As we continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the National Councils and Boards of Trustees of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma have made the difficult decision to cancel all six in-person District Conventions. We understand that this may be extremely disappointing to our members, especially to those of you who spent many long hours planning these events. Please know that we have made the decision to cancel conventions with the best of intentions, as the health and safety of our active, alumni, and life members and their loved ones is of the utmost importance.
This pandemic is an unprecedented situation for our organizations, and we thank you for your flexibility and patience as we all navigate it together. Below you can find information relating to next steps for chapters and for those who were registered for these conventions.
The joint national councils have created a task force to assist us with the preparations needed to host virtual conventions for all districts affected by cancellations. Virtual conventions for District business will take place on the Saturday and Sunday of the originally planned in-person conventions:
Northeast District: Saturday, March 21 – Sunday, March 22
Midwest District: Saturday, March 21 – Sunday, March 22
Western District: Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, March 29
North Central District: Saturday, April 4 – Sunday, April 5
Southeast District Convention: Saturday, April 4 – Sunday, April 5
Southwest District Convention: Saturday, April 18 – Sunday, April 19
In addition to the virtual conventions for District business, the task force is also assisting us in planning a larger nation-wide virtual event in late April. All chapter members will be invited to participate in this weekend of workshops, collaboration, and celebration of our organizations.
Chapters should plan to have chapter members attend both the virtual District business convention and the nation-wide virtual event. More guidance, as well as schedules and activities for all events, will be released soon.
REFUNDS OF DISTRICT CONVENTION REGISTRATIONS
Our National Headquarters staff will work to issue refunds to all District Convention registrants affected by these cancellations. All registrants will receive a direct email from a National Headquarters Staff member with more information regarding their refund(s). It may take some time to issue all refunds, so we appreciate your patience as they are processed.
CANCELLING HOTEL RESERVATIONS
Please remember to cancel your hotel reservations as soon as possible, as this is not something that anyone can manage for you. If you booked within the reserved hotel block for a convention, those cancellations will need to be made at least three days prior to the date of check-in.
ALUMNI CONVENTION PARTICIPANTS
The District-based Local Alumni Associations will also have virtual conventions concurrent with the active members on the weekend of the originally planned in-person conventions. The ΚΚΨAA Board of Directors and the ΤΒΣAA Executive Council will be sending out information to their members, as well as coordinating with the District-based LAAs to develop virtual conventions in which they can conduct their necessary business, connect with graduating seniors, and provide development opportunities for their district alumni.
If you have any concerns surrounding the conventions or chapter operations as we move forward, please continue to reach out to the following email addresses for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Your email will be directed to the appropriate person or persons!
The National Leadership Teams of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma are committed to walking hand-in-hand with you during these uncertain times. We will continue to send updates to our membership as we work through questions about chapter operations and provide more details for the virtual conventions and the nation-wide virtual event. We ask that you continue to check our websites and social media for these updates.
As we continue on into uncharted territory, we want to thank each of you for the remarkable flexibility, understanding, and strength you have shown so far. Band members, current and former, know how to adapt on the fly and how to make the best of any given situation, so that is what we intend to do.
MARCH 12, 2020
Statement on COVID-19: Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma Basic Chapter Operations
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are writing to you today to provide guidance on chapter operations for those chapters experiencing campus closures or restrictions on face-to-face interactions due to COVID-19. Please note that a separate message regarding district conventions is forthcoming.
The National Councils of both Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma recognize that each campus has its own unique procedure in place for this pandemic, and it is our hope that the information outlined below is easily adaptable to every chapter’s situation. However, we want to emphasize that we are here to assist your chapter and your chapter members through this difficult and unprecedented time. If, after reading the guidance below, you still have questions or concerns, please reach out to your District Counselors/Governors or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Membership Education Classes and/or Membership Intake
We are aware that there are chapters who were in the middle of conducting Membership Education Classes and/or Membership Intake on campuses that have cancelled face-to-face classes as a health and safety precaution. We are committed to assisting chapters in completing their Membership Education Classes and have therefore developed the following guidelines:
Online Membership Education Classes – All chapters are encouraged to continue the educational components of the Membership Education process via online meetings and sessions. This can be accomplished by using a number of online tools such as Google Hangout Meet, Google Classroom, Zoom Video Conferencing, etc. The curriculum committee for both organizations, as well as the National Councils are here to serve as resources, so please do not hesitate to reach out should your chapter require assistance in implementing an online educational experience for your Membership Candidates.
