Congratulations on your appointment as the vice president of member development for your chapter. In this role, you are the primary organizer and overseer of the comprehensive membership development program known as the True PIKE Experience, including curriculum, involvement tracking and forming the member development cabinet within your chapter. In your role, your weekly tasks may include:
- Holding weekly member development cabinet meetings
- Attending and giving reports at weekly executive council and chapter meetings
- Working to fulfill goals related to the TPE
- Managing the development of program resources
- Managing the member development budget
- Communicating with the alumni education advisor
The work you do as the member development vice president can truly transform your membership by the way that you and your team dedicate yourselves to your roles in the TPE and your commitment to developing True Pikes within your chapter.
Identify, Cultivate, and Organize the Member Development Cabinet
In order to more effectively accomplish your duties as the Membership Development Vice President, it is important to form a member development cabinet. The steps involved with forming your cabinet are: (1) determining who is interested in being involved with the cabinet, (2) who in the chapter is an education major or has a passion for the development of the chapter members, and (3) which positions each person should hold in the cabinet to ensure success.
The first step to forming the member development cabinet is determining who wants to be involved with the cabinet. 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 delegate 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 or to respond if the ask was made 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 help with the member development cabinet. Although it is a good idea to give the entire chapter an opportunity to join your team, you are encouraged to put on your recruiting hat and seek out the necessary individuals to compose your member development cabinet. Regardless, once you have verified involvement from chapter members, you will need to determine which members would be best qualified to hold positions as educators. 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 the membership development vice president with input from the executive council. Considering individuals who compose the member development cabinet will have plenty of face-to-face time with your membership, you want the best of the best leading your member development program. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your team:
- Charismatic – First and foremost, you want individuals to compose the member development cabinet who are charismatic. By being charismatic, they will innately draw members attention.
- Fundamental Public Speaking, Presenting, and Facilitation Skills – Try to identify members who can command a room. A huge aspect of the member development cabinet’s role is presenting, and either facilitating discussion or activities. Ideally your member development cabinet has these “soft” skills, but if not, no worries. There is a resource titled the “TPE Educator Toolbox” that will help coach your members on how to speak, present, and facilitate.
- Identify Education Majors – Try to identify individuals in your chapter that are education majors, or similar. True PIKE Education is an exact mirror of what they will do in their careers and provides a great training ground for teaching.
- Passionate about Member Development – If all else fails, just find anyone you believe is passionate about this idea of member development and truly wants to see their brothers excel as an undergraduate member of PIKE and succeed in life after college.
Educators are very important positions, so it is important to both screen and judge interested candidates similarly to a business interviewing a candidate 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 members who will be involved in the member development cabinet is to give each person a role, a goal, and a title in addition to providing them with any material that will help them successfully fulfill each position including their position handbook. Ensure each chair reviews and understands all of this information as this will prepare the newly appointed educators 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 educator. 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.
Cabinet Member Roles & Choosing Members to Fill the Member Development Cabinet
The member development cabinet structure is typically composed of five undergraduate members who are the new member educator, brother leader educator, fraternity leader educator, community leader educator and the chapter events/speaker coordinator. The one alumnus member holds the position of alumni education advisor which is a member of the alumni advisory board. Brief job descriptions for each of these positions are listed below. Additionally, full page overviews of each position can be given to each member of the cabinet and can be found in the VPMD handbook.
New Member Educator – the primary organizer and educator of the new member education curriculum, chapter involvement and onboarding new members within the chapter. Additionally, the new member educator is responsible for onboarding new members with the Fraternity and its processes. The new member educator should be chosen wisely by his peers or the executive council/board considering that he is in charge of the new members’ first phase of development in the chapter, setting the tone for the future. As mentioned, the new member educator should be competent in all chapter processes, aware of health & safety requirements and educational curriculum. When choosing a new member educator, consider an older, well-respected chapter member who is passionate about member development, or an education major within the chapter. Public speaking/facilitating experience is also beneficial.
Brother/Fraternity/Community Leader Educators – the primary organizer and educator of their respective education curriculum (brother leader, fraternity leader or community leader) and involvement within the chapter. When choosing educators, consider an older, well-respected chapter member who has gone through the program, or a member in the same development category who is passionate about member development. (Note: alumnus members should be asked to facilitate these educational discussions with the community leaders.)
Chapter Events/Speakers Coordinator – the primary organizer of chapter-wide continuing education events and facilitator of guest speakers. This should be a member who is organized and can schedule events/speakers in a timely manner.
Alumni Education Advisor – provides counsel and advice to the vice president of member development and member development cabinet within the chapter.
Once you have created the member development cabinet, you will want to be continually updated on progress with tasks that the cabinet members are charged with, so it is recommended to hold member development cabinet meetings every week. 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, provide reports on member education/involvement progress and upcoming events, work on tasks relative to goals they have established and work on other tasks. It may even be helpful to utilize and expect a report from each cabinet member. These meetings should not take longer than an hour, but it is a simple way to help ensure all necessary work is completed while also effectively delegating responsibilities. The point of this meeting is to give updates on position reports, but more importantly be a working cabinet meeting.
Sample Cabinet Meeting Agenda
A sample member development cabinet meeting agenda would be the following:
- Roll call
- Reports: Member Development cabinet should give reports to the VP of Membership Development (VP should write down reports for minutes and give to president following meeting)
- Discussion: Open discussion on goals & tasks with each position (NM Ed, BL Ed, FL Ed, CL Ed, and Chapter Events & Speakers Coordinator) - questions, comments, etc.
- Working Meeting:
- Develop curriculum calendar/schedule of events (at the beginning of each semester/quarter)
- Update involvement tracking material (Coming soon!)
- Plan and prepare for upcoming educational sessions
- Work on anything pertinent to position and position goals
I hope you were able to find this helpful as you begin your new role. Moving forward, be sure to reference the VP of Membership Development handbook and the PIKE Blog and PIKE Podcast to help you manage and support your cabinet. Both platforms have resources specific to the roles represented within the member development cabinet and sharing them is a simple as a few clicks. We can’t wait to see everything you’ll accomplish this year!
P.S. If your chapter is new to implementing the True PIKE Experience, please be sure to check out the three page sequence that introduces you to the program and will walk you through the implementation process and where to locate the resources for your position by visiting www.pikes.org/TPE.
Devon T. TeixeiraDirector of Membership Development