Harm Reduction is Lambda Chi Alpha’s approach to risk management. The concept of Harm Reduction puts the action in the hands of the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha, and puts emphasis on what you “can do” to make sure your events and activities are prepared in a manner that reduces the potential for problems or harm. The safety of our brothers and guests should always be a top priority.
In Lambda Chi Alpha, each man must recognize that it is his role to be his “Brothers’ Brother” and know it is his duty to act with personal courage to make smart decisions, to address inappropriate behaviors, and to take care of his fellow brothers and friends of the Fraternity.
The undergraduate brothers have a great stake in the ability to reduce the risk for potential harm at the chapter. The following are the Harm Reduction strategy basics that a chapter can utilize in an effort to be proactive in establishing a consensus amongst brothers on appropriate action and behaviors.
Identify Activities and Behaviors — Identify those activities and behaviors most likely to put the chapters or individuals at risk for harm.
Build Awareness of the Problem — Build an awareness/sensitivity to why these issues pose risk/harm.
Create a Strategy to Address the Problem — Develop strategies that mitigate those activities causing harm.
Build Chapter Consensus to Carry Out Strategies — Ensure that each brother is ready and willing to be their brothers’ brother.
Recognition and adherence to Lambda Chi Alpha’s policies, procedures, and a brother’s duty to be his brothers’ brother provide the greatest opportunity to reduce the risk for potential harm in the brotherhood.
Areas of Harm Reduction
- Education & Awareness
- Event Planning
- Crisis Management
- Life & House Safety
- Harm Reduction Report
Twice a year (December 1st and May 1st), each chapter and colony is expected to submit to the General Fraternity a comprehensive report, known as the Harm Reduction Report, outlining their actions to implement appropriate safety measures to protect all members and guests. This report is broken down into five different areas of focus for Harm Reduction:
Harm Reduction Education
- Crisis Management
- Fire Safety
- Event Planning
- House Safety
The Harm Reduction Report should demonstrate the creation, education, and implementation of these five areas of focus using the Lambda Chi Alpha’s Learning Model.
If you have further questions, please contact: email@example.com
Event Planning Guide
To access the Event Planning Guide, click HERE
While event planning includes completing and submitting event planning forms to the Office of Administration, its main purpose is as a harm reduction tactic. By engaging in the event planning process, a chapter identifies potential risks for harm that arise when a chapter is organizing an event. The event planning process forces the undergraduate brothers to allow for proper alcohol monitoring, alcohol distribution, crowd control, transportation, and establishing contractual relationships with third party vendors.
Submitting the event planning form and supporting materials to the Office of Administration 30 days prior to the event allows for further review of the event by the International Headquarters staff. The professional staff can then identify any additional areas that could be potentially harmful to brothers or guests.
Electronic Form Submission Process
Event Planning Forms are available to all chapter officers in the “Forms” section of the Officer Portal. Once a planning form is filled out and submitted, it is sent electronically to the chapter’s High Alpha for approval. If the High Alpha approves, the planning form is then automatically sent to the chapter’s High Pi for approval. Once the High Pi approves the planning form, it is automatically sent to the Office of Administration for review. The High Alpha and High Pi both have the ability to “Reject” a planning form (if it is lacking all necessary information or involves any policy violations). At that point, the planning form is sent back to the officer that originally submitted it, for his revisions. When an Event Planning Form is received by the Office of Administration, it is reviewed by Fraternity staff members. The planning form is marked as “Complete” if all necessary information is included. The form will be “Rejected” and sent back to the submitting officer with an explanation note if information is missing from the form or the event violates any Harm Reduction policy.
What is a Lambda Chi Alpha Event?
To attempt to come up with a definition of a Lambda Chi Alpha function or event is almost impossible. You must consider each of the following in asking the question, “Is this a Lambda Chi Alpha event?”
- Knowledge — Did leaders of the chapter or chapter brothers have knowledge that the event is going to happen?
- Support — Did leaders of the chapter or chapter brothers participate in any way?
