COVID-19 UPDATES

Check this page often for updates regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on the day-to-day operations of Alpha Epsilon Pi.

We put together a list of COVID-19 plans for all the schools, cities and states that Alpha Epsilon Pi operates in. This will help you plan ahead with chapter operations if your college or university plans to operate as normal in the fall, go completely virtual, or another solution. Click below to find your school and be sure to continue closely monitoring communications from your institution.

Know the risks. Click below to see our risk assessment chart and understand which activities pose the highest risks for transmitting COVID-19.

We also recommend visiting the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s and World Health Organization (WHO)’s websites for the most up-to-date information from qualified epidemiologists.

March 23, 2020 – COVID-19 Update #3 from ESPONDA Associates

For those of you who remain in the house, we have new guidelines that must be followed to curb the spread for COVID-19. Pursuant to the “Rules and Regulations” section of the housing agreement, we have implemented the following measures to protect everyone’s health and safety. We hope to lift these requirements as soon as it is prudent to do so.

  1. Effective immediately, there is a moratorium on all social events and gatherings at the house as well as participation in any such events at other properties for students living in ESPONDA managed housing. Communal events put everyone at risk and must be avoided.
  1. Access to the house needs to be limited only to those who are currently living at the house and/or essential personnel. Essential personnel include cooks, cleaners, and maintenance vendors. ESPONDA will coordinate with essential personnel, instructing them to limit their visits to only crucial tasks.
  1. We are instituting quiet hours. Schools have moved to online instruction and closed on-campus study facilities. Please keep distractions to a minimum while people are doing classwork or studying.
  1. Cleaning remains extremely important. Personal space is to be kept tidy and sanitized. Each student is to sanitize doorknobs and other frequently used surfaces in rooms and common areas daily. Please work together to ensure the house is kept clean and sanitized.  We are glad to help source supplies if required and requested.

In this period or viral uncertainty, it is important that we all work together to protect each other. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Protect yourself and, please, remember to Be Your Brothers’ Keeper.

Thanks,
Scott Pfeiffer
ESPONDA Director of Chapter Engagement

March 17, 2020 – Additional Chapter Resources

We hope this follow-up email finds you, your family and your chapter Brothers healthy. We wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work over the past week. We certainly understand how difficult this has been and how devastating the campus closures have been for so many of your Brothers. It has not been easy but it will continue to be a learning experience for all of us. Alpha Epsilon Pi International is very grateful for everyone’s effort thus far. But, this doesn’t have to be the end of the road for the spring semester.

Of course, our more important concern is for the health and safety of you, your family and your Brothers. Please continue to follow the campus, local, state and federal guidelines for you to do your part in stopping the spread of this disease.

For those who have already participated in a video call with the AEPi Headquarters staff, we are extremely thankful for how well they have been received and how productive they have been. We look forward to continuing to work together in this manner. We are all Brothers and the AEPi staff is here to support you during this crazy time and beyond.

Our staff has been taking best practices from chapters around the world and sharing them and we’ve heard from many of you how these programs have helped revitalize your chapters. As one of your Brothers recently comments, “We took much more out this conversation than we thought we would. We sometimes have problems planning, in general. But, after this call with the AEPi staff, we are confident about ending the semester on a good note.”

Chapters all over the world are dealing with new realities and we have already found that those which participate in these calls and implement the programs are seeing good results.

Whether planning online video game tournaments, weekly Good & Welfares, long-term event planning, or conducting general reviews of everything from finances to social media accounts, there are many ways to make use of this time away from campus. Here is a list of different resources and ideas that we have.

Many Brothers have been asking about New Member education. Assuming that both the chapter and the new member agree that they are a good fit for the organization, they should not be penalized due to a global pandemic. They all want to be AEPi. Therefore, all new members should continue to receive education, conduct interviews, and help plan out operations for the foreseeable future. We understand that there will be events which are better in-person — like the initiation ceremony itself — but those events can be conducted upon returning to campus. 