Initiate Registration and Fees – Initiate Registrations Forms do not require face-to-face interactions for completion, therefore all chapters who will be continuing their intake process during this time, should still plan to fill out the Initiate Registration Form, to collect all Initiate Fees, and to send both the form and fees into our National Headquarters for processing. This should occur upon the completion of the online Membership Education Classes. For the initiation date, please put the date in which you intend or intended to have your 3rd Degree. If chapters require assistance in getting electronic signatures on the Initiate Signature Page, please let us know as we have a system in place. A very important note: All initiate forms and fees must be sent into National Headquarters, no later than Friday, May 15, 2020.
Rituals – While not ideal, until face-to-face classes are back in session on your campus, performing the Rituals for your Membership Candidates will need to be postponed. Once your institution says that it is safe for students to return to campus, we ask that you consult your Sponsor and/or Director of Bands as you work to schedule a date for initiation. This could be as soon as you are allowed back on your campus, sometime during the summer months, or even right at the very beginning of the Fall 2020 semester.
Chapter Officer Elections
Some campuses have been instructed to close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and this effectively ends most, if not all chapter business for this year. However, chapters that traditionally elect officers during the Spring Semester should plan to carry out this crucial item of business, regardless of not being able to meet in person. The National Councils will provide guidance to all chapters on how this task can be completed remotely using online election software very soon.
Graduating Senior Report – Even if your campus is not able to host in-person commencement ceremonies, chapters should still fill out the Graduating Senior Report in the Online Membership Reporting System (OMRS), so that graduating seniors can be appropriately moved to Alumni Status.
Chapter Summary Report – The annual Chapter Summary Report is still due on June 1st. Since this is a yearly national requirement that does not require that a chapter meet in person in order to get it completed, there should not be any issues in completing this report on time. Remember to start this report as soon as possible and give your Director of Bands (and Sponsor, if applicable) extra time to review your report and approve it before the deadline.
Tau Beta Sigma Chapter Visitation Program
The COVID-19 pandemic will affect Tau Beta Sigma’s Chapter Visitation Program Chapter, as some chapters will no longer be on campus, some chapters will have limitations on face-to-face meetings, and some Chapter Visitation Assistants (CVAs) may feel uncomfortable traveling. In order to address each situation appropriately, CVAs have been instructed to reach out to chapters affected by closures or restrictions on face-to-face meetings to discuss transitioning to one of the following options: 1) Hosting a Virtual Visit, or 2) Rescheduling the visit to the 2020-2021 academic year. Please help us ensure this outreach is successful by checking in with your chapter president on the status of your visit.
Kappa Kappa Psi Chapter Field Representatives
Chapter Field Representative Visits are cancelled for the month of March and we are evaluating visits scheduled for April. We may conduct some visits virtually but the CFRs will contact chapters to discuss the best method to conduct these visits. Kappa Kappa Psi has also postponed the interviews for 2020-2022 CFRs until April. If you have questions about an upcoming CFR visit, please contact our CFRs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is an update to the communication on February 28, 2020 which is included below.
MARCH 10, 2020
UPDATED STATEMENT ON COVID-19 WITH DISTRICT CONVENTION GUIDANCE
Sisters and Brothers,
As we all prepare for district convention travel, we wanted to update you on how Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma are continuing to address COVID-19 concerns. The National Leadership of both organizations has been monitoring national health advisories and is following the latest updates from all of the states and municipalities that will be hosting our district conventions in March and April. The information below reflects what we know and understand to date, however, you WILL continue to receive timely updates from us. Our goal is to provide you with the best information we can so that in turn you can make the right decisions to protect your health and the health of those around you.
