2021 National Convention

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we having an in-person Convention at all?
In the Fall of 2019, we signed a contract with the hotel to host a Convention in August 2020.  The hotel generously agreed to change the dates on that contract so that we could host our Convention in summer 2021, under the assumption that the pandemic would be in the rearview mirror by now.  While the pandemic continues, the introduction of several highly-effective vaccines, and plunging case rates, give us confidence that we can host a Convention that is safe and allows us to fulfill our contract, avoiding the significant financial penalty we would owe were we to cancel.
Why is the price for the Remote Participant Ticket the same as for In-Person ticket?
Our contract with the hotel guarantees a certain amount of spending on meals and hotel rooms.  If we fail to meet the minimums (which the hotel has generously agreed to adjust down in light of current realities,) we will owe them the difference between the guaranteed minimum and what we actually deliver.  If every Chapter sends a delegate and alternate, either in person or on a remote participant ticket, then we will be able to limit the penalties we would have to pay the hotel to an amount that is much lower than what we would pay if we had to cancel Convention all together.  In fact, we project that the amount we will have to pay in under-attendance penalties will be in line with what we normally spend on a convention. 

Please keep in mind that those student members who attend on a remote participant ticket will be able to submit for reimbursement of that ticket cost through the Convention Reimbursement Program, so even though you are still technically paying for a meal package that you are not going to eat, it won’t cost your chapter’s delegate and alternate a dime in the end.

Will I be able to apply for reimbursement through the Convention Reimbursement Program if I attend on a remote participant ticket?
Yes, those who attend on a remote participant ticket will be eligible for full reimbursement through the Convention Reimbursement Program
Will I be able to apply for reimbursement through the Convention Reimbursement Program if I attend on a virtual ticket?
No, those who attend on a virtual ticket will not be eligible for reimbursement.  The virtual ticket is designed for those who simply wish to watch, not participate. The Convention Reimbursement Program is designed to help Chapters with the financial burden of fulfilling their Constitutional responsibility to send voting Delegates to the Convention. Since virtual ticket holders cannot participate, they do not meet the letter or the spirit of the reimbursement program.
If I attend Convention on a remote participant ticket, can I seek reimbursement for meals consumed while I attend Convention?
No.  You would, presumably, be eating meals at home during the time spent participating in Convention remotely, even if you were not attending Convention.  As such, you may not seek reimbursement for meals.
What type of COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be in place?
Theta Tau continues to take COVID-19 seriously.  Those who attend in person will be required to wear masks and socially distance in any indoor public spaces at the Convention hotel.  Masks will also be required at any outdoor events where social distancing is not possible.  Those who are unable or unwilling to wear a mask should not attend Convention.  Those who refuse to wear a mask while at Convention will be removed from the premises and no refund will be given.

In-person attendees will also be required to show proof of either full vaccination or a negative COVID test based on a specimen collected no more than 72 hours before departure for Convention.  We strongly encourage all of our members who are medically able to be vaccinated to do so as soon as possible, whether they are attending Convention or not.

Are we going to be doing Ritual over Zoom?
No.  The business sessions will not be conducted under the Ritual this year so that they can be livestreamed.  Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, details will be shared privately with members closer to Convention.
Will the livestream of Convention be recorded?
Parts of it, yes.  Legislative sessions will not be recorded but keynotes and other educational/developmental programming will be recorded.
How will Credentialing work for those attending remotely?
Those who purchase a remote ticket will be invited to sign up for a remote credentialing video call in late June or early July.  During this call, you must wear headphones, have your camera on, and have no non-members present in order to be properly credentialed.  Credentialing will, at a minimum, consist of providing your full name, chapter, initiation date, and a photo of your shingle if you have it. Use of secrets to determine membership may be used, but if you are a member who has not yet been instructed in the secrets due to extenuating circumstances, that will be taken into account during the credentialing process.
Will those attending on a virtual ticket need to be Credentialed?
No, but you will need to be vouched for by a Credentialed member.  Only delegates and alternates are expected to be credentialed.
If I purchase a remote participant ticket, how will I actually be able to take part in debates?
Those attending on a remote or virtual ticket will be able to see and hear the proceedings on Zoom. Those who hold a remote participant ticket and wish to participate in the debate (both virtually and in-person) will indicate that they want to speak (we’re still working out the details on exactly how this will work,) and be called on in order. Those attending in-person will not be given speaking priority.  When recognized and given the floor by the Grand Regent, the remote participant will be put up on the screens at the front of the room and have their audio sent through the speakers in the general session hall.
Will I need any special hardware or software to participate in Convention remotely?
Any computer or device capable of running Zoom and that has a webcam will work just fine. In order to be given the floor, you must have your webcam turned on.  A blank screen will not be recognized and given the floor.
Will Convention be one long Zoom call or several smaller ones?
Convention will be broken up into individual Zoom sessions.  The links will be provided to registrants through the Convention App, which will launch in June.
What is the dress code at Convention?

For the most part, convention is business casual, which means a shirt with a collar and nice jeans, khakis, slacks or a skirt.  You will likely see National Officers and Central Office Staff in business attire (suits, dresses, etc).  The opening session on Thursday and the dinner on Thursday evening are formal.  Banquet on Saturday evening is black tie-optional, meaning a tuxedo, formal business suit, or a long or cocktail dress.

A good rule of thumb is to dress to the more formal end of the spectrum as opposed to the more casual end of the spectrum.  It’s easy to be underdressed but hard to be overdressed.

Countdown to Convention 2021