Purpose. In Alpha Gamma Delta, we hear this word often. Our Purpose unites us, it provides an outline for what makes an Alpha Gam a strong sister and a strong woman. And, in times as unpredictable as these, our Purpose reminds us of what sorority means and stands for. It was from this idea the Fraternity Housing Corporation’s Safe on Purpose Campaign was built—to educate members on policy and procedures in our facilities during COVID-19.
The FHC’s mission is to provide safe, competitive and attractive homes for our members. Homes to make memories in, to build traditions in and homes that allow chapters to be the best versions of themselves. While this mission does not change in the midst of a global pandemic, we believe the best versions of our chapters may look a little different this year. To be its best version, a chapter needs the tools and resources necessary to provide a clean and intentional environment. To be the best version of itself, a chapter needs to foster the development of members who understand that maintaining the health and safety of themselves and their sisters must be a top priority this term. Members needs to be safe. And they need to be Safe on Purpose.
The FHC recognizes that safety is not one-size-fits-all. In creating resources and guidance for our chapters, the FHC aimed to offer individualized solutions and recommendations for every facility and community. These recommendations are different for each area of the chapter facility and fall into three categories: SAFE, SAFER and SAFEST. SAFE recommendations are the baseline requirement each chapter is instructed to take. However, chapters may choose to implement SAFER or SAFEST precautions for different parts of their facility–from the dining room to the living room, from bedrooms to bathrooms. In creating these guidelines, the FHC wanted to encourage officers to have these conversations and make decisions on the best guidelines for their chapter. To do this, each chapter’s Executive Council has the autonomy to determine what level of precaution will be taken in each category and outline it in their Community Agreement. At the local level, our collegiate leaders have been empowered to make hard decisions, prioritize safety and hold their members accountable for taking care of one another.
Officers play a large role in the formulation of the Community Agreement for the Safe on Purpose campaign, but all chapter members have a part to play as well. Upon returning to campus, eacch member was asked to sign the Safe on Purpose Pledge. This pledge aims to remind members that part of our Purpose—cherishing friendships and attaining high ideals—is to understand our actions affect the health of our sisters. We know that our chapters are only as safe as their least safe sister, and we hope this individual pledge will inform their behavior throughout the academic term.
In today’s ever-changing world, the FHC’s dedication to providing our chapters with the tools they need to stay safe and healthy remains unwavering. It is times like this when we are so grateful for sorority, for the experience to build connections and friendships that persevere through hard times–even at distances of 6 feet or 600 miles away.
We understand that being an Alpha Gam is a privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility. While our immediate goal is safety, we hope this challenging period allows us to—eventually—hold each other tighter and never take for granted the friendships, memories and love we share with one another.
Want to know more? Information about the FHC’s Safe on Purpose Campaign can be found on the FHC’s COVID-1 Webpage.