Unfortunately, some dangerous and harmful situations occur involving brothers of the Lambda Chi Alpha and at times in the chapter house. When these dangerous and harmful situations transpire, it is essential that all brothers are prepared to properly handle the situation. The following information should be considered when preparing a crisis management plan at the chapter and when educating all brothers on the components of that plan.
General Crisis Management Procedure
Prompt reporting often prevents minor incidents from developing into major problems. Because of occasional late reporting of accidents or claims (either actual or potential), it is important to remind all chapter brothers and alumni brother volunteers about claims reporting procedures.
To report an emergency, accident or potential insurance claim, please follow these instructions:
- Call emergency numbers – usually 9-1-1 – so appropriate emergency personnel (e.g. police, fire, EMT, etc.) can respond.
- The designated officer (e.g. High Alpha, officer next in line if the Alpha is not present, etc.) takes charge.
- Cooperate fully with the needs of any public safety organization (police, medical, or fire personnel).
- Contact Chapter Support Coach, Health & Wellness Coach, or Expansion Development Specialist.
- Restrict access to chapter facility, if applicable. Permit only your members and appropriate officials to enter. Assign one or more responsible members to calmly guard the door.
- Do not tamper with any part of the area involve din the incident, specifically things that may be construed as evidence or areas involved with the incident.
- Assemble your members in a group. All should remain calm. Only the High Alpha or High Pi can speak for the Fraternity and members are not to speak to anyone (including friends, partners, parents) about the situation.
- Do not discuss details, speculate on events, or otherwise elaborate on the situation (including people who are not there, social media, texting, etc.).
- Be honest with the Office of Administration.
- Submit all requested information about the incident to the proper authorities. Be honest with the Office of Administration.
Information should include:
- Name(s) of individual(s) involved in or on the scene of the incident.
- Phone numbers and addresses of those involved or present.
- Exact location of incident.
- Description of circumstances leading up to the occurrence, including time of day, if alcohol was involved, if it was in relation to an official chapter activity
- What type of treatment and emergency medical attention occurred.
- Members insured under the General Fraternity insurance policy shall not, except at their own expense, voluntarily make any payment, assume any obligation or incur any expense other than for first aid to others at the time of the accident.
All guidelines for reporting accidents and potential insurance claims should be implemented in conjunction with the Fraternity’s Crisis Management Procedure.
Handling the media
Do not release any names until an investigation has been completed and the timing is appropriate. In any emergency, use extreme tact and caution in your actions and statements to brothers, the media, and others. Where possible litigation may follow, be extremely cautious about jumping to conclusions or speculation.
Investigating what occurred
The High Alpha will work in concert with the High Pi, High Iota (or other appropriate chapter officer) and the Office of Administration staff to determine what occurred surrounding the incident.
It is important that all information is gathered and shared exercising full disclosure. Once all information is made available, appropriate follow-up actions can be determined.
Serious Injury or Death of a Brother
Do not notify the parents until after a medical or law enforcement official has done so. In the event of a serious injury or death, medical or police personnel trained in such will notify the family. The chapter should always have parent/guardian information on file for each brother and made available to proper authorities. After the family has been notified, it is appropriate for the High Alpha or High Pi to call and share concerns on behalf of the chapter.
In the event of a death, do not remove any personal items from the deceased brother’s room. Do not let brothers enter the room. Temporarily move the deceased brother’s roommate to another room in the house, and allow only authorized personnel to enter the room. If possible, keep the door locked. Ask the family members what their wishes are with regard to the brother’s possessions. The chapter may offer to pack them in boxes, but the family will more likely want to do this themselves. Before they arrive, make sure any borrowed items are returned. When they arrive, have empty boxes available and offer to help. Understand that this is a difficult time for them and the family may want privacy.
The chapter will want to coordinate brothers’ attendance at the funeral or memorial service. Along with the High Pi, discuss with the family or the family’s clergyman the possibility of conducting a Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity memorial service. Use the guidelines found on pages 139-140 of the High Phi Manual.
In the case of serious injury or illness, find out the visitation wishes of the family and coordinate this with chapter brothers.
Remember that the General Fraternity and university officials are always available for counseling and other assistance. Do not hesitate to call for help. Individual and group counseling are strongly recommended following any crisis. No matter how well things appear to be going, counseling and other support services are both wise and appropriate.
These guidelines are provided for you in an effort to ease the shock and provide a logical framework in the event of a crisis. Read them. Distribute them to all brothers and keep them in a readily accessible place. It is our hope that you will never have to use them. Appropriate preventive measures — fire safety, risk management, and others — could help you avoid many potential crises. By taking time to prepare and ultimately prevent tragedies, a brother’s life and the chapter’s life could be saved.