Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation Bulletin - June 2020  
June 2020 House Corporation Newsletter

In This Issue

Message from Steve Bocher

Fall Preparations

Town Hall - What's Next

Message from Our Preferred Partners

1848 Webinars


Thank you for the work that you do to provide housing for an undergraduate chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. That work is important, and the Fraternity wants to provide the resources that you need to be effective. 

This message will address a number of matters that should be of interest to you. 

Message from Steve Bocher - Things to Consider for the Fall Semester

Will your campus be re-opening in the fall? What will enrollment be like? Will the University or CDC have stringent cleaning requirements? How will the economic downturn impact interest of freshman in recruitment? Will upperclassman have the discretionary income for fraternity dues? 

These are just some of things I am sure you have been pondering these past months. In a few weeks, we will hold another town hall to discuss many of these issues with you. In the meantime, if you haven’t formalized alternative plans, I want to encourage you to go from “pondering” to “pre-planning." 

We are are starting to see some universities announce fall plans. Some have been emphatic that students will return to campus in the fall (University of Alabama, University of North Carolina, etc.), and others (like the California State University system) have announced that they will be doing online learning again in the fall. I am sure that many more announcements will follow in the coming weeks. While it would be helpful to know the status of your campus, we are suggesting that you start your pre-planning process now. 

What are some of examples of pre-planning we recommend? 

Membership Level Scenarios:

First, we suggest that you roughly plan three budget scenarios: best case, worst-case and a middle scenario. We do not have a specific recommendation for you on what numbers to use, because that will vary by chapter (including the trend lines of prior growth and strength of the chapter). The house corporation should be working closely with the BCA/PL to best predict if any significant number of members will not return in the fall as well. 

In a general sense, a best-case scenario might be 90% of membership levels are maintained, a worst-case scenario might be membership levels dropping 40-50%, and your middle scenario might be something in between. If you work your budget numbers for all three of these scenarios, there is a good chance you will not be caught off guard this fall.

House Operations:

The next next level of pre-planning deals with operational aspects of the house. Of course, these will be impacted by how your membership numbers play out.

Kitchen Operations - The level of planning you will need in this area depends on whether you are directly hiring a chef or using a food service company. If you are directly hiring a chef, you are going to need to do more work to understand what the food industry requirements are. It is our experience that the main Greek food service companies are very much on top of the evolving situation. For this reason, if you are directly hiring a chef, this might be an excellent time to at least consider using a food service company. Our preferred vendor, Upper Crust, is often able to retain current chefs and provide them with benefits! And their experience and resources would be ideal for many house corporations now. What are some of the potential new kitchen changes? Switching to individually served meals, required use of to-go containers, new kitchen sanitation requirements and labor and supply costs that might be incurred with some of these changes.

Cleaning - Cleaning and disinfecting recommendations and requirements are evolving, making this challenging to prepare. We think it is safe to assume that there will be some level of “frequent, rigorous” cleaning/sanitizing expected. House corporations should be thinking about what process they have in place currently and if that system could be executed more frequently - perhaps at a higher quality. Make sure you have a process in place to guarantee the recommended cleaning and sanitizing is completed as expected.

Requests for Refunds - If students are unable to return to school, or if campuses are forced to close again mid-semester, do you have a process or deadline ready for refund requests?

Communications with the Chapter and Graduate Brothers - Keeping undergraduates informed about your plans and ability to re-open will build confidence for these men. Keeping graduates informed is another key part of your role as a house corporation. It keeps them informed and more supportive of the HC’s situation.

General Operations - In what ways would changing membership numbers impact general operations, like: day-to-day maintenance operations of the house/yard maintenance, preventative maintenance and safety systems? 

Planned Maintenance & Repairs - Every house has a list of necessary repairs. While the pandemic has been a severe disruption, we encourage our house corporations to keep up with the basic repairs and maintenance as much as possible so returning brothers have the best experience possible when they move back in.

We want to ensure that 1848 Housing is ready to provide support and advice if you need it. We can also help connect you to brothers involved with other house corporations so that you can network and learn from your peers.


Steve Bocher
President, 1848 Properties Inc.

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Prepare for the Fall Semester

Fraternity staff and the 1848 Housing Committee want to help your housing corporation to become fully prepared to re-open your facility for the fall semester. There are still a lot of unknowns regarding the pandemic and its impact on university housing policies. However, we are here to answer any questions you may have and direct you to resources.

