One of the biggest problems facing house corporations annually is filling the chapter house. Ideally, the chapter is recruiting multiple members each year and every one is eager to live in the chapter house. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The following are some thoughts on how to fill the chapter house:
- The chapter’s bylaws should exist that require all members to live in the chapter facility for at least 1 year. (Depending on the size of the facility and the chapter facility, this minimum requirement might need to be higher)
- The chapter should require all of the officers to live in the house. If an officer is unable to fulfill his duties, then he needs to eithe find a replacement or step down from his position.
- Housing leases should be handed out to all members (that have either not met the above minimum requirement, or who wish to continue living in the facility) by no later than November 1st for the next academic year. This may need to be done sooner, depending on when off-campus apartments and the residence halls start signing leases for the upcoming year.
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It is that time of year when undergraduates finalizing signing leases with house corporations or with local housing groups for residency next academic year. While house corporations are focused on filling the fraternity house, doesn’t the house corporation also have a responsibility to educate our younger brothers on what they should be looking for when signing leases?
December is a month filled with an assortment of activities. Many of the month’s hours are devoted to studying for exams and making travel plans for holiday festivities. In this hectic atmosphere it is essential that chapters make preparations to secure the chapter house as members vacate the house for the holidays.
The leading risks to a fraternity house during the holiday breaks are water freeze, fire, vandalism and theft. The following checklist has been compiled to ensure that the house is protected during the winter break.
General Winter Maintenance
Multiple items should be evaluated and inspected prior to closing down the house to prepare for the winter month:
- Complete routine maintenance on furnace/boiler.
- Lock and inspect all windows and repair all broken glass.
- Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper roof drainage (improper roof drainage can cause ice damning to occur, which can cause interior water damage).
- Attach and secure downspouts with extension from foundation to prevent water damage, ensuring that they fully displace water away from foundation and other walking areas without draining onto the driveway, sidewalks, or patios.
- Inspect the hot water heater and exposed water lines and drain pipes for slow leaks.
- Drain water lines in lawn sprinkler system where appropriate.
- Clean exterior of chapter house, removing any yard debris or materials that could be used to start a fire, as well as any items stored next to the chapter house. Debris can provide an opportunity for an arsonist.
- Check security and safety lighting for the property.
- Service and clean fireplace and chimney and check for defects or debris.
- A plan to address ice and snow on sidewalks and parking lot needs to be agreed upon by the house corporation and chapter. If all parties are in agreement to contract this service out, this should be completed prior to the first snow.
- Make sure the house has the appropriate tools to remove snow and ice (shovels, ice melt, etc.).
There are many moments worth celebrating in the course of a chapter’s history. Arguably the biggest events include installation or reinstallation, major anniversaries, and homecoming; but the one that frequently stands at the top of the list is the construction of a new chapter house.
For Delta Phi Chapter at the University of North Texas, that’s exactly what happened this past year. Over the last several months, Delta Phi has been busy building an approximately 15,000 sq. ft. house between Kappa Sigma and Sigma Phi Epsilon, just off Maple Street in Denton, TX. As with any construction project, the chapter has had multiple hurdles to overcome. But because of their dedicated alumni and undergraduates, Delta Phi celebrated the completion of their new home just in time for the fall. The new house has 21 bedrooms (including a president’s suite) and can house 41 brothers.
Since 1928, The Norwich Housing Corporation (NHC) has had a proven track record of assisting Theta Chi house corporations with the acquisition, construction and renovation of fraternity houses for Theta Chi chapters.
With programs such as the low-interest Life Safety Loan and the Ladue Emergency Loan, the NHC is a leader among national fraternal organizations by providing funding for housing construction and renovation projects.
Housing is a key component to the Fraternity’s growth and success. Working together, the NHC and Theta Chi house corporations can meet the needs of today’s students and improve our ability to compete in the modern housing market.
For more information about the NHC, or to request a loan application, please contact the International Headquarters by calling 317-824-1881 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Campus Fire Safety presents the nation’s premier campus fire safety training event of the year. The 2011 Campus Fire Forum will be November 7-9 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indianapolis Marriott.
The Forum will offer educational workshops, conducted by some of the nation’s leading fire safety and industry professionals, and hosted networking receptions. The Forum will also be showcasing the advancements in products that provide solutions to campus fire safety enhancements. And don’t forget the Town Meeting, which has always been a highly successful group discussion forum.
On Tuesday, November 8, several representatives from the Greek community will be presenting and discussing several sessions regarding Greek housing
The 2011 Greek presenters include:
- Jereme Grinslade, Director of Alumni & Real Estate,Theta Chi Fraternity; Administrative Officer, The Norwich Housing Corporation
- Andy Longo, Director of Residential Life, Delta Tau Delta
- Sara Sterley, Director of Risk Management Education, MJ Insurance
- Mick McGill, VP Client Advocacy, Willis
Theta Chi Fraternity and The Norwich Housing Corporation are teaming up with the Center for Campus Fire Safety (CCFS) to recognize September as Fire Safety Month at universities and colleges across North America.
Regardless of a person’s age, fire kills. And with August and September typically being the worst months for fatal campus-related fires, now is the best time for everyone to get reacquainted with living fire safe. Fire safety skills are not just important undergraduate skills- they are life skills that will reduce the chance of death or injury. Unfortunately, most college students do not realize how quickly a fire can grow, or even worse, how to respond when a fire does occur. Therefore, spreading the fire safety message and imparting vital life preserving skills requires a team approach.
When: June 30th – July 3rd
Where: Orlando, Florida
Theta Chi Fraternity’s Alumni Volunteer Committee is happy to present the Alumni Program at the 154th Anniversary Convention sponsored by The Norwich Housing Corporation in Orlando, Florida.
The Alumni Program will provide House Corporations an opportunity to meet and greet several alumni that volunteer in different roles within their chapter and within Theta Chi Fraternity.
Here are just a few highlights of the Alumni Program:
- Roundtable discussions about: Alcohol in the House, A Successful House Corporation.
- Introduction of the new Ritual of Theta Chi.
- Risk Awareness & Prevention presented by Norwich Vice-President Patrick O’Connor.
- Alumni Luncheon.
- Building & Renovating a House panel discussion.
- Elections of the Grand Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity.
Whether you want to come in on Wednesday, or just show up for the Alumni Luncheon; we have something for you!
Recruitment is the life blood of any fraternal organization and it is true with Theta Chi. If a recruitment program fails, a shock wave is felt within the chapter and the Fraternity. It is important that undergraduates develop their communication, interpersonal, and selling skill so that they can reach out to other young men to join Theta Chi.
While “recruitment” is mostly an undergraduate function, alumni should not sit on the side lines and watch the game. Alumni Volunteer groups can have an impact on the game. The information provided below provides some ideas for chapter advisors, house corporation members, alumni association groups and the general alumnus brother that can help with chapter recruitment.
• Recruit an alumnus (Theta Chi or non-Theta Chi; male or female) to be a Recruitment Advisor.
• Show the men how to talk to prospective new members.
• Teach other social skills, such as table manners and proper etiquette. Some members may lack basic social skills and need to be taught how to make introductions and maintain a conversation. Read more…
Volunteers don’t do it for compensation or recognition; they volunteer because they know it needs to be done. The do it because they have a deep love for Theta Chi Fraternity. Without your contribution of time and skill, a chapter could lose the “physical” part of the chapter, its house; and the deep history within the four walls of your “home-away-from-home” would be lost forever.