to stay calm, stay safe, and stay informed.

Fraternally,


Mike Mayer
Chief Executive Officer
317-848-1856
mmayer@thetachi.org


To: All Chapter/Colony Presidents
From: Michael Mayer, Chief Executive Officer
CC: All Chapter/Colony Executive Officers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisers
       All Chapter/Colony Advisory Boards
       All Alumni Corporation Officers
       Official Family
Date: March 12, 2020 (updated)
Re: COVID-19 Updates

Dear Brothers,

The health, safety, and well-being of Theta Chi Fraternity’s members is of the utmost importance. We continue to carefully monitor ongoing developments related to COVID-19 and its effects on our Fraternity. On behalf of the Grand Chapter and the International Headquarters staff, please know that Theta Chi is committed to supporting each of our members and chapters during this time. We encourage you to remain informed and to consider these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization:

Guidelines to Protect Yourself from Becoming Infected:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to receive medical care
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Germs in Chapter Houses:

  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the chapter facility, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Wipe down doorknobs and other common surfaces at least daily, twice a day or more if possible
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by members before each use.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the chapter facility and ensure that adequate supplies are maintained
  • Consider performing a deep clean during spring break or times of inactivity in the chapter facility

Please visit the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) for additional information and guidance on COVID-19.

As noted in yesterday’s email, the decision of many colleges and universities to extend of spring breaks, suspend in-person courses, or institute a temporary closure of the institution may have dramatically affected chapter operations. At the time of the publication of this memorandum, more than 130 Theta Chi chapters/colonies have been impacted by such closures. We continue to advise all chapters and colonies to follow the guidance provided by your college/university and public health officials. They are best positioned to advise as to the situation on your particular campus and community. If you have concerns about a particular directive, contact the headquarters to discuss.

Decisions related to the chapter house rest with the alumni corporation/landlord. We suggest the landlord to take into account all information and advice provided to them by the college/university and public health officials when making decisions related to the status of the housing facility.

The remainder of this memo provides additional suggestions on chapter operations and functions.

International Headquarters Staff
The International Headquarters currently remains open and our staff stands ready to support your chapter in navigating these unique circumstances. You may contact the International Headquarters during regular business hours at 317-848-1856 / ihq@thetachi.org. Should you have an urgent situation that cannot wait until the next business day, contact the after-hours emergency line at 602-888-1856.

As of March 12, 2020, we have instructed the Field Staff to complete their current chapter or colony visit and then return to the headquarters. The Field Staff will be offering and conducting both video and voice conferencing consultations in order to provide continued resources and support. As the situation with COVID-19 develops, we will assess future redeployments of the Field Staff as timing and circumstances permit.

If your chapter, chapter advisory board, or alumni corporation is in need of assistance, you are more than welcome to call the International Headquarters at any time at 317-848-1856 or schedule a time to speak with a specific staff member:

  • Specific questions related to chapter operations may go to your Field Executive or to Director of Chapter Development Mitch Nolan at mnolan@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions related to chapter finances may go to Chief Financial Officer Jim Powell at jpowell@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions from chapter advisers or chapter advisory boards should be directed to Senior Director of Training and Development Zack Brown at zbrown@thetachi.org
  • Specific questions from alumni corporation officers or general housing-related inquiries should be directed to Chief Housing Officer Bill Russo at bill@thetachi.org
  • For general inquiries, please write ihq@thetachi.org

While there are no immediate plans to suspend in-person operations of the International Headquarters, should a closure be necessary, provisions have been made for staff members to continue their duties remotely. Should a closure of the International Headquarters be necessary, notice will be provided to all chapters and colonies on how to contact the staff remotely.

Chapter Meetings
Chapters are encouraged to follow the guidelines issued by your college/university regarding regular gatherings for student organizations. If your school recommends canceling all in-person meetings/gatherings, we encourage you to remain in contact via phone, email, and text as possible. Video conferencing and conference calls may be used as an alternative to conducting in-person chapter/executive board meetings. Plans should be made to resume regular chapter meetings when advised by your college/university.

Chapter Activities and Events
The Fraternity advises that you follow guidelines made by your institution regarding social engagements, philanthropic events, fundraising events, and gatherings (including fraternity/sorority formals). Check your chapter’s calendar to review what scheduled activities you may have in place for the remainder of the semester. Will anything need to be postponed or rescheduled? While vendors may not be able to guarantee refunds, you may want to contact any venue that may have been reserved to discuss rescheduling options and a possible refund. Chapters are also advised to be mindful of the possibility of event cancellation before entering into any new contracts during this time.

Founders Day/Alumni Events
Many chapters plan to host events and activities to celebrate Founders Day. As you consider how to best proceed, please consider the following:

  • All Founders Day/Alumni Events should be treated situationally, factoring in recommendations by the host institution, public health officials, and the CDC
  • The decision to continue or cancel/postpone a Founders Day/Alumni Event should be made by the key organizers. If organized by the chapter, be sure to consult with your campus administrators and the International Headquarters staff
  • Chapters are advised to adhere to all guidelines provided by the college/university and be prepared to cancel or postpone the event if necessary or directed to do so
  • Examine all contracts for reserved spaces to review any “act of god” clauses and, if need be, plan to develop steps to otherwise mitigate costs
  • Consider rescheduling rather than cancelling events outright. Some venues/providers may be willing to waive or reduce cancellation fees if rescheduled

In the case your chapter continues the event as planned, consider the following modifications:

  • Avoid handshakes and excess contact outside of normal interactions
  • Avoid self-serve dinner options
  • Work with your venue/providers to ensure all appropriate precautions are taken
  • Contact your college/university for further precautionary measures to be taken leading up to and during the event

Recruitment
The majority of chapters have completed recruitment for the 2019/2020 academic year. Chapters are expected to report their recruitment results, register their new pledges on OmegaFi, and maintain their rosters. It is critical that we have contact information on all pledges to ensure they will be able to receive important Theta Chi messages that we may need to send in the future.