If your chapter has not yet found time to work with the International staff, please do so and remember our minimum expectations that were sent out last week. There are still plenty of actionable items to finish before summer officially rolls in. We want to be as supportive as possible so that the next time you set foot on campus you are prepared to take on a brand new season of recruitment, Jewish brotherhood, and leadership development.

Fraternally,
James C. Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer

March 14, 2020 – COVID-19 Update #3 from ESPONDA Associates

As we continue to monitor the evolution of COVID-19 responses by campuses across the country, we know that many schools have closed campus facilities or moved classes fully online in order to comply with the CDC’s “social distancing” recommendations. We encourage each of you to follow the example set by your academic institution and the advice of government authorities. This is a precarious situation and we urge you to take it seriously.

We continue to highly encourage chapters to cancel or postpone all social events and other gatherings scheduled in the near future. Please limit access to the chapter house to individuals who live or work there and make sure you are regularly cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces. If you feel unwell, you should immediately distance yourself from everyone else and seek medical attention. Please encourage your fellow tenants to do the same.

We know that many students have already left and some students still plan on leaving school and staying at home for an extended period, we ask that you please keep us informed of any extended absences.

Thanks,
Scott Pfeiffer
ESPONDA Director of Chapter Engagement

March 13, 2020 – Important COVID-19 Updates

The last few days and weeks have been trying for all of us as we adapt to the new realities facing our society. Alpha Epsilon Pi’s International Headquarters staff has been working hard to provide our undergraduate Brothers with a safe and meaningful academic and fraternal experience even as these changes take place. I thought you might be interested in some of what your fraternity has been doing this week.

If you have any questions about AEPi’s current response to the Coronavirus crisis, please check out this web page for all of our communications or let me know.

My best wishes to you and your family for a peaceful and healthy shabbat.

Fraternally,
James C. Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer

March 13, 2020 – Important News About Mensch Madness

As you no doubt know, the NCAA has canceled this year’s March Madness tournament due to concerns for the players, fans and staff who were to participate. While certainly regrettable, I think we all understand that this is a small inconvenience compared to the lives and livelihoods being disrupted due to the Coronavirus.

Accordingly, Alpha Epsilon Pi regrets that we must also cancel Mensch Madness, our annual philanthropic twist on March Madness.

Donations to Mensch Madness were intended to go to the fraternity’s Repair the World Fund. This year, though, we are taking the current Mensch Madness proceeds and putting them into the AEPi Foundation’s Benevolent Brothers Fund, which was established to assist our undergraduate and alumni Brothers in their greatest times of need. Alpha Epsilon Pi realizes this is a hard time for Brothers and families dealing with the effects of Coronavirus, and we want to be able to provide for them.

We have closed down Mensch Madness at this time, but all previous donations are final. You can find our full refund policy on the Mensch Madness website. If you, or any other Brother, wishes to contribute to the Benevolent Brothers Fund, you can do so by clicking here.

We can’t thank you enough for your support and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope that you, your family and your friends remain safe and healthy during this trying time on us all. If you have any questions, please contact Ethan White at [email protected].

Fraternally,
James C. Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer

March 11, 2020 – Important Update For All Executive Board Members

A Japanese scholar once wrote, “The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” That is certainly true for all of us over the last several weeks. As schools have begun closing down for weeks and even the rest of the semester, each of our chapter leaders has to challenge himself to find a way to lead his Brothers and help provide a meaningful AEPi experience during these changing times.

Every executive board member has the ability to keep the chapter afloat during these uncertain situations. Here is what you should be doing in your role, even if only working remotely.  Remember this is all a temporary situation. The Chapter needs to be ready to pick up all operations right where they left off. Click here for a guide for each position to work through this uncertain time. AEPi International will be in constant contact with each chapter e-board to help everyone through this process.

This is a challenging and unprecedented time to be a chapter leader. AEPi International wants to do everything possible to help you to step up and be the leader that we – and your Brothers – need you to be. The ideas here are just a start. Be creative and work with the AEPi International staff to keep your chapter moving forward during these weeks (and possibly longer) during campus closures. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you to help your chapter.

