Congratulations on your election to chapter secretary! In this role, you are the primary liaison between the university and the Memorial Headquarters in regard to membership reporting. Additionally, you are responsible for appropriate documentation of chapter operations. Throughout your term, your brothers will rely on you to be an effective record keeper and communicator. On a week-to-week basis, you might:
- Attend executive council and chapter meetings
- Attend and giving a report at weekly committee chair and chapter meetings
- Work to fulfill goals related to secretary
- Manage the secretary budget
- Take minutes at all executive council and chapter meetings
- Take roll at all chapter meetings and sponsored events
When it comes to tasks for the whole semester or quarter, these may include:
- Setting goals for the secretary position
- Setting the secretary budget
- Working with the executive council to organize a chapter goal-setting retreat, officer retreat, and transition retreat
- Reporting all initiations to the Memorial Headquarters five days prior to the day of initiation
- Reporting all transfer students wishing to affiliate, to the Memorial Headquarters and the University within five days of the chapter’s vote to accept him as a member
- Reporting all members who enter alumni status, to the Memorial Headquarters and the University, within five days of graduation
- Forwarding all correspondence or forms needed for resignations, expulsions and reinstatements to the Memorial Headquarters and the University
- Reporting the election of all new officers to the Memorial Headquarters and the University
- Ordering all needed supplies from the Memorial Headquarters (e.g., rush brochures, new regalia, etc.)
- Updating the chapter by-laws by including all new amendments passed each semester
- Updating the fraternity roster with the university for accurate reports on scholarship
- Creating and maintain a uniform secretary handbook including guidelines, ideas, and suggestions for future secretary
- Assisting in the completion and submission of a Year End Summary
Taking Effective Meeting Minutes
Taking accurate minutes during chapter and executive meetings is a major responsibility of the secretary. This is important because in most cases this is the only way chapters document their history. If done correctly and in detail, chapter minutes may provide an accurate record of chapter activities. It is important to remember to submit copies of the chapter minutes to the regional president and the chapter advisor on the 15th of each month, during the academic school year. The chapter advisor must know what is going on within the chapter on a weekly basis. By informing him on a regular basis, he will be much more capable to advise the chapter in various areas. The regional president requires this information because it assists him in identifying problem areas where he may be of help. It is best if the minutes are taken electronically so that they can easily be stored and sent out to various groups. The secretary should also email the minutes to each member in the chapter once the chapter meeting is done. The chapter agenda should be sent to members prior to the chapter meeting.
Reporting Members and Officers
All new members, new initiates and officers must be updated through OmegaFi Vault. New initiates need to be reported as initiated five days prior to the initiation date. Transfers should be reported within five days of transferring. Alumni should be reported within five days of becoming alumni. Resignations, expulsions, and reinstatements should be reported within five days of these situations occurring. New officers should be reported within five days of installations or elections. All of these items can be done through Vault. It is also recommended that a list of newly initiated brothers be sent to the chapter consultant. The best practice is to always confirm all changes made with new members, new initiates and new officers with Memorial Headquarters.
Roll shall be taken at every chapter meeting and executive council meeting. This can be done electronically using an Excel spreadsheet with a comprehensive list of all members. The purpose of taking roll is to ensure the attendance policies established by the chapter’s by-laws are being followed. Roll should be taken at the beginning of each meeting and excused absences need to be reported to the secretary two days prior to each meeting.
As secretary, your overall goal is to ensure that proper documentation and reporting of chapter operations and membership takes place. In order to properly achieve this goal, you must always be in attendance for chapter and executive meetings as well as be aware of any changes in membership. Therefore, to fulfill your duties as secretary, your goals should look something like this:
- Attend and properly document all business during chapter and executive council meetings
- Document and report any membership changes to Memorial Headquarters and to the University in a timely manner
If you accomplish these directives, you will successfully fulfill your duties as secretary. These goals may not seem difficult, but they are crucial to the administrative and logistical development of your chapter!
How do I take effective notes?
Be sure notes are taken electronically to ensure that they will not be lost in transition of officers. Document each chair and executive member’s report, being sure to highlight days for upcoming events. Always review all notes before sending them out to alumni and chapter members.
What is the best way to take attendance at meetings?
Verbally call roll to ensure that all members are present. Keep roll in an electronic spreadsheet which makes it easier to count members absences.
When should I compile information for the Year End Summary?
The information for the year end summary should be compiled throughout the entire year. Documenting all achievements the chapter accomplishes. By compiling the information for the Year End Summary throughout the year, it will ensure the chapter will have a more organized submission.
Why should I report initiations five days prior to the initiation date?
To avoid the chapter being assessed a fine that is outlined in the Constitution and Chapter Codes.
When should I submit an order for supplies?
A supply order should be done at the beginning of the school year. Compile a list of all supplies that the chapter will need for the entire year. Please allow for a three-week assembly and shipping period.
How should I send out meeting minutes?
Chapter and executive council minutes should be sent out via email to the chapter advisor, alumni advisory board and the chapter consultant. The chapter meeting notes should also be sent to all members of the chapter.
Jarrett M. Way
Director of Educational Content & Strategy