GVSU Fraternity and Sorority Community Updates & Fall Expectations
August 20, 2020
*PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN ITS ENTIRETY**
Greetings GVSU Fraternity & Sorority Life Community:
My name is Chris McQueen, and as you may have heard or seen on our social media, I joined the Office of Student Life staff several weeks ago as the new Associate Director of Student Life - Fraternity and Sorority Life. I want to take a moment to introduce myself to you by email and provide updates related to the fall.
Over the last few weeks, the FSL team and I have been preparing for your return to campus with your health and safety in mind as we all navigate this uncertain time together. If you are not already aware, we've met with individual chapters, council leadership, the Greek Life Board, and Chapter House Officers to provide support for each off-campus house Chapter Health Plan. We applaud the leaders and advisors who are tirelessly working to ensure your safety. These efforts are critical, but it is the collective responsibility of our community to see this through.
As you may be aware, things are changing hour by hour as it relates to universities across the country repopulating for the start of the fall semester. If you are paying attention to the headlines, you've already seen several outbreaks involving fraternity and sororities and even resulting in altering university plans for instruction. The impact of the actions or inactions of FSL community members on any college campus can have a tremendous effect. Your actions or inactions will have an impact on the GVSU community and I urge each of you to be a positive force in our Lakers Together efforts. The university has also updated the student code of conduct, to include Harm to a Person in relations to endangering a student's health by not following CDC and university guidelines.
As GVSU's largest collective of student leaders and role models, it is imperative that WE take this virus serious and abide by ALL university, state, and CDC guidelines. As values-based organizations, we are called to live these every day and proudly represent our organizations. We are our brothers and sisters keepers! Now, more than ever, is that phrase so important. Keeping health and safety at the forefront is essential, even if it may not be easy or popular, especially when holding brothers, sisters, or other peers accountable. GVSU has sent students several emails with guidance and requests to keep our community health focused. We urge you to revisit these in their entirety but also want to emphasize these additional expectations of the FSL Community:
- Lead by example - encourage your brothers and sisters to join with you in doing the right thing at all times
- Adhere to Health Plans for Chapter Houses, whether you are a resident or otherwise.
- Avoid large gatherings - keep social interactions small. This may be incongruent with the nature of our community both formally and informally, but is critical.
- No large gatherings will be hosted by chapters and we discourage participation in informal gatherings that may occur off-campus.
Your chapter activities will look very different this year as well as recruitment:
- BGC and MGC Recruitment - Guidelines will come from your national organizations to help chapters coordinate a virtual, in-person, and/or hybrid recruitment/new membership intake plans.
- Panhellenic Recruitment - In accordance with NPC, Effective immediately, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has formally recommended that all campuses pivot to virtual recruitment rounds. Therefore, the GVSU Panhellenic Council has implemented its virtual contingency plan being 100% online.
- Interfraternity Council Recruitment - IFC recruitment will be executed in a hybrid format. All recruitment events must be approved by the IFC Recruitment committee prior to being advertise to the public. Chapter will be allowed to have a maximum of (5) virtual events and (3) in-person events, with the limitation of 10 people for any indoor and outdoor events 1 brother per 1 PNM.
We understand that the evolving nature of COVID-19 and the abundance of information on social media and news outlets can be confusing. To simplify and personalize information, we recommend you read all official messages from GVSU and regularly check the Lakers Together website for updates. I have included a recap of information related to key areas below. Since health and wellness are essential for student success, we hope this information will help you prepare for the fall semester. I look forward to connecting with each of your chapters virtually over the next couple of weeks and encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have.
Strengths: Restorative | Ideation | Command | Connectedness | Significance
Valerie Guzman, Ed.S; Director of Student Life
Andy Beachanu, Ph.D; Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Loren Rullman, Ph.D; Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Kayla Bucci; Graduate Assistant, Panhellenic Council Advisor
Shelby Hanselman; Graduate Assistant, Multicultural Greek Council Advisor
As mentioned in President Mantella’s August 10 message, we now write to share 1) additional guidance on COVID-19 preparations and expectations, 2) preliminary protocols for isolation and quarantine, and 3) updated academic policies. Information and expectations will continue to be updated on the Lakers Together website as it becomes available - please check it often to learn the best ways to care for yourself, your supporters, and every GVSU Laker.
Top 10 health tips to begin now
1. Avoid exposure. The coronavirus is spread through contact with those who have been exposed to it; recent studies suggest up to half of all people with the virus have no symptoms but can spread it to others. We recommend you avoid social gatherings beyond your immediate household for at least one week before returning.
