The need for quality housing is a must for the further development of Sigma Nu Chapters as well as the growth of Fifth Point Properties. In 2005, Fifth Point Properties, in conjunction with the Fraternity began developing a set of guidelines for house corporations to outline a progression to a higher standard of quality among the Fraternity’s housing stock.
The 62nd Grand Chapter held in Indianapolis, Indiana in July 2006, passed the following resolution in response to Sigma Nu Fraternity’s Strategic Plan and the Real Estate Imperative.
WHEREAS the first strategic goal under the Real Estate Strategic Imperatives section of the Sigma Nu Fraternity Strategic Plan is “The Fraternity’s chapter houses will meet established standards by fall of 2007” and such standards remain to be established; and
WHEREAS the development of clear housing guidelines is essential to the Fraternity’s Real Estate Imperative and further helps Fifth Point Properties, LLC target its development of products and services to assist house corporations and chapters with respect to the specific areas identified by the guidelines;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the 62nd Grand Chapter that, to encourage house corporations to provide a safe, clean, living environment for undergraduate members that supports scholastic achievement and the Fraternity’s mission, the following guidelines be established by the Fraternity for house corporations that own property where that property is used to house undergraduate students associated with chapters of the Fraternity, while recognizing that each such corporation has its own board of directors and its own governing documents, and that Sigma Nu Fraternity is not part of the governing structure of these house corporations; and
THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the 62nd Grand Chapter that in recognizing that housing guidelines are critical for the safety and welfare of our chapter members, it may be necessary to discuss and implement further measures in the future after monitoring the level of adherence to these established house corporation guidelines.
Below are the House Corporation Guidelines that were established as a result of the resolution adopted at the 62nd Grand Chapter:
Safety & Security
- Each facility shall have fully operable doors, both interior and exterior, and windows that allow for a secure facility
- All doors in each facility shall have the appropriate fire rating
- Each facility shall have regular fire safety inspections conducted by appropriate local enforcement officials
- Each facility shall maintain fire safety systems, including, but not limited to:
- Adequate fire extinguishers
- Adequate exit signage
- A fire evacuation plan, posted appropriately throughout the building(s)
- Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, preferably with hard-wired, monitored systems
- Each facility shall work toward the installation of a fire suppression system
- Each facility shall have a policy in place that prohibits the burning of candles inside the building(s), and that policy shall be posted in a conspicuous place and/or included in the lease agreement
- Each facility shall have a policy in place that prohibits smoking inside the building(s), and that policy shall be posted in a conspicuous place and/or included in the lease agreement
Technology and Scholastic Support
- Each facility shall have high-speed internet access that is available in each residence room and preferably throughout the facility
- Each facility shall have adequate electrical capacity in each room
- Each facility shall have a dedicated study space, such as a study room or library
- Each facility shall have a policy in place that establishes quiet/courtesy hours, and that policy shall be posted in a conspicuous place and/or included in the lease agreement
- Written housing agreements shall be in place for all individuals and entities involved
- Each individual tenant shall pay a security deposit
- Formal check-in and check-out procedures shall be in place
- A plan to address potential Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues shall be in place
House Corporation Practices
- Each house corporation shall operate in compliance with its respective Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
- Each house corporation board of directors shall meet no less than annually
- Each house corporation shall maintain its appropriate corporate status in good standing with its respective state or province of incorporation
- Each house corporation shall hold regular elections as specified in its Bylaws
- Each house corporation shall file the appropriate federal and state or provincial tax forms
- Each house corporation shall verify that their facility is adequately insured and that all policies and premiums are current annually
- Each house corporation shall produce annual financial statements
- The entity that leases or subleases each facility shall provide an itemized statement of charges to each tenant. If the house corporation leases the facility to the chapter and the chapter subleases rooms to students, then the chapter shall provide the itemized statements.
- Each house corporation shall set lease rates that enable it to set aside funds to meet annual facility upkeep expenses and that enable it to have funds in reserve to meet anticipated future capital needs.
- Each house corporation shall set lease rates that enable it to set aside funds to provide grounds maintenance during periods that the facility is not occupied
Click here to download a copy of the House Corporation Guidelines.
To assist House Corporations, the Fraternity and Fifth Point Properties has come up with a Self Assessment Tool that can be completed to gauge chapter house facilities progress towards fulfilling the suggested House Corporation Guidelines.
More information and resources to come ... In the meantime; please feel free to contact us via e-mail or by telephone at 540.463.1869 to see how we may be able to assist you with your needs.