June 12, 2020

Dear Parents, Active Members, and Alums: 

As summer school is now in session, we are writing to update you on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as it relates to our Tau actives. 

The Tau Chapter and Texas Kappa Sigma Educational Foundation (House Corporation) continue to work together to comply with directives from both Travis County and the City of Austin, while also working to get back to those relationship-building activities that help shape and strengthen our brotherhood. Barring an outbreak, we will begin to undertake most of the activities we have in the past,  while deploying reasonable practices to stay safe.

With only 20 young men participating in the new summer meal program, we can easily have them maintain a safe distance from each other in the Lodge. We are still weighing the options for the fall but may use boxed meals in some instances, as we did this past spring. The House Corporation has purchased Personal Protection Equipment for employees who prepare meals and clean the facilities and has also hired additional janitorial help to clean and disinfect every room in the Lodge and Residence Hall with even more frequency.

We have asked the actives to review and use self-survey questions that could indicate symptoms of the virus, including the presence of fever, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty, persistent cough, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, muscle pain or chills. They will be reminded every day (via the Chapter's listserve) of these early warning symptoms in order to monitor their own health and keep their brothers safe as well. We also encourage them to refrain from handshakes (using fist or elbow bumps instead) and to wear masks when in the company of others.

Furthermore, we require any active who has tested positive for COVID-19 to stay away from the property until they provide proof of a negative test. If they are living in the Residence Hall, they will need to relocate and quarantine elsewhere. Most will return to their homes, but for those who need another option here in Austin, the City of Austin is providing the Crowne Plaza Hotel as a quarantine facility, free of charge. One of the young men living in the Residence Hall has recently tested positive and is now quarantining there, where he is provided a private room, three meals a day, and onsite medical care. He is in contact with a Tau brother who tells us he is doing well. He is free to leave the facility whenever he chooses, but will need to provide negative test results before returning to the Residence or Lodge.

We continue to monitor information from the University of Texas, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the Governor’s Office and the CDC, and will be ready to implement any additional protocols, should circumstances dictate such. 

We have also heightened security in light of new construction taking place on an adjacent lot and the potential for tensions in the West Campus area we call home. We have scheduled an overnight security guard to begin on Sunday, June 14.

Summer Rush is now underway ( your contributions to the effort are always appreciated ), and we know the Chapter will recruit an outstanding pledge class, even without the presence of Summer Orientation on campus this year. The Tau Rush Team's hard work has already produced excellent results. Fifteen soon-to-be-freshmen have now signed bid cards, a nice jump start in our quest for 50+ pledges this fall! 

Every contribution you make to Rush helps make our Chapter stronger! As alums, we know that we benefitted greatly from the alumni who went before us and supported our rush efforts. If you can help, please contact Tiernan Schindel (tiernanschindel@gmail.com or (512) 550-3333). Or, click here to donate online.

We look forward to “a reasonable return to a new normal," especially for our beloved Longhorns and the football season ahead. Parents/Tau Trustees Weekend is scheduled for November 13 & 14, so please mark your calendars.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please reach out to Michael Sharpe, our volunteer Corona Virus Czar. His email address is bighornsfan@sbcglobal.net


Directors and Officers
Texas Kappa Sigma Educational Foundation