ACS Student Chapter Meetings & Events

The First Chapter Meeting

Get the school year off to a good start by making your first chapter meeting a fun one. Try throwing a party with liquid nitrogen ice cream or end it with a fun activity to get acquainted with first-year students, newly-declared majors, and invited faculty. Your chapter may also address business matters, committee appointments or plan activities for the semester.

To maintain good participation:

  • Keep meetings short
  • Make them interesting
  • Diversify activities with guest speakers, tours, field trips and parties
  • Reserve all administrative work for officer meetings

Preparing for Meetings

Many chapters meet once a month, while others meet weekly. A good plan is to schedule at least a portion of one meeting each month to address business matters.

Here are some tips on preparing for meetings:

  • Reserve a meeting room and necessary A/V equipment
  • Arrange for refreshments
  • Provide travel directions and parking instructions for visitors
  • Publicize meetings via campus radio, the school newspaper, classroom announcements, a chapter newsletter, or your chapter’s website
  • Complete any necessary paperwork prior to the meeting

What to do at Chapter Meetings

There are many ways to structure a chapter meeting:

  • Sponsor a class night for students to discuss future chemistry courses and degree requirements with professors
  • Conduct a one-hour seminar on modern advances in chemistry or laboratory safety
  • Present a service award to the student chapter member who contributes the most time and effort to your chapter, and offer other recognition awards to exemplary members
  • Hold joint meetings with other campus groups (such as: chemical engineering, physics, biology, pre-med, and math majors) on topics of broad scientific interest
  • Host a seminar on research your faculty and graduate students are conducting

Hosting Social Events

Hosting a social function is a great way to have fun as a chapter, and to recruit and retain members!

Here are ideas for easy-to-plan events:

  • Team up with other clubs for activities like picnics, sports competitions, or community service projects
  • Host a potluck dinner at the home of a faculty member or advisor
  • Go bowling or skating
  • Get together for pizza night
  • Go on a faculty-student picnic
  • Offer retreats geared toward freshmen and transfer students

Publicizing Chapter Events

Your chapter can spread awareness about your organization, planned events and chemistry in many ways.

Here are some tips:

  • Create a web site
  • Place ads and submit articles to your campus newspaper
  • Design a newsletter for all members and chemical sciences students
  • Create colorful, eye-catching posters and flyers to publicize meetings and special events
  • Design an eye-catching logo for posters and flyers
  • Wear chapter t-shirts, buttons, and other promotional items
  • Get air time on campus radio and TV stations
  • Spread news of your events through word of mouth
  • Ask professors to announce chapter activities in classes (provide faculty the information at least two weeks in advance)

Inviting Speakers to Campus

Chapters often invite speakers to campus to talk about careers, research, and other topics of interest. Your chapter can also sponsor a symposium or panel discussion on a contemporary issue in science by bringing in selected speakers.

Try the following tips for inviting speakers:

  • Ask students who they would like to hear
  • Write an invitation letter
  • Discuss financial, A/V, and other contractual requirements with potential speakers
  • Confirm your speakers and tell them about the target audience’s level and interests
  • Provide travel directions to the campus and room
  • Request speakers’ curricula vitae for introductions
  • Arrange for an honorarium or gift as appropriate
  • Write a thank-you letter to each speaker after the event