- Funding — Did the chapter or a considerable number of brothers finance the event?
- Location — Did the event take place at a chapter house or a location that could be associated with the Fraternity?
Renting Facilities and Equipment
Often a chapter event will call for leasing, renting, or borrowing a facility or equipment. A brother of the chapter should inspect the facility/equipment. If the inspection reveals anything that can be considered hazardous to spectators, guests, members, or other participants, it should be identified and corrected by the owner or identified in the contract.
DO NOT AGREE TO USE ANY FACILITY OR EQUIPMENT THAT IS UNSAFE!
Some examples of exposures to loss due to unsafe facilities and/or equipment:
- Diving Boards at pools
- Carnival Rides
Remember to always have chapter legal counsel (if possible) review each contract associated with a chapter event before it is signed by the chapter. The Chapter Services team is available to review and assist in any contractual agreements.
A Facilities Agreement can be found in the High Iota Version of the Event Planning Guide. Each time the chapter must use a facility that will be leased, rented, or borrowed, this agreement should be signed.
Requesting Certificates of Insurance
If your chapter is in need of a copy of a Certificate of Insurance, please make your request by calling Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at 317.872.8000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In the request, please include:
The name, physical address, email address, phone number, and organization name of the person requesting the certificate.
All supporting documents that indicate the reason why the certificate is being requested.
All contact information for a third-party organization, in the case that a third party is requesting a copy of the Certificate of Insurance.
More information on Certificates of Insurance.
In the case that you need an official Certificate of Insurance please review the following for instructions: Requesting Certificates of Insurance.
Adding Additional Insureds
Any requests to add third parties, such as universities and colleges, landlords, or special event sponsors to the Lambda Chi Alpha group liability insurance policy as Additional Named Insureds, must be made in writing and be accompanied with appropriate documentation. These requests take approximately two weeks to process, so please plan requests accordingly. If the chapter has made an Additional Insured request in the previous semester, the charge will be assess on this Risk Management Assessment at $250 (Additional Insured) or $500 (Additional Insured with Primary Coverage). Requests can be sent to email@example.com
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.
Procedure for Reporting Chapter Incidents
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 accident or potential insurance claim, please follow these instructions:
- If necessary, be sure that the individual(s) receive appropriate emergency care. (Do not acknowledge responsibility or admit liability for any accident or occurrence.)
- Take record of names and contact information of all parties involved, including witnesses.
- Notify Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity International Headquarters – Contact your Educational Leadership Consultation; or call 317.872.8000 (24 Hour Emergency Hotline); or email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Be sure to make contact with a member of the International Headquarters staff)
- Notify chapter High Pi and key alumni volunteers
- Notify University/College officials – typically the Greek Adviser
- Submit online chapter incident report.
- Submit a written explanation, via email to email@example.com.
Report 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 Plan.
Developing a Crisis Management Plan
Crisis Management Template
To access a Crisis Management Template, log into op.lambdachi.org. Click on the Document Library button, then click on the Harm Reduction Report tab. The document is titled Crisis Management Template.
A crisis management plan is only effective if it can be implemented the instant a crisis ensues, and it can only be implemented effectively if each undergraduate brother and alumni brother volunteer are prepared to implement the outlined steps. The entire High Zeta should review the Crisis Management Plan and be familiar with important concepts of handling a crisis. Every officer should have a copy of the Crisis Management Plan.
Be certain that all brothers in the chapter know that the High Alpha and High Pi or an alumni adviser is in charge in the case of emergency. The High Alpha will consult with other brothers who possess more expertise or insight, including the International Headquarters staff and college/university administration. Final instructions to chapter/colony brothers rest with the High Alpha. In the case that a High Alpha is unavailable or absent, the chapter must predetermine who assumes his responsibilities related to the Crisis Management Plan. All brothers must know who is in charge and be prepared to follow instructions.
A review of the chapter’s crisis management plan should occur each term.