3. Pay attention to symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your doctor or another health care provider immediately for instructions; consider being tested as the President’s message recommended.
4. Plan for your own health. Use the student health checklist to identify what you should buy, what you should bring, and what you should discuss with family and supporters.
5. Mask up. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face coverings. We recommend you bring several washable face coverings for use during the semester, along with hand sanitizer, a thermometer, personal space disinfectants, and plan ahead for other CDC precautions.
6. Consider health insurance. We understand health insurance is not cheap and it can be tempting to go without coverage. Unfortunately, medical emergencies become very expensive without insurance. Please evaluate your current insurance coverage regardless of whether you live on-campus, on your own, or with family or other supporters. Explore GVSU pre-negotiated options available to you by visiting: GVSU Student Health Insurance
7. Get a flu shot. GVSU will offer on-campus flu shots during the fall semester if one is not available to you now. It is also important you know the difference between seasonal flu and the coronavirus.
8. Expect to keep social interactions small. Reducing the number of people in a gathering, and maintaining 6 feet of social distance in both indoor and outdoor settings, helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Currently, the State of Michigan has placed restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather.
9. Practice good healthy behaviors. As a college student, it is important to take responsibility for your own health. Many of the habits you form in college stick with you for life; it’s important to build healthy habits now. Learn how to navigate your wellness at GVSU.
10. Keep track of GVSU’s COVID-19 plans. For the most current COVID-19 specific plans and updates please regularly visit the Lakers Together website.
Isolation and Quarantine Protocol
The daily self-assessment is the tool that will be used by students to report symptoms consistent with COVID-19, exposure to someone with the virus, or a positive test - even if they have no symptoms. Individuals reporting symptoms, exposure, or a positive test, will be directed to contact the GVSU’s COVID-19 Resource Center, which is operated by Spectrum Health, as announced in President Mantella’s message. Students will be given instructions by Spectrum Health, including about testing. If you have been asked to isolate or quarantine, this means your movements are restricted to a designated location, you will not be able to leave for things such as class, meals, to socialize or participate in activities, or go to work until you are cleared. Students directed to isolate, or quarantine will be referred to the proper GVSU administrators for additional guidance and support.
Students Living On-Campus:
· Spectrum Health staff will contact students daily to check on their wellbeing
· Students may also be contacted by a GVSU COVID-19 outreach coordinator and/or Housing and Residence Life Staff to identify specific campus needs and resources
· Students should bring a “move bag” with personal items to expedite a move process to an isolation or quarantine room, if required (clothing, personal items, etc.)
· Students will be provided a “kit” for the isolation or quarantine period (e.g. utensils, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.)
· Students with a GVSU meal plan will receive shelf-stable meal kits delivered to their door
· Trash pickup, mail delivery, and laundry retrieval will be arranged
· Assistance will be offered for those needing faculty or employer notifications
Students Living Off Campus:
· Spectrum Health staff will contact students daily to check on their wellbeing
· Students will be contacted by a GVSU COVID-19 outreach coordinator to identify specific campus needs and offer guidance
· Students with a GVSU meal plan will receive information about pre-packaged meals available for pickup (e.g. by a friend)
· Assistance will be offered for those needing faculty or employer notifications.
· Each chapter house will receive (1) GVSU reusable mask per student living in the facility
Any students living on campus will receive a face covering in their living center; students living off-campus can pick up a face covering at the following locations:
· Rec Center
· Student Services Building
· Kirkhof Center 2020 Information Desk
· Kleiner Commons
· CHS front desk
· Registrar window at DeVos
Academic Policy Changes:
The following was recently shared with faculty by the Provost:
Flexibility in attendance policies will be necessary for accommodating students who may have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (and will need to quarantine) or who themselves have tested positive (and will need to isolate). This summer, University Academic Senate and the Provost approved this temporary policy for Fall 2020:
1. Faculty are prohibited from having an attendance policy that directly affects grades.
2. Notes from health care providers are not necessary for “excused” absences.
The University has a published Class Attendance Policy in the GVSU Catalog that details what is expected of both students and faculty. COVID-19 related absences should be “excused”, according to the current policy. Students should also have the ability to quarantine at any point in the semester if they are concerned about COVID-19. Class participation may still be part of a student’s grade as engagement can be accomplished in multiple ways which do not require students to be “in-seat” during the course.
We understand that the evolving nature of COVID-19 and the abundance of information on social media and news outlets can be confusing. To simplify and personalize information, we recommend you read all official messages from GVSU and regularly check the Lakers Together website for updates. Since health and wellness are essential for student success, we hope this information will help you prepare for the fall semester.