It’s a new school year and time to get started. But how?
Follow these simple guidelines to get your chapter moving in the right direction!
Review/Sign Important Documents
Review the Statement on Hazing, Risk Management Policy and the Code of Conduct with all members. Have each member sign the Code of Conduct and keep in chapter files. These can be found here.
Create a “master” chapter calendar by consolidating important dates from your campus school calendar and the national Fraternity calendar of important tasks, dates and deadlines. Once these dates are established, you have a guideline for scheduling chapter meetings/events, member recruitment/orientation, awards competitions, grant applications and convention participation. No more worries about conflicting exam schedules or forgotten deadlines!
It is important to establish chapter goals early in the year. Find out what the members and officers hope to accomplish during the year within the scope of the Fraternity’s mission and values, then prioritize the goals, set strategy and apply resources (volunteers, financial, etc.). What are your goals for the recruitment and retention of members? What professional and leadership development programs would you like to do? How can you give back in service to the campus, local community and other charitable groups? How can the chapter increase awareness on campus…improve its image…make a difference? How can you get national recognition for your hard work? What awards do you seek?
Once chapter goals have been agreed upon by the chapter membership, it is important to set a budget for the year. What are your existing fund balances? What do you owe (national dues, campus activity fees, etc.)? What activities, programs and social events would you like to have and how much will they cost? What are the available sources of income (member fees, campus support, etc.)? How much reserves should be set aside for next year? Once these questions have been answered, you will be able to draft a budget and begin to work through the process of sound financial decision-making, setting up a membership fee structure and operating the chapter within your means.
Resources include time, members and funding. And the availability of all resources is limited. Be mindful to not “overspend” any of your valuable resources. It’s better to be successful with a few well-planned and executed events than to overextend yourselves and fall short. Not every member will be able to participate in every event due to academic and work responsibilities. So provide ample opportunity for involvement at different levels and in different areas of interest. Those who seek to do more will rise to positions of leadership in the chapter, while those with limited availability will serve with pleasure in tasks that are suited to their interests and ability.
Build a Support Network
The beauty of LKS is that you are not alone in your efforts to become strong leaders and contributors on campus, in your community and in your profession. That’s why it is so important to begin building your support network now in order to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a vast group of individuals with a common vision and shared values. This network includes those individuals on campus (advisors, college of pharmacy dean/administrators, dean of students/student affairs, etc.) and your Fraternity network (Fraternity advisors, Region Supervisor, Headquarters Staff, Grand Council, etc.). One of your greatest assets–and sometimes the most overlooked–is the vast network of collegiate and alumni chapters throughout North America! Regular communication with all of these networks is the single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your chapter and of each member.
Do not hesitate to make adjustments…it is part of the process!
This overview is intended to walk you through some of the basic steps to get your chapter moving in the right direction. You will find many additional resources throughout this website to further advance your efforts.