FOR ALL CHAPTERS
To date a few campuses have instituted an outright ban on travel off-campus and have limited in-person meetings and events. The organizations immediately reached out to university personnel and we are monitoring the health conditions at all of our campuses as best we can. Chapters and chapter members who need assistance navigating their concerns surrounding COVID-19 and district conventions may contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are tapping our alumni in medical professions, public health, and emergency preparedness to help us answer your questions and concerns in a timely manner.
Additionally, if your campus has released health or travel guidance, or does so in the future, please forward a copy to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can provide you with assistance on what steps you can take to ensure your chapter operations are in compliance.
MONITORING DISTRICT CONVENTIONS
If there is a public health advisory for the city or region of one of our district conventions, we will notify registrants and chapters as soon as possible. Additionally, should any convention need to be cancelled, we will notify registrants and chapters as soon as possible and address next steps, including but not limited to how business will be conducted in accordance with district and national constitutions. As of the release of this update, there are no recommendations from health officials that would lead us to cancel our conventions. However, we have been working with our hotels, caterers, and conventions sites to make sure that we are prepared should a convention need to be cancelled, and we are preparing to address any financial impact for our members and the organizations. We have asked our hotels and convention sites to provide us with all of the preventative steps they are taking to keep their spaces healthy, and we will regularly communicate with the hotel and convention site staff through the close of each convention.
CHANGES TO THE EXPERIENCE AT DISTRICT CONVENTIONS
Following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, we will be instituting changes to the district convention experience. This includes limiting human-to-human contact when possible, ensuring disinfecting wipes and sprays are at the registration desks, and providing regular updates to registrants and participants if there is a medical alert of any kind from the city or region where our convention is taking place.
We understand that this can be a worrying time, and everyone needs to take care of their health and the health of those around them by following guidance from medical professionals and agencies. If we receive any information that suggests we should cancel district events or campus in-person closings that extend beyond the month of March for a campus, we will provide that information to you quickly and take any necessary steps. However, we have not received any health updates to that effect at this time and all of our national leaders are preparing to see you at district conventions soon. Please expect more updates like this in the coming days and weeks as we get more information and please send any questions or concerns to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEBRUARY 28, 2020
STATEMENT ON COVID-19 FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCILS
Sisters and Brothers,
Following the latest guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control, we wanted to ensure you had answers to any concerns you might have regarding your health leading into convention season. COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is making headlines, and the flu and other seasonal colds are infecting countless others. Your health and safety are important and so we wanted to share some tips and answer questions about what happens in the event of a medical alert or emergency related to these types of infections.
- If you are sick, you should stay home and take care of yourself. You should also follow medical guidance, and you can inform another Sister or Brother that you are ill so they can help you get any homework or inform others of your absence. You should not try to travel or participate in chapter events and meetings if you are ill, especially if you have a fever, because you risk making yourself worse and/or infecting others.
- You should wash your hands often with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to cleanse your hands. You should also follow proper etiquette for coughing/sneezing (http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html) and keeping your hands clean (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html), encouraging others to do the same.
- You should keep up on sleep, eat healthy, and drink plenty of water.
- You should pay attention to public health alerts and your campus health center’s guidance on other steps you can take to stay healthy and keep others healthy too.
IN THE EVENT OF A PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY OR ALERT
- Both Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma are monitoring the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control about any possible health advisories or travel notices.
- If health officials declare an alert, our organizations will follow their guidance, and all Sisters and Brothers should do the same.
- We will notify members as soon as we can if a Fraternity or Sorority event at the district or national level is postponed or cancelled based on the guidance of the local, state, and national health officials or by a site hosting our event.
Ultimately, if you have specific health-related questions, you should reach out to your primary care physician or other licensed healthcare professional. Here’s to a healthy and safe convention season.