1. Keeping an accurate roster of club membership;
2. Recording and preparing minutes of all board meetings and business meetings;
3. Ordering of supplies needed by the club;
4. Reporting new club officers to SGA and/or Student Life Office;
5. Keeping member attendance at meetings;
6. Working with the club president to ensure the club meetings run smoothly; and
7. Filing of all incoming and outgoing correspondence.
1. Maintain All Club Membership Records
It is the responsibility of the club secretary to maintain an accurate roster of membership, constantly updating changes in address, membership additions, and losses. Records kept on each member of the club should include the following information:
1. Date the member joined
2. Birth date
3. Home and work address
4. Work and home telephone numbers
5. Interest in community affairs
6. Interest in sports
7. Schools attended
8. Fraternal organizations
9. Miscellaneous items
Club history records should also be organized and updated regularly. These records contain a list of all past presidents and charter members of the club. Committee appointments over the past several years should also be kept for reference.
2. Handle All Club Correspondence
In preparing for your years as club secretary, meet with the past secretary to determine the current procedures regarding correspondence collection. Whether your mail is sent directly to your home or to the campus post office, let's discuss some tips on handling correspondence:
Sorting the mail:
1. Open the review the mail on a regular basis. 2. Record all correspondence received on a record sheet. The record sheet should include the name of person to whom the correspondence was sent; date of the correspondence; and the name and position of person writer. 3. Once recorded, forward the correspondence to the relevant officer or member as soon as possible so he/she can review the information before the meeting and come prepared to make a recommendation if necessary. List the date you forwarded the correspondence to the appropriate person on the record sheet discussed above.
Reporting the incoming correspondence to the club:
1. Meet with the president after sorting all the correspondence and advise her/him of any items requiring his/her attention. Discuss which items must be handled at the next club meeting and those that can be held over until the next board meeting. 2. Avoid, whenever possible, standing up and reading every piece of correspondence to club members at the meeting. This is an excellent way to make the meeting boring for all those in attendance. 3. Rather than verbally reporting, circulate a summary of the correspondence at the meeting, providing information on the basic concepts, the recipient, and to whom follow-up action was assigned. Members interested in any particular piece of correspondence may request during the break to see the particular items of interest.
Outgoing Correspondence: 1. All outgoing correspondence from the club should be written on the club's official letterhead- if appropriate at your location. Some clubs may choose to request permission to use "SGA letterhead". You should have an adequate supply of letterhead at all times for club use. 2. When communication is verbal, such as by phone, whenever possible follow up with a written letter confirming details of the conversation. This provides written letter confirmation, and a record of the key points of the conversation. 3. Always ensure that if other members write outgoing correspondence a copy is given to you for your files.
3. File Correspondence in an Organized Manner
Although you may consider it one of the least desirable aspects of your job it is essential to file all the club's incoming and outgoing correspondence in an organized manner, since you will refer to it on many occasions. You will soon notice by doing so, your life as club secretary will become much easier. Whichever way you choose to file, the important thing is to be able to easily locate any information that you may be called upon to produce. The ultimate method of filing to use a filing cabinet. But many clubs do not have this luxury, and it generally requires a permanent location to store the cabinet. A simple method of filing is to use one or two ring binders for toe correspondence. Expanding files may also be suitable. Create a series of sections in the binder(s) to suit the correspondence and other information you need to store. If the club is doing a special project, it may be necessary to include a separate file for it, especially if the project is ongoing and large amounts of correspondence are generated. The important thing to remember with your filing system is to ensure that you keep it up to date. Don't leave your filing to the last minute. If you file as you go, you will be able to find things you are looking for when you need to find them. Also, implement a system that is easy for the incoming secretary to continue. If your system is difficult to understand, the new secretary may have to begin the process all over again.
4. Keep Member Attendance Records
Each club should establish its own guidelines regarding attendance at meetings, keeping in mind that requirements must be reasonable. Requirements that are too demanding can drive away busy people, and especially those who have other commitments such as work, athletics, other clubs and yes, even academic work. As secretary, you should keep an accurate record of attendance at all meetings, crediting attendance in accordance with the rules of the club.
5. Club Supplies
The secretary is responsible for ensuring that the club has the necessary supplies on hand to work on projects, run meetings, supply an office, etc. Each campus will have its own way of allowing for clubs to have/purchase supplies...i.e., through Bookstore account or campus supply closet, etc.
6. Keep Minutes of All Club and Board Meetings
Minutes of the club and board meetings are imperative to a club. The minutes of meetings are a history of the activities and decisions of the club. There are two aspects of minutes that you should become familiar with: 1) recording minutes, and 2) reporting the minutes at the meeting.
Let's discuss guidelines on recording minutes first: 1. Minutes must be complete, yet concise and accurate, with only the facts presented. 2. The layout should be in such a way that a reference can be made at any time to any item discussed in the past. 3. The minutes should clearly indicate: a. The nature of the meeting - board, general, etc. b. The date, time, and place the meeting was held. c. The name of the chairperson. 1. When the number attending is small, the names of all in attendance should be listed. At lager meetings, names are not necessary (except the chairperson) but the number of people present should be recorded. 2. Precise wording should be used to list any decisions made - the minutes need to list facts. 3. Motions and amendments should be clearly stated and an indication as to whether they were carried or lost. Also, record the names of those individuals who made the motions and those who seconded them. 4. If any business covered in the minutes is reopened at subsequent meetings, the original minutes must not be altered. 5. Type the minutes whenever possible. 6. Store the recorded minutes in books that allow for permanent storage. Reporting the minutes at the meeting 1. If possible, avoid reading the minutes at the meeting. Ideally, the minutes should be distributed to the members before the meeting. This gives them a chance to review them at their leisure. 2. The first item of business at the meeting is to accept or confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
7. Participating with your Club's Executive Board
The club secretary works in important ways with the executive board. You are responsible for: *Sending out notices in advance of any executive board meetings, which should be held at least once a month separate from club meetings. *Bringing items that need the attention of the board. Since you will be receiving correspondence for the club, you should be aware of the items that need to be discussed. Prepare a folder for the board meeting and start placing all items needing board attention in this folder immediately following the last meeting of the board. Prior to the meeting, carefully check over these times and select those items to discuss or act upon. Make sure that these items are included on the agenda well ahead of the actual time they will be taking place. *Working with the president in preparing the agenda for the meeting. Review your list of items with the copy president and, once the agenda is completed, provide a copy to each member of the board. Understanding the Significant Role of the Club Secretary It takes a commitment of your time and energy to be an effective secretary of your club. To be sure that you are using that time and energy most effectively, keep the following points in mind and refer to them during your year as secretary. Effective secretaries demonstrate their leadership by: *...knowing where their time goes and managing it for increased productivity. *...building on their own strengths and those of other members in the club. *...listening to and weighing the views of other club leaders and members. *...recognizing the responsibility of handling the club's correspondence and records is essential to the club's future success. The success of your club is directly dependent, a very large degree, upon the interest you take in the affairs of the club and in your efficient discharge of your duties as club secretary. Devote sufficient time, each week, to the various details of your office.
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