General Crisis Management Procedure
Close the chapter house
The High Alpha cannot give instructions and maintain control if brothers are leaving and strangers are entering. Permit only chapter brothers, alumni brothers, and appropriate officials to enter. Assign a few responsible brothers to calmly control access to the chapter house.
Notify appropriate emergency personnel.
Briefly and calmly, explain the situation so that the appropriate emergency personnel can respond.
Notify the following:
- High Pi
- Lambda Chi Alpha International Headquarters – 317.872.8000
- Educational Leadership Consultant
- House Corporation President
- Chapter Legal Counsel
- University Greek Adviser
Assemble all brothers for a chapter meeting
Explain that there is an emergency and that the chapter house is closed. They are not to speak to anyone outside the chapter — the High Alpha and/or High Pi will be the official spokesperson for the chapter. Do not discuss details, speculate on events, or otherwise project consequences. To do so would only create unrest and unnecessary upheaval. It is important for the chapter to remain calm.
Handling the media
If the news media should contact the chapter, only the High Alpha or the High Pi should speak for the chapter. With the help and approval of the High Pi and the International Headquarters staff, the chapter will draft a careful statement before any statement is issued to the media or will be instructed to direct all media inquires to the director of chapter services at 317.872.8000.
In any case, the International Headquarters staff should evaluate this statement before it is disclosed. 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 International Headquarters 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.
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity secures liability insurance for undergraduate brothers, house corporations, alumni advisers, and all members of the board of directors.
What is the Risk Management Assessment (RMA)?
The RMA is an annual fee that is paid to the General Fraternity. Each chapter is billed a per member fee each semester. The base fee for each chapter is $220 per man per year or $110 per man per semester.
There are four categories that the RMA is based off of: Housing, Claims and Incident History, Operating Standards and the Harm Reduction Report. Depending upon how a chapter rates in each of these categories depends on whether it pays more or less per semester.
Seventy-five percent of active Lambda Chi Alpha chapters have a house. Of the seventy-five percent, chapters either have a rental house, a university owned property, or a Lambda Chi Alpha House Corporation owned facility. Fraternity houses commonly are used to conduct Lambda Chi Alpha sponsored events, host social events, and serve as the residence for undergraduate brothers. Having a house increases the risk for potential harm occurring to brothers, guests, or property.
The Housing component will be assessed by looking at two factors:
- House Type (No housing, House Corporation Owned, University Owned, Rental)
- James R. Favor & Company Life Safety/Loss Control Property Inspection
This factor will be assessed in two ways:
- Inspection evaluation – Each inspection results in a ranking of either Good, Needs Improvement, or Poor.
- Inspection response – Each inspection results in “requirements for change.” Following the inspection, each chapter is instructed to send a response indicating that they are aware of the “requirements for change” and providing details of how they intend to attend to the “requirements for change.” There may also be “no requirements” for change as a recommendation.
Claims & Incident History
One goal of the proposed changes to the risk management assessment model is to reward the good actors and to penalize the bad actors. The past risk management assessment model did not successfully incorporate chapter incidents, unless they resulted in an insurance claim.
The Claims & Incident History will be assessed by looking at two factors:
- Claims and Incident Frequency (# of claims & incidents occurring over a period of time)
- Claims and Incident Severity (What has the cost been of these occurrences?)
Chapter Operating Standards
Chapters are required to meet the minimum operating standards outlined in the Constitution and Statutory Code.
The Chapter Operating Standards will be assessed through an aggregate of the following factors:
- Membership Size
- Alumni Involvement
- Financial Management
- Conference Attendance
Harm Reduction Report
Replacing the Premium Credit Application is the Harm Reduction Report. Previously, the Premium Credit Application was submitted online and did not demonstrate to the greatest potential a chapter’s ability to reduce the risk for harm. This report goes beyond the education and awareness component, to demonstrate the chapter’s action on crisis management, life and house safety, fire safety, self conducted inspections, the event planning process, and the overall education and awareness program. This report is due on December 1 and May 1. Details of the report will be cross checked by the Educational Leadership Consultant and other compliance based factors (i.e. Submission of Event Planning Forms to the General Fraternity).
