ΔΣΦ, ΓΔ Chapter, August Work Party Invitation – August 13,14,15,16, 2010
Who - All Gamma Delta chapter, Delta Sig alumnae and friends What - A weekend work party When - Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 13-15, 2010 Where - Chapter house in Pullman, about 1-2pm on Friday Why - Help prepare the chapter house and members for the fall term
Please plan to attend. 1, 2 or 3 days or more. All are welcome, even Drop-ins. Drop a line to myself or to Jim Wilson Jim Wilson just to let us know you'll be joining us.
You may wish to get a motel room due to students returning for their pre-class work week (classes begin Monday, Aug. 23rd). Click here to see links to many Pullman-Moscow motels. Many of us who attended the June weekend are getting motel rooms. You may also bring your sleeping bag and sleeping pad and stay at the house. Tents can also be pitched in the back or front yard.
One additional item we are planning is to meet with the students and share with them the duties and responsibilities of elected house officers and appointed leaders.
We'd like to ask each alum to share their "best known methods" for all the various house positions and tasks.
Whether you were an officer, kitchen manager, house manager, rush chairman, or if you never held an office, tell us what worked for you, so we can share it with those who are performing those duties right now. We have a lot of new men in the house and we need your help.
What worked best for you when you were in the house?
What would you recommend to the current and future men in these positions?
If you could identify one item or practice that would ensure success, what would that be?
If you could change one thing about a position or office, what would you change?
How much time each day or week should these duties require for success?
Who would you recommend we contact for more info and help?
Any other help you can provide will be documented and shared.
As a part of this sharing, we may also provide a family style dinner for the students, if time and attendance allows, to emphasize the fraternal part of meal times. We may have to do this dinner later during the fall semester. A couple of us may stick around an extra day or so to share this information.
It's also a good time to toss your golf clubs into the car, as we may find time to hit Palouse Ridge after all the work is completed, possibly on Sunday or the Monday after.
#1. We need an official photographer, to document all the activities and people during the weekend (take lots of pictures, use project list as check list)
#2. We need a projector that will show powerpoint slides from a PC, just for this weekend.
Grades for spring semester 2010 were not as good as expected, missing the mark by a few tenths (2.73 vs 2.8 minimum). The house was subsequently placed on Tier I probation.
Jim Wilson, Chapter Advisor, is working with the City of Pullman and the house electic power utility, Avista, to trim away branches from the power and phone lines over the parking lot and thru the two large trees in the front yard. This will also remove most or all of the shoes from these trees and satisfy both the city and the utility, on whose wires many of the shoes were tangled. Jim reports that this work may also include additional tree thinning by the city. If not, further trimming and shoe removal may be added to the August project work list. Plans are to ask the membership, when they return in late August, to no longer toss shoes into these two trees.
Jim is also working to repair the fire doors at the top of the landings, working with a vendor in Spokane. The vendor suggested different hardware that would be about half the cost and would be more durable, but it involves using a center column that the push bars latch onto. This would give us a new frame and hardware to use with our existing doors for about $300 each. We can repair all the scratches and gouges in the doors and then paint. The plan is to have these frames ready for install during the August alumni work weekend.
During the June work weekend we discovered water damage in the basement rooms, from the ice machine that was in the dining room. We removed the ice machine to a storage spot in the laundry room. We capped the water supply and the drain lines currently in the wall shared with the kitchen.
In the basement we had to remove carpeting, drywall and insulation and allow the wood to dry. Mold was found inside the wall and on some of the insulation. Wet items were removed and sent to the dump. In August we need to continue this work, removing all items currently stored in the two affected rooms, so we can make a final damage assessment and begin to make repair plans.
It is possible the water damage may extend over the hallway in the basement. At this time the basement bathroom and student rooms are not being used. The storage room and laundry room need access. Long term plans are to renovate the basement bathroom, but the water damage and lack of funds have delayed this effort for now.
The students are working this summer to sign up pledges, as there is no formal Fraternity rush. Those who are signed (pledged) prior to mid-August may live in the house fall term. Otherwise, pledges have to live in the dorm for their first semester. Informal rush continues all year, but the University has not been flexible in refunding housing costs which would allow pledges to move into the house after the start of each semester.
We should know how many members and pledges are returning in early August, and our plan is to double up in rooms on the third floor, then only double up fourth floor rooms as needed. To do this, we're planning on building wooden bunk beds to allow two men per room. Click here to see a picture of the prototype bunk bed. We will also order mattresses for the bunk beds from a supplier in Spokane.
The ACB meets saturday morning on homecoming weekend at the Chapter House.
The ACB building fund currently is about $12,000, thanks to recent donations. These funds are separate from funds that pay for normal living expenses. About two years ago the ACB took control of the house checkbook, due to irregularities and missed payments for basic services, such as utilities and food services. All bills are now paid, from the house account, by the ACB Chapter Advisor or the ACB Treasurer. Undergraduate house officers help with deposits but no longer have signature authority.
We are also attempting to increase the ACB reserves, as our homeowners insurance carries a $10k deductible. There have been some large expenses during the past ten years, which have reduced the reserves to almost nil. These include recent furnace and sewer line repairs, along with a very expensive retro-fit of a sprinkler system not to far in the past. During the summer of 2009 donations funded a renovation of the 4th floor bathroom. To help keep the house solvent during the past 18 months, many of the usual payments from the house to the ACB were reduced or forgiven. This has helped solvency but had a negative impact on reserves, and normal payments were resumed last semester.
There have also been a few students who did not pay for their housing or fraternity fees, and those have been addressed, with some sent to collection. The Chapter Advisor works with all of the undergrad students to provide many options and opportunities for them to make good their financial obligations.
The renovation of the basement bathroom will cost $18-20k, and we elected to not begin any work until we had the funds. The recent water damage adds to this overall expense, as our priority is safety, then livibility. When the basement bathroom work is completed, the basement student rooms should be next.
We are also working to see if we can set up a tax exempt foundation, to which building fund donations would be tax deductible. This is a slow process, with no guarantee of success. In the interim, any assistance you can provide is appreciated. Many alums are also providing help "in kind", such as the recent purchase of a new chest freezer, paints for the foyer, hardware needed to accomplish work tasks during these work weekends and much more. All of this help is appreciated.
Thomas James – President
Edward Maher – Secretary
Grant Lund - ACB VP and Treasurer
Jim Wilson – Chapter Supervisor
Bob Merriman – Advisor
Willie Deibel – Advisor
Jay See - Advisor
Kyle Weir - Advisor
We need your continues help and support. Please plan to attend, contribute, send ideas and lend encouragement. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
Thomas M James (TJ) ACB President, Gamma Delta Chapter
Phone: home: 503.690.9467
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