THRIVE: CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR FRATERNITIES TO EMERGE STRONGER AFTER COVID-19
Fraternal Think Tank Recommendations
These recommendations are based on discussions with industry experts and are intended to guide fraternities as they prepare for the 2020-21 academic year. The Fraternal Think Tank encourages reviewing the accompanying resources including watching expert discussions for more in-depth advice.
Prepare: Be overly prepared so you are not overwhelmed
- Fraternities and chapters should work with their stakeholders to develop and communicate their COVID-19 prevention and response plans as soon as possible.
- Students should adhere to all federal, state and local laws as it relates to COVID-19 for their welfare and that of their community. To help with this important task, host institutions, inter/national organizations and local volunteers should continually coach and work with students on how they can best operate within these new expectations.
People: Focus on your membership
- Research has proven that close friendships such as fraternal brotherhood minimize mental health concerns and maximize persistence to college graduation. Thus, all student interaction that adheres to COVID-19 guidance should be encouraged. The Think Tank prepared a planning checklist to help students prepare for how they might operate under various scenarios.
- Now more than ever, fraternities play a pivotal role in helping campuses retain their current and incoming students. To address student retention, mental health and ensure vibrant membership experiences—which have been deeply impacted this spring—Interfraternity Councils and campuses should remove all barriers to men joining, including deferred recruitment, for the 2020-2021 academic year.
College Affordability: Help students stay in school
- Students face unprecedented financial strain and need the support of their fraternity’s brotherhood to help them navigate this challenging period. Fraternities should be prepared to work with student members to ensure member retention and membership continuity, while continuing to provide services essential to a vibrant membership experience.
- Now is the time for maximum value from the college and fraternity experience. Campuses should not pass on their revenue shortfalls to students by assessing new or higher fraternity user fees.
- The NIC will continue to advocate for frontline jobs that support fraternities, increased alumni support opportunities and student loan forbearance.
Watch, Review, Discuss Check List
Is your fraternity/interfraternity council prepared to manage through a public health pandemic? Develop your plan early. The following topics have been assembled to initiate planning discussions among inter/national fraternity headquarters, chapters, advisors, housing corporations, interfraternity councils and vendors.