As students begin to return to campus, you should think about, and consider, steps to safely re-open your facility. Some of our preferred partners have created key resources that will assist your house corporation with re-opening procedures. We urge you to follow Holmes Murphy's Re-Opening Checklist as you begin fall facility preparations.

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Town Hall for House Corporations - What's Next

The full nature of this pandemic is still unknown, but the 1848 Housing Committee wants to make you aware that we are available as a resource to answer your questions. We also want to encourage you to look ahead to determine your financial staying power so that proper steps are taken to protect your facility and to safely re-open for the fall semester.

The headquarters staff continues to encourage all house corporation members to access the resources and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources can be found on the COVID-19 Guidance page under the "House Corporation" section.

With this in mind, we are hosting a Virtual Town Hall for house corporations on Wednesday, June 24, at 7:00 pm ET. Members of the 1848 Housing Committee and IHQ staff members will provide information about what higher education trends look like for the fall 2020 semester. They will also discuss which operational areas house corporations should examine, including: budget plans, cleaning, food service, contracts, safety and more. More importantly, we will help answer your questions and direct you towards resources that can help provide guidance. 

Click here to register for the Town Hall on June 24. Additional “working sessions” will be hosted after the Town Hall to provide a more interactive discussion with members of the 1848 Housing Committee. 

Additional Working Sessions:
1848 Housing realizes that there is a benefit and need to collaborate on how to respond to specific areas of your operations. Where the Town Hall session is designed to share information at the 1,000-foot level, the working sessions are designed to get into the details of certain aspects of operation.

There is, of course, no “one-size fits all” solution to anything when it comes to running a house corporation. So we want to provide you with an opportunity to exchange ideas with members of the 1848 Housing Committee and brothers from around the country. These moderated sessions are designed for maximum interaction between brothers, and there may be some vendor experts included in these sessions as well. More information and registration links will be provided in further emails.

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Message from Our Preferred Partners

Columns Fundraising:
As your house corporation prepares for re-opening, are finances in a healthy position? Does your house corporation plan on running a fundraising campaign? Columns Fundraising has provided a straight-forward list of recommendations to help ease the fundraising process during these uncertain times. Click here to read more about possible expected changes.

Upper Crust Food Service:
What changes can be anticipated regarding kitchen trends come fall semester? Upper Crust Food Service has provided an at-glance view of some changes that should be expected for kitchen re-opening for the fall. Click here to read more about possible expected changes. 

Do you know kitchen management basics? Operating a kitchen at your chapter house means that you are accepting a certain level of responsibility. Whether you hire your chef directly or use a food service company, you are still responsible to understand and supervise the operation to ensure you are complying with necessary guidelines. Our goal should not be to just provide a lot of food, but to provide great tasting food in a safe, well-run kitchen!

Take this quiz and see how much you know about the basics of kitchen operations. You can request the answer sheet from The first person to score 100% on their quiz will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Additional Suggested Vendors:
If you are a house corporation searching for a property management company, an architecture firm or property insurance, we suggest reviewing the list of suggested vendors on the Housing Resources page.

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1848 Housing Committee Webinars

The 1848 Housing Committee, in collaboration with Upper Crust Food Service, hosted a webinar in late May about kitchen and meal trends. It highlighted various trends and fads (as shown by Gen Z) and some changes to be expected for the fall semester concerning kitchen operations due to COVID-19. This was a webinar hosted by representatives from Upper Crust.

You can find this webinar, as well as previous webinar recordings on the 1848 Housing Webinar page. Previous webinars cover topics such as building and renovating spaces, fundraising, property management programs and more. 

COVID-19 Webinar - Upper Crust Food Service:
Upper Curst Food Service, preferred partner of Phi Gamma Delta, hosted a webinar specific to the impact of COVID-19 on kitchen trends. In this webinar, they discuss anticipated changes that could impact your kitchen’s operations for the fall semester and foreseeable future, and they provide additional resources/guidance to help your house corporation prepare for fall re-opening.

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You are receiving this newsletter because you are listed as a House Corporation member for a Phi Gamma Delta Chapter/Colony. If you are no longer a member of a House Corporation contact Dionysis Protopapadakis, Director of Graduate Engagement.

You may also contact Dio to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records. 


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1848 Properties Inc.
1201 Red Mile Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40544-4599  |  859.255.1848