If you have not yet completed and/or are looking to conduct a second round of recruitment this semester, please make sure you are adhering to the expectations of your college/university and public health officials while taking all precautionary measures for events.

Pledging and Initiation
Many chapters are in the middle of the pledging process. For chapters facing in-person meeting restrictions, we encourage chapters to consider holding The Resolute Journey educational sessions remotely, via video conference or otherwise where possible. Chapters are encouraged to continue or resume The Resolute Journey in-person when advised by your college/university and as they are able. 

Given the large number of campuses that have ceased in-person operations, shipments of pledge buttons, manuals, and badges from the International Headquarters have been suspended. If your chapter is able to meet and is in need of these materials, please contact Membership and Database Coordinator Alicia Ikerd at 317-848-1856/aikerd@thetachi.org and shipments will be sent on an as-needed basis to a specific address. Arrangements will be made to resume shipments of these items upon the resumption of regular operations for a substantial number of colleges/universities.

Per Article V, Section 18 of The Constitution and Bylaws of Theta Chi Fraternity, Inc., all pledges are to be initiated within eight weeks following the formal commencement of his pledge status. Given the current extenuating circumstances, the Grand Chapter has authorized the Chief Executive Officer to grant exemptions to this bylaw for chapters affected by campus closures. If your chapter needs an exemption to the eight week limitation on pledging, please email your request to Membership and Database Coordinator Alicia Ikerd at 317-848-1856/aikerd@thetachi.org. In your request, please explain the rationale for the delay and your intended date of initiation.

Chapter Finances
Your chapter should continue to collect dues as planned in order to cover any fixed expenses. Invoices and any payment plans made for the Annual Programming and Benefits Fee continue to be due as scheduled. Please contact Chief Financial Officer Jim Powell at 317-848-1856/jpowell@thetachi.org or Assistant Director of Business Services Keelie Souders at 317-848-1856/ksouders@thetachi.org if you have additional questions.

Awards
The deadline for all Theta Chi awards remains April 10, 2020. Please contact Administrative Assistant Amber Ray at 317-848-1856/aray@thetachi.org if your campus closure impacts your chapter’s ability to complete your awards packet.

Scholarship Applications
The deadline for applications for Sherwood and Janet Blue Memorial Scholarships and/or the Victor Simon Memorial Scholarship remains March 29, 2020. Please contact Chief Development Officer John Berghoff at 317-848-1856/jberghoff@thetachi.org if your campus closure impacts your ability to complete your scholarship application.

Housing
Final decisions regarding the chapter house rests with the owner of the property. All Alumni Corporations are encouraged to communicate with their college/university and public health officials to learn more about any recommended precautionary measures or steps as well as other policies and procedures that might affect access, resources, and support.

In the case that an individual within one of your housing facilities is feeling ill and/or is diagnosed with COVID-19, immediately follow the recommendations made by your college/university and/or public health officials for next steps.

Should the coronavirus be present in any facility, the facility needs to be properly decontaminated prior to approved re-entry.

Review all contracts and contact your vendors (food service, cleaning, etc.) to understand your obligations and with any concerns or questions regarding scheduling impacts due to COVID-19.

If the college/university has taken steps to remove students from campus, contact college/university officials for clarification and/or direction regarding chapter house facilities. We suggest that all chapters and house corporations follow the guidance provided by the college/university and public health officials.

  • Alumni Corporation officers are responsible for making the decision to modify operations or close a chapter housing facility
  • After consulting with college/university officials, determine if it is appropriate for students to remain in the facility if classes are canceled or moved to online platforms. Also determine housing options for students who are not able to return home
  • If closing the house, work to ensure the safety and security of the facility, referencing seasonal reminders for housing security
  • If necessary, work to provide students the opportunity to retrieve personal property before returning home
  • Review rental agreements/contracts and begin to develop a plan for collections and vendors in the event of a long-term closure
  • Review any relevant or related insurance coverages
  • Prior to reopening the property, ensure proper cleaning and regular opening procedures

Additional housing related questions may be directed to Chief Housing Officer Bill Russo at 317-848-1856/bill@thetachi.org.

164th Anniversary Convention and 39th School of Fraternity Practices
As we approach Convention, the Fraternity will continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation, track updates, and follow guidance from the federal government, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. Convention is still scheduled to be held July 17-21, 2020, in Lexington, KY. Registration is open via your myThetaChi account. Each chapter is required to attend and has the ability to register two members at no cost. For more information visit www.thetachi.org/convention

Brothers, I hope that you find this information helpful as we enter an unprecedented time in the history of our Fraternity. The Fraternity is monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and will provide additional updates and resources as appropriate. If you have any additional questions or are in need of specific support, please feel free to contact the International Headquarters any time. If you are unsure which staff member to direct your inquiry to, please utilize our general phone line/email address at 317-848-1856/ihq@thetachi.org. You will be directed to the appropriate staff member for any assistance we are able to provide.

This is a time for judiciousness, patience, and cool, calm, and composed leadership. This is a time for Resolute Men. I wish you the best, and know the Helping Hand is here for you.

Fraternally,


Mike Mayer
Chief Executive Officer
317-848-1856
mmayer@thetachi.org