Fraternally,
James C. Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer

March 11, 2020 – COVID-19 Update 2 from ESPONDA Associates

We continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19. Although we are not medical professionals or experts, we, like you, are following the information from the Center for Disease Control, local and national government authorities, universities, and news reports.

At present, the fraternity houses which we manage remain open, and food continues to be served at houses with Esponda meal plans.

Some schools have gone to online-only class formats. Others have modified class schedules, cancelled courses, and/or recalled students from abroad programs. We have provided guidance to chapter leadership regarding procedures for students returning from abroad programs. Some universities are encouraging students to leave campus as a means of social distancing. We encourage you to stay informed and follow the recommendations of your school as well as local and state governments.

Please be reminded of the important preventive actions which we included in the email sent last week. Some important suggestions:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home and isolate yourself from others when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a disinfecting cleaning spray or wipe.

• Wash your hands often and with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Additionally, for your safety, we advise against hosting gatherings at the house. Please be extra vigilant about keeping the facility clean and in good repair as some of our maintenance vendors may be less available than normal. We will continue to do our best to respond to issues as promptly as possible.

We are working on scheduling an extra house cleaning and disinfecting so that we can make sure the surfaces are sanitized. We are also putting together a “care package” that will be sent to the chapter house containing extra soap, disinfecting spray and a few other items to help out a little bit.

Please be responsible and remember to be your brother’s keeper.

Thanks,
Scott Pfeiffer
ESPONDA Director of Chapter Engagement

March 9, 2020 – URGENT: Message to Masters from AEPi’s CEO

With the Coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world, Alpha Epsilon Pi Headquarters wants to be proactive in ensuring that your chapters remain safe and functional in the event of an outbreak on or near your campuses.

As of this writing, the spread of the virus has already forced two North American universities to alter normal operations for students on campus. We can expect more to follow in the coming days and weeks. Of course, we all assume that campus operations will return to normal in the near future and business will resume as usual.

AEPi International wants to help your chapter remain stable throughout this period of uncertainty. If your campus is closed for an extended period of time you will be receiving an additional email with instructions on how to remain both safe and operational to mitigate the potential fallout.

Here are examples of issues you may run into:
Official communication to members: We will provide a template for you to discuss all of this with your Brothers if the university takes any official steps toward closure or suspension of student activities so that you may remain in contact and can keep everyone safe.

Chapter programming: Chapters may have to adapt and utilize technology to conduct E-board and committee meetings, but they should be able to continue to, at least, conduct long-term planning. Chapters can program using virtual meet-ups like facetime or webinars to further educate members or just keep in touch. We are working on new ways to keep activities going – in some way – in this new environment.

The staff at International Headquarters can help walk you through any issues your chapter might have if you are forced to cancel contracts or any other agreements associated with events (e.g., DJs, venues, formal hotels, caterers, etc.). Please contact us if you are having any such difficulties.

International dues collection and payment plans: Chapters will still be obligated to make any outstanding payments, such as dues and insurance, to the International Headquarters as the semester/quarter charges are past due. University closures will not serve as a valid excuse for delinquency or unpaid dues. We will, of course, work with each chapter to facilitate this.

Local dues collection and payment plans: If a term is cut short, we can help you and your chapter reallocate funds and/or maximize the budget so that Brothers still get the most out of their experience. You may need to adjust accordingly, but Brothers should still pay their dues and any money not used should be held until activity resumes. AEPi staff can help you develop a program to maintain operation while remaining flexible based on changing circumstances.

New Member Education: If campus operations cease in the middle of a new member program, the chapter/colony is expected to collect dues and potential members should be initiated as soon as it is safe to do so.
As always, Alpha Epsilon Pi Headquarters is here to help and we hope that you, your Brothers and your family remain healthy during this unpredictable time.

Fraternally,
James C. Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer

March 9, 2020 – Coronavirus Update: Prevent the Spread of Illness

As many of our U.S. undergraduates prepare to head out on Spring Break over the coming weeks, we wanted to detail some simple precautions that all of us should be taking on campus, in your residences or in your spring break travels. With the spread of Coronavirus, taking every precaution possible is important.

