Congratulations on your election to external vice president! In this role, you are the primary organizer and overseer of the external operations within your chapter. You’ll spend your term supporting and managing a cabinet of chairmen, working together with the ultimate goal of realizing all initiatives related to external operations. Your weekly tasks might include:
- Performing the tasks of the chapter president in his absence
- Attending and giving a report at weekly executive council and chapter meetings
- Holding and presiding over weekly committee chairmen meetings
- Working to fulfill goals related to external operations
- Managing the external cabinet budget
- Maintaining regular communication with the alumni operations advisor
- Motivating the committee chairmen to perform the tasks assigned to them
The work you do as external vice president has the potential to elevate your chapter to new heights, and that bigger picture should always be in mind.
Organize the Committee Chairs
In order to more effectively accomplish your duties as the external vice president, it is important to form a functioning external cabinet made up of appointed committee chairs. The steps involved with forming your cabinet are: (1) determining who is interested in being a chair of a committee and (2) which positions each person should be appointed to in the cabinet.
The first step to organizing the external cabinet is determining who wants to be appointed as a committee chair. In order to get the best response for involvement, you want to engage the chapter membership through numerous avenues, typically via electronic communication such as e-mail or Facebook as well as in person during the chapter meeting or a separate meeting. Prior to sending out communication asking for help from chapter members, you want to make sure you have a way to meet with all of those interested and assign responsibilities, typically through a meeting on campus or in the chapter house (if applicable). Once the meeting location is finalized, you simply want to engage the chapter by telling those who are interested about the meeting time and location. Ask for chapter members to hold up their hands if interested when in chapter meeting and to respond if sent out over e-mail. This is to ensure you have interest from the members since otherwise you will have to appoint and ask certain members to be a committee chair. Once you have verified involvement from chapter members, you will need to determine which chapter members would be best qualified to hold positions as committee chairs. It is important to consider previous chapter involvement, campus involvement, age, major, class load, etc. when determining who would be best qualified for certain positions, but ultimately the final decision should be left up to you as external vice president with input from the executive council. Committee chairs are very important positions, so it is important to screen and judge interested candidates similarly to a business interviewing candidates for a new job position. Once you have determined the best qualified candidates for each position, it is important to inform each of them of their position appointment and invite/inform them of the previously planned meeting time and location.
The purpose of the meeting with the chapter members who will be involved is to inform each person of their new role and title in addition to providing them with any material that will help them successfully fulfill each position including the position handbook. Ensure each chair reviews and understands all of this information as this will prepare the newly appointed committee chairs for their positions. Once each man understands his position, you should also work to set goals for each position. In order to properly set goals, it is important to setup individual meetings with each committee chair. These meetings should last no longer than thirty minutes, but it is important to hold these meetings in order to ensure the person holding the position is aligned with the goals of the chapter while giving him ownership of the position.
The six undergraduate members hold the positions of athletics chairman, campus involvement chairman, community service chairman, public relations chairman, social chairman and special events chairman. The one alumnus member holds the position of alumni operations advisor which is a member of the alumni advisory board. Brief job descriptions for each of these positions are listed below. Full page overviews of each position which can be given to each member of the internal cabinet can be found starting on page 10 of the external vice president handbook.
Athletics Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of the intramural program within the chapter.
Campus Involvement Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of the campus involvement program within the chapter.
Community Service Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of the community service and philanthropy programs within the chapter.
Public Relations Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of the public relations program that ultimately builds rapport with audiences of the chapter.
Social Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of the events that allow chapter members to meet new people in a social context.
Special Events Chairman – the primary organizer and overseer of participating and competing in events/competitions on campus.
Alumni Operations Advisor – provides counsel and advice to the external vice president and external cabinet within the chapter.
Once you have organized the external cabinet, you will want to be continually updated on progress with tasks that the committee chairs are charged with, so it is recommended to hold weekly external cabinet meetings. During these meetings it is important to allow every person in the cabinet to detail what it is they have done in the past week, what they failed to do in the past week, and anything that they plan to do or major events that are taking place in the near future. It is even helpful to utilize and expect a report from each committee chair, similar to the one outlined on page 17 of the external vice president handbook. These meetings should not take long, and they are a simple way to help ensure all necessary work is completed while also effectively delegating responsibilities.
The PIKE Blog and the PIKE Podcast are resources available to you to help manage and support your cabinet. Both platforms have resources specific to the roles represented within the external cabinet, and sharing them is a simple as a few clicks. We can’t wait to see everything you’ll accomplish this year!
Jarrett M. Way
Director of Educational Content & Strategy