During these unprecedented times, a shifting campus experience, and establishing a new normal this fall semester, we know that we must work harder for every member – active and alumni. The newest back to school accessory won’t be a new backpack or a new favorite hoodie, it will be a face covering and hand sanitizer. We know our Centennial year will just be different.
To help find our new normal, we want to be transparent and honest with our members, how we are working daily, weekly, and monthly, to create a one of a kind member experience, and to ensure Sigma Tau Gamma endeavors forward.
Member Safety Fee
After a favorable response from our insurance provider and approval from the Board of Directors, we are able to deliver a $29 per man reduction in the base fee from the original Member Safety Fee presented in early July. All billing adjustments will be posted by October 15 in OmegaFi Vault. Chief Executive Officer Vanessa Ryan knows this is monumental for chapter operations this academic year.
“The Board of Directors and I are aware of the pressure increased fees puts on chapter operations. The behind-the-scenes work on behalf of the membership is a true testament to the commitment of stewardship of our member’s dollars and focus on doing right by the membership.”
Annual Chapter Reporting
In our Centennial year, we will review and update the scoring and structure for the McCune Annual Report, benchmarks for our chapters, and the process in which chapters receive worthy recognition. Updating the metrics used in evaluating chapters helps us to award excellence and more accurately document the Fraternity’s history. Associate Director of Collegiate Services Kassi Ward is excited to see how the new report will dive deeper than ever before.
“The new reporting method will allow chapters to hone-in and report on key functional areas as data points. It will also allow for chapters to receive feedback on where they can improve their operations and will give them the option of applying for specific awards. This two-piece report will be cleaner, clearer, and easier to navigate than ever before. As chapters continue to evolve and change, so does the way we collect and evaluate chapter data.”
We know the lifeblood of a chapter is recruitment and we must do everything we can to not only recruit the best men on campus, but also retain those who will become noble men of Sig Tau. We will continue to offer ChapterBuilder to ALL chapters, but we are also now offering the Digital Classroom to ALL chapters. The Digital Classroom guides you step by step on how to recruit. You start by discussing the fundamentals and recruitment philosophy and end by getting a fresh view on how to recruit digitally in a COVID-19 present world. Upon completion of the Digital Classroom, every brother will receive a certificate and be a certified Phired Up Recruiter. Recruitment & Growth Coordinator Zack Kearney, UNC Charlotte, is excited to offer first class resources to chapters.
“The Digital Classroom is seriously a gamechanger. If used effectively, it can have a huge impact and create change it the way we recruit both in person and digitally.”
Year 100 marks a significant time for Sigma Tau Gamma. This year, we are offering Centennial Chapter Toasts. On the founding date of every active chartered chapter, we invite all undergraduates and alumni from that chapter to join us via Zoom for a brief program to connect multiple generations of chapter brothers together. Director of Fraternity Operations Adam Kowalski said this will help increase alumni engagement with undergraduates and is a way to continue to celebrate the accomplishments of Sigma Tau Gamma.
“Chapter Toasts are grounded in the Principle of Brotherhood to help members engage with one another. This will be a great opportunity for undergraduates to share updates and accomplishments with their alumni brothers, as well as allow for the alumni on the call to develop connections with undergraduate members and to support the success of the active chapter.”
Webb Academy and Noble Man Institute
Webb Academy of Principled Leaders will include a virtual experience for the 2020 – 2021 academic school year. Chapter officers including president, director of recruitment, director of finance, and standards board chairman will be the positions required to attend. The experience will incorporate both small and large group sessions, keynote speakers, and the opportunity for additional chapter officers to attend. More details including a tentative schedule will be released later this fall semester.
Due to the uncertainly of large gatherings this fall. this year’s Noble Man Institute will transition from the fall semester to summer of 2021. Noble Man Institute is the Fraternity’s national new member development program and is often the first time that members interact with the National Fraternity. The Institute centers around our six Principles while bringing together alumni and undergraduate members of Sig Tau from across the country to develop leadership skills, expand knowledge of the fraternity, and facilitate team building. Location details are being confirmed and will be released early in the fall semester.
Path of Principles Program
The Path of Principles Program will also be undergoing changes throughout this academic year. The new member education program will be multi-faceted and will focus on education throughout the entire undergraduate experience, not just as a new member. A member education committee has already begun work on the creation of the program, having a phased rollout in the next biennium.
Chapter Funds and Emergency Relief
The Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation is working on setting up an emergency relief fund for chapters to utilize in addition to the funds set aside in Chapter Funds. These funds will be granted for those in need during unprecedented times and must be used on educational expenses such as tuition, books, or class fees. Director of Foundation Operations Ashley Robbins wants this to be a sustaining fund for chapters in emergency situations in the future.
“The Sig Tau Foundation has the opportunity to support members through a difficult period of financial uncertainty as they begin their return to campus. We are currently raising funds to establish an Emergency Relief Fund that would award individual grants to brothers. With this, we can help undergraduate members now and in the future.”
Sigma Tau Gamma member’s health and wellbeing is a top priority for WPN. We are mindful of the evolving nature COVID-19 has had on members and how those changes impact house operations. WPN has established information for chapters and members through extensive research in the Greek housing industry with consideration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WPN has provided specific procedures and guidelines for each chapter property, have provided chapter member wellness pledges for WPN Properties and Fraternity membership, and flyers to display around the chapter facility. Director of WPN Housing Operations Kayla Hagerty knows this year will be a pivotal time for campus housing.
“We are giving our undergraduate members every resource possible to keep them safe while at their campus home. Where applicable, we are providing sanitizer stations, increasing cleaning supplies at properties, and are altering services to make them as effective and safe as possible.”
The communications team has started the process of moving our scanned archives onto sigtau.org for all members to read through and to more accurately tell the Sig Tau story. The process will take the entire academic year, and will include photographs, audio clips, video clips, correspondence of esteemed members who have entered Chapter Eternal, and in-depth biographies of brothers who have had a monumental impact on the organization. Director of Communications & SAGA Editor Greg Ward, Alabama, is looking forward to the digital display.
“This project is long overdue for our membership. We have so many stories, so many photos, and so much rich history that brothers and friends of Sig Tau deserve to know. Our history is a lens to the past, and to what life was like at that time. This project will be one that members, both the newest and the most seasoned, I hope will enjoy.”
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity celebrated 100 years of brotherhood in 2020. In the last 100 years, the organization has called 193 campuses home and has more than 73,000 initiated members. With a current presence on 80 campuses from coast to coast, our membership includes more than 2,700 undergraduate men. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit http://sigtau.org for additional information.