In order to protect the health of you and your fraternity Brothers, please follow the guidelines below:
Increase your diligence about disinfecting your residence (chapter house, off campus apartment, dorm, etc.) during this time. Wash down surfaces which are frequently touched like door handles, faucets, etc. on a regular basis with a disinfectant. Have hand sanitizer and tissues available throughout the property for your Brothers and guests.
Avoid touching your eyes and mouth as much as possible. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and properly (using antibacterial soap and warm water). Limit your physical contact (shaking hands, etc.) with each other and strangers as much as possible The Supreme Master has authorized you to refrain from giving the AEPi handshake at initiation or formal Brotherhood meetings during this time.
Most importantly, if you are not feeling well, take every precaution to isolate yourself from your Brothers, roommates and guests. If you see a guest who is not feeling well, encourage them to go home and separate themselves from others.
For several years, AEPi has taught our Brothers, “I am my Brother’s Keeper.” Now is an ideal time to put this lesson into practice and encourage your entire Brotherhood to adopt habits which can help keep the chapter and the community safer.

Please stay in touch with your university health centers to stay on top of local developments relating to your campus and surrounding community.

The staff at Alpha Epsilon Pi International will be working with your chapter’s leadership in the event of any new developments relating to campus closures, etc. Our main concern, as always, is for the health, safety and education of our Brothers.

Please be safe, be cautious and Be Your Brothers’ Keeper.

Fraternally,

James C. Fleischer, Chief Executive Officer & Jeffrey H. Jacobson, Supreme Master

March 4, 2020 – Returning Study Abroad Students

Brothers,

We have heard that several schools are cancelling study abroad programs due to COVID-19. If chapter members need a place to live, we are happy to accommodate them but it is very important that they do not move directly back into the house. The correct procedure needs to be followed to make sure that individuals who were abroad do not pose a risk to everyone else in the chapter. If you know of any Brothers who are returning from abroad that need a place to live, please let us know.

Again, do not let them simply move into the house.

We will stay up to date on CDC recommendations for group housing and we can coordinate with you and anyone who wishes to move back into the house to ensure that proper protocol is followed in order to minimize risk.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Scott Pfeiffer
ESPONDA Director of Chapter Engagement

March 3, 2020 – COVID-19 Precautions

With the news of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus fresh in everyone’s ears, we wanted to take some time to reach out and give some guidance.

Although we are not medical professionals or experts, we, like you, are following the news reports. There are a few practices that we recommend you follow if you do not already do so. We do not believe there is a reason to panic, but the following suggestions can not only decrease your chances of contracting COVID-19, and also help prevent the spread of the flu and many other forms of bacteria and viruses.

· Clean your hands early and often. Use soap and water on every surface of your hands. Make sure you use warm water and lather the soap. Usage of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an acceptable substitute. Washing should be done before and after every meal, after using the restroom, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

· Maintain cleanliness and sanitation in public and private area’s that you come into direct contact with. Sanitize surfaces of your residence regularly. The cleaning of doorknobs, stair rails, and other highly trafficked areas should be prioritized. When going to class, it may be a good idea to wipe down your desk before and after usage with disinfectant wipes.

· COVID-19 early symptoms are similar to a cold or the flu and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing these symptoms, be extra diligent about sanitation. Avoid others as much as possible and seek medical care if you feel ill or develop a fever.

At this time, there are less than 50 confirmed cases in the United States. The more we do to prevent the spread of all disease, the better off we will be in the long run. Please make sure to pay attention to information released by your school, city, state, and federal governments, and the Center for Disease Control as well as the World Health Organization. As spring break approaches, be extra cognizant of your health and the health of the people around you, especially if traveling domestically or abroad.

Please see the link below for up to date information from the Center for Disease Control regarding COVID-19.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Thanks,
Scott Pfeiffer
ESPONDA Director of Chapter Engagement