Twice a year, chapters and colonies will report on the following:
- Event Planning Process
- Fire Safety Program
- House Inspection and House Safety Program
- Crisis Management Plan
- Harm Reduction Education Program
- Other efforts
What does the RMA pay for?
The General Fraternity uses the RMA to pay for insurance premiums for the General Fraternity’s multiple insurance policies, to build the Fraternity’s insurance reserves to protect us against future claims, to pay for portions of employee salaries and to pay for Harm Reduction Education costs.
What is the best way to save money?
The two biggest areas that chapters can improve are operating standards and the Harm Reduction Report. These are the two areas that the chapter has the most control over. Between both of these sections, chapters have an opportunity to save $38.85 per man per semester. Also as a general rule of thumb, a chapter that adheres to polices and uses sound Harm Reduction practices is less likely to experience an incident or claim.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with all questions and concerns. As always, your chapter’s Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC) is also a valuable resource.
Hold Harmless Agreements
The involvement of third party vendors (for example, leasing, renting, or borrowing facilities) will sometimes require the chapter to provide an indemnity agreement to the facility owner. An indemnity agreement, often a Hold Harmless Agreement, states that the chapter indemnifies the owner. In other words, the chapter will not transfer any liability for a claim to the owner and will assume owner’s liability and defense. The chapter should never enter into an indemnity agreement, specifically a Hold Harmless Agreement, without contacting the chapter’s legal counsel first.
Certificates of Insurance
A certificate of insurance is a sheet of paper that outlines the types of liability coverage that an insured (policyholder) maintains. The limits of coverage (the most the policy will pay for a claim) are also stated. When using a third party vendor, a certificate of insurance must be obtained from the vendor. This certificate of insurance verifies that the vendor’s liability insurance coverage names the chapter, the house corporation, and the General Fraternity as additional insured.
Life & Fire Safety
An area of Harm Reduction with great importance and impact is life and house safety. In a chapter facility, where brothers live, sleep, do business, and conduct events, there is an inherent and constant risk for potential harm. Much like for an event, or in mitigating activities and behaviors at the chapter level that pose risk for harm, you must be prepared and proactive in managing a chapter facility. The most costly type of insurance claim for fraternities is chapter house fires. A fire can quickly destroy the house, but more importantly could potentially result in the loss of life.
In order to prevent injury or damage from fire or other hazards, each chapter must be prepared and take proactive and preventative measures. The following resources will be helpful in taking such action.
By conducting a regularly scheduled chapter facility inspection and responding to all unsatisfactory areas immediately, the chapter will be lowering the risk for potential harm in the chapter house. The inspection template can be found online in Officer Portal as resource in conducting inspections. It is also recommended that each chapter facility is inspected by the local Fire Marshal each year to ensure that the facility is up to code with the city or town. The undergraduate members should contact the Fire Marshal to schedule these inspections.
Fire Marshal Inspection
Each chapter facility should be inspected annually by a certified Fire Marshal, and documentation of these inspections should be kept on file at with the chapter officers for review by the chapter’s Educational Leadership Consultant.
Educational Leadership Consultant Inspection
Twice a year, the Lambda Chi Alpha educational leadership consultant will perform a chapter facility inspection along with a brother of the chapter. The ELC will provide honest feedback and a series of recommendations that must be addressed. Your chapter should plan to take this inspection seriously and utilize the experience and knowledge of the ELC as a way to address potential life safety concerns at your house.
James R. Favor & Co. Life-Safety Insurance Inspection
Through the Lambda Chi Alpha liability insurance program, each chapter house is periodically inspected by a professional inspection organization. These inspections address issues of life safety and overall facility maintenance. It is important that the chapter cooperate with those scheduling and conducting the inspection. Each inspection will result in a series of recommendations. Along with the House Corporation, university, or independent landlord, the chapter must address these recommendations as required by Lambda Chi Alpha and report to both the Office of Administration and James R. Favor & Co. on compliance efforts.