Electing ACS Student Chapter Officers

Student chapters assign responsibilities to members by electing officers. This provides stability to the group and helps to allocate resources effectively. Officers are typically elected for one academic or calendar year.

Traditionally, Student Chapter officers consist of a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Some chapters also elect or appoint a board of directors, a historian, or activity directors/representatives from alumni, industry, and the ACS local section.

The elected officers, and other members as defined by the chapter bylaws, make up the executive committee. The executive committee is responsible for the administration of the chapter with the guidance of a faculty advisor. The executive committee should meet often, separately from chapter meetings, to plan and assess chapter activities, and to develop new strategies for a successful program.

Officers are encouraged to review the bylaws in executive session and with the membership, refresh memories and reorient the group. Each member should know the chapter’s rules and also follow the rules of the institution. It is important to keep the chapter legal in the eyes of your institution.

Achieving Goals

All chapter members are encouraged to attend meetings, assist with the implementation of goals and projects, and serve on one or more committees. Committees — including program, membership, publicity, special activities, or nomination committees — are a valuable and effective means of carrying out chapter operations.

Officer Roles

President

The position of chapter president involves strong leadership and administrative skills. The chapter president acts as the primary coordinator for all chapter activities, and is expected to:

  • Prepare and distribute the agenda for each meeting
  • Learn and enforce parliamentary procedures
  • Preside at all meetings and chapter functions
  • Conduct regular meetings with the officers and the advisor
  • Coordinate the membership recruitment campaign
  • Plan the chapter's calendar for the year
  • Establish committees and appoint chairs to carry out assignments
  • Monitor the progress of activities
  • Encourage member participation and cooperation
  • Be available to listen to member problems, suggestions, and complaints
  • File the chapter report (a requirement for active status)
  • Represent the chapter at special university or community events

Vice President

Chapter vice presidents are expected to:

  • Help oversee committees
  • Share workload with chapter presidents
  • Serve as program chairs

The vice president also acts as president when the president is not available for chapter activities.

Secretary

Chapter secretaries are responsible for the administrative aspects of chapter management. Their duties include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Record minutes of all meetings
  • Compile the membership roster
  • List committee assignments
  • Compile calendars of activities
  • Handle chapter correspondence

Chapter secretaries must also submit an organized set of chapter records to their faculty advisors at the end of the year.

Treasurer

The treasurer's job involves basic financial management. Sound financial skills and accountability are essential.

The treasurer should prepare a tentative budget at the beginning of the chapter year or at the end of the prior year. Often, the treasurer or president must attend student senate meetings, especially when activity budgets are discussed.

A typical chapter budget may include:

  • Refreshments for meetings
  • Honoraria/gifts for speakers
  • Transportation costs for tours and other off-campus meetings
  • Registration fees for national, regional, and state meetings
  • Publicity
  • Printing
  • Postage/telephone
  • Social events
  • Films
  • Subsidies for banquets, picnics, and meetings

The treasurer must keep a balanced checkbook, report present income and project future income, record all cash advances, and handle reimbursements. The treasurer should submit all financial statements to the chapter president at the end of the year.

Institutional regulations will determine the format for handling the chapter's finances. We recommend that chapters establish a policy or procedure for examining financial records.