How to Guide a Successful Club

What steps can I take to help my chapter operate effectively?

  • Provide a list of duties to each officer. Consider having them sign a statement confirming that they clearly understand their responsibilities.
  • Check periodically that assigned tasks are getting done.
  • Set “go/no-go,” checks for major events, after which the event is canceled if students have not followed through with the necessary preparations.
  • Assign an officer the duty of writing a summary after each event and conducting a debriefing session to assess the success of the event.
  • Fill out the final report system as activities happen.
  • Take advantage of ACS resources (for example, webinars) to start or promote your chapter and to learn the details of how to organize outreach activities.

How do I advertise events?

  • Advertise events to chapter members, department chairs, faculty, and staff members. If you’re at a large institution, consider notifying the dean about events. Be sure to advertise to other clubs, student government, student centers, and other departments outside of science.
  • Take advantage of on-campus opportunities (radio, school newspaper).
  • Advertise events to other ACS chapters in your area, alumni, other colleges and K–12 schools, industries, your ACS local section, ACS undergraduate programs, and ACS technical divisions.
  • Have a chapter PR committee or include PR explicitly in the job description of one of the officers. This may be a good position to split between two people, or to combine with the social chair.

What are the most effective tools for communicating within the chapter?

The most effective way to communicate is to use all available communication tools: email, text, flyer, Facebook, Twitter, in-class announcements, bulletin boards. Don’t limit yourself to one method; there is no “silver bullet.”

Continuity Strategies

  • Keep passwords for websites for your records. The faculty advisor should be the one in charge of passwords.
  • Create a binder/electronic folder of all forms and paperwork to pass on to new officers, and keep an updated copy.
  • Keep a record of previous reports or forms — dropbox.com is great for this!