A primary focus at this point is the execution of a transition retreat, which will aid in the continuity of all chapter efforts. This can be tricky to plan because you’re working with two different executive councils, but it is essential to the growth of all areas of chapter programming. Transition can make the difference between a twenty-year-old chapter having twenty years of experience or the same chapter having one-year experience, twenty times. Few events will affect the immediate future of the chapter more than the transition from one executive council to another. Organization and documentation are the keys to maintaining continuity to the life of the chapter - even through those challenging times.

Fundamentals of an effective transition retreat

  • Hold after elections and prior to installation
  • Mandatory attendance for all old and new officers should attend
  • Have a written agenda
  • Reserve at least a half-day to a full day
  • Document all business in writing
  • Leave time for fun after all business has been covered
  • Mandatory attendance
  • Basic expenses should be covered by the chapter (e.g. supplies and food)
  • No alcohol permitted
  • Bring all necessary supplies (i.e. handbooks, by-laws, etc.)
  • Set goals
  • Have the advisor attend the transition retreat

The Three Stages of the transition retreat

ONE:

  • Review progress of chapter goals
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the outgoing executive council
  • Discuss standard operating procedures (e.g. executive council meetings)

TWO:

  • Breakout sessions matching each outgoing officer and officer-elect
  • Examine, in-depth, the responsibilities of each officer
  • Pass on relevant materials
  • Discuss recent accomplishments and the top priorities that require immediate attention
  • Question and answer period

THREE:

  • Bring the whole group back together
  • Brainstorm and identify the top priorities of the chapter
  • Set some goals based on where the chapter wants to be
  • Establish a general calendar

DUTIES OF THE OUTGOING OFFICERS

President and Vice Presidents

  • Organize a transition retreat and follow-up meeting
  • Provide a listing of all chapter rules, policies, and by-laws
  • Outline all rules, policies or by-laws amended or passed during the recent administrations. Indicate the date passed or implemented
  • Assure that the treasurer has followed steps outlined below
  • Provide a list of all monthly reports required by the Memorial Headquarters
  • Explain international pledging and initiation fee structure
  • Explain IFC dues structure
  • Review the Fraternity Standards
  • Collect all committee notebooks and materials to be turned over to the new chairmen
  • Review chapter consultant report from previous year
  • List all dates already set (e.g. formals, dinners, Founders Day, etc.)

Treasurer

  • Prepare paperwork for change of signatures on checks
  • Pay all bills received prior to end of term. Do not leave surprises for the new ThC
  • Pay all Memorial Headquarters assessments, dues, and fines prior to the end of term
  • List any contracts signed
  • List all expected major expenditures for the next few months
  • Provide a loose-leaf notebook or printout of all bank statements in chronological order
  • Provide a neat business checkbook in which all canceled checks have been taped to the appropriate stub
  • Provide a list of required periodic expenditures and the average of the amounts for telephone, entertainment, room rent, insurance, food, intramural costs, IFC dues, furniture, mixer costs, rental of party facilities, etc.
  • Provide a clear ledger sheet for every member, indicating each member's payments and expenses

Secretary

  • Pass along past term's minutes
  • Provide a chronological list of due dates for all reports due to Memorial Headquarters
  • Review supply of all necessary forms and the manner in which they are to be completed
  • Discuss roll call procedure

CHECKLISTS FOR NEW OFFICERS

President

  • Meet with: Chapter Advisor, Greek Advisor, House Corporation President (if applicable), and Alumni Association President (if applicable)
  • Update chapter officers
  • Review Chapter President’s Handbook
  • Make plans to attend the Chapter Executives Conference held each January in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Implement Officer Transition meetings
  • Supervise transfer of notebooks and materials

Vice Presidents

  • Appoint chairmen with executive council
  • Create committee notebooks/transfer old ones
  • Meet with chairmen
  • Assist the chairmen in appointing committees to each position

Secretary

  • Obtain and organize chapter files
  • Update membership records
  • Report any lost new members or initiations

With the above information, you’ll be off to a great start! Putting 110 percent into the framework of your new role will yield exceptional results, and we can’t wait to see everything you’re going to do! Best of luck to you as you start your term, and we’ll be in touch.

Jarrett M. Way

Director of Educational Content & Strategy