Alumni-Active Covenant

What the House Corporation Will Provide

  • A residence for the active chapter, which essentially means three things:

  1. Paying the property taxes.
  2. Paying to insure the property.
  3. Paying for long-term upkeep and maintenance of the property, as well as capital improvements.

It is the responsibility of the house corporation to fund maintenance and capital improvements that will last several “generations.” This might include a new roof, a protective fence above the gorge, major renovations of bathrooms or kitchen, a new boiler, etc. The house corporation commits itself to maintaining a residence that is safe and legal, and to insuring that there is no interruption in utility service (heat, electricity).  

  • Advice, support, and counsel to the undergraduates.

Although sometimes undergraduates don’t believe it, the life experience of alumni can benefit the active chapter.  The house corporation commits itself to be such a resource.  It does not expect the active chapter to “go it alone.”

  • Respect for members of the active chapter as brothers and as individuals.

“They didn’t do it this way when I was at Cornell” is the cliché alumni complaint.  The house corporation commits itself to partnership with the undergraduates, realizing that the needs and lifestyle of the active chapter might not necessarily reflect those of earlier college generations.  This does not mean accepting everything proposed by undergraduates, but neither does it mean that the Omicron Zeta of 2009 must be exactly the same as the Omicron Zeta of 1979.

  • A lifelong brotherhood for all those who have joined the fraternity.

It is the responsibility of the house corporation to maintain ongoing contact with all brothers of Omicron Zeta, by providing a regularly published newsletter, by compiling a membership directory from time to time, by requesting and collecting alumni dues, and by encouraging attendance at Homecoming and Reunion.

What the Active Chapter Will Provide

The undergraduates’ main responsibility can be summed up in one word: Stewardship. This entails

  • Reasonable maintenance of the property.

The active chapter commits itself to making sure the fraternity house is clean, in good order, and safe. This means

Applying interior paint when it is needed, replacing carpets, sweeping, mopping, polishing and cleaning regularly; and keeping the whole house (most especially the first floor and basement) presentable.

Working with the Alumni House Repairman to replace or repair any broken windows, faulty toilets, safety problems, security problems, etc.  The house manager should conduct work sessions to improve the conditions and general appearance of the property.  All repair work must be done by qualified and competent individuals:  for example, a licensed electrician must be used for any electrical work; a licensed plumber must be used for any plumbing work.  

Do not disable, tamper with, or obstruct safety systems such as fire alarms, the sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits.  Never blocking electrical panels or overload electrical circuits.  Do not have open flames including candles.  

From time to time there may be disagreement about whether a certain action constitutes day-to-day maintenance (the responsibility of the active chapter) or a long-term capital improvement (the responsibility of the house corporation).  Such disagreements will be worked out between the two parties in a brotherly fashion.

  • Avoiding any action that could cause Omicron Zeta to be suspended, shut down, or removed from Cornell.

This essentially means making sure that every brother follows all the laws, rules, regulations and other conditions of Cornell; the City of Ithaca; New York State; and the General Fraternity, most particularly those involving alcohol, illegal drugs, or hazing.  The selfish and reckless actions of one brother can bring to a halt the 100-plus-year presence of Lambda Chi Alpha at Cornell.  The active chapter commits itself to doing everything in its power to make sure such a shutdown never happens.

  • Maintaining a healthy fraternity by rushing and initiating the best possible Cornell men in sufficient numbers to ensure a healthy chapter.

The fraternity’s future is in the hands of the undergraduates.  Therefore, the active chapter commits itself to insuring that Cornell men of sufficient quantity and quality join Omicron Zeta.  

  • Respect for alumni as brothers and as individuals.  Respect for employees of the membership.  Respect for the property of the Fraternity

Respect is a two-way street.  As much as graduates pledge to treat undergraduates with courtesy and consideration, so do the undergraduates agree not to view alumni as clueless old fossils.

Respect for employees of the active membership and the House Corporation.  Employees should have defined work responsibilities.  The work environment must be non-threatening.  Employees should be shown appreciation and compassion.  

Respect for the property of the Fraternity is important.  Do not damage or allow the property to be damaged including walking on the kitchen roof, breaking onto the roof, breaking into the food pantry, installing your own room door locks, installing air conditioner such that condensate runs into the house.  

Revised 9/22/10