Chapter President Resources

The chapter president is the face of the chapter and the primary point of contact for all parties that work with the chapter – whether campus administration, the National Office, chapter members or other groups. In this position, it is essential to maintain strong lines of communication and collaborate to reach chapter milestones. Setting goals – individually and as a team – is a way for the chapter to advance programming and overcome adversity. The president should take initiative and be the voice of encouragement for all, taking advantage of APO’s network on a local, sectional, regional and national level. In this role, recognize how exciting and useful networking can be. From campus partners to local volunteers and brothers from other chapters, there is no lack of people to learn from and share APO experiences! Chapter presidents should strive to be the “ideal brother”, leading the chapter through the semester by maintaining order, being a role model, and proudly representing the chapter at all times.

 

TOP 5 ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
  1. Coordinate and collaborate with all chapter officers and the advisory committee to facilitate goal setting and advance chapter initiatives
  2. Establish and implement an officer transition program that helps the chapter to operate smoothly and effectively as a team and ensure the chapter remains in good standing
  3. Understand and oversee the business side of the chapter including meeting the financial and reporting obligations of both the school and the national fraternity in a timely manner
  4. Act as the face of the chapter when working with outside audiences such as chapter administrators and community partners
  5. Exemplify the Cardinal Principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service at all times and serve as a campus role model and leader to the chapter
THE BASICS OF BEING CHAPTER PRESIDENT

The primary role of chapter president is leading the members of the chapter while managing operations that are key to sustaining a healthy, happy chapter. Although the chapter president is often leading the charge of operations, they are backed by their team which includes chapter officers, committee chairs, advisors, members, and sectional and regional supporters. A chapter is only as strong as the team who supports it. It is the job of the president to ensure the team has the operations and resources needed to properly support the chapter now and in the future.

 

The role of chapter president is one that should be taken up eagerly, with an earnest desire to work towards the fulfillment of chapter goals and expectations. Above all, the chapter president should be the most enthusiastic supporter of chapter members and ongoing operations! Being a role model for brothers means demonstrating excitement and a willingness to go above and beyond to support the chapter and its initiatives. This excitement should extend beyond the chapter as well, through participation in sectional and regional conferences or National Convention and more! Being an advocate for Alpha Phi Omega means you are an advocate for positive change, servant leadership and making the world a better place. The impact of Alpha Phi Omega spans beyond chapter meetings and service events, and it’s up to you to help make shared connections that make the world a better place through Leadership, Friendship and Service.

 

The chapter president guides and facilitates short-term and long-term planning for the chapter and is responsible for holding members accountable to their duties and responsibilities. Additionally, the chapter president coaches the chapter through goal setting and drives the conversation for achieving the mission of the chapter and the Fraternity. It is the responsibility of chapter officers to plan and implement effective programming to best support the goals of the chapter and meet the needs of members. It is vital that the chapter president, and all other officers, recognize that every member and non-member who supports the livelihood of the chapter has a place and purpose through the provision of service.

 

As the most visible member of the chapter, the president is a liaison between the chapter and outside people and organizations. This may include chapter advisors, university administrators, sectional and regional staff, community leaders and volunteer organizations. Building connections with these audiences will help diversify and improve the chapter’s support system, or team, as well as increase the chapter’s opportunities to have a positive impact on the campus and community.

 

Since this position allows for the oversight of the chapter business, the chapter president is cognizant of the chapter’s current and upcoming projects. Chapter presidents can share in the chapter’s success by encouraging all brothers to be engaged and celebrating that involvement. With support from sectional and regional staff, chapter advisors and brothers, the chapter president will make strides to bring about long-term chapter success. Enjoy this amazing leadership development journey as chapter president!

CHAPTER OPERATIONS & NAVIGATING GOOD STANDING

The core of chapter operations is comprised of completing campus and fraternity requirements and financial obligations to ensure the chapter’s charter remains active and recognized by Alpha Phi Omega and the respective campus. Additionally, the chapter must operate in accordance with the governing documents and policies of both the school and the Fraternity, as well as the chapter’s bylaws. The chapter president must become familiar with these requirements and procedures for fulfilling them as the foundation of chapter operations, and, at the same time, hold the chapter accountable to the bylaws and policies of the chapter and fraternity. Chapters can accomplish so much when they work together and see goals through to the end! It is imperative that chapters and officers understand good standing processes and procedures in order to best direct the chapter towards success.

Alpha Phi Omega National Bylaws

ARTICLE X, SECTION 8. CHAPTERS IN GOOD STANDING

A chapter in good standing [with Alpha Phi Omega] meets its yearly financial, administrative and Charter Reaffirmation obligations to the National Fraternity; is not more than 90 days delinquent in its financial accounts with the National Office; has maintained its 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status with the federal government and any appropriate state and local not-for-profit status; has confirmation of submission of a Spring Youth Service Day Report and a National Service Week Report; has at least one Active Member; and has not been declared inactive, suspended, or had its charter revoked, or has not otherwise been deemed in violation of the policies of National Bylaws of Alpha Phi Omega or of the rules, regulations or policies of its school.

 

It’s important for good standing to be maintained for many reasons, including:

Chapters in good standing have the privilege of voting during the Legislative Session at the National Convention every two years, which is a vital role in determining the future of the Fraternity and policies that apply directly to the chapter.

A chapter in good standing is eligible for grants such as the Service Innovation Grant and Youth Service Grant.

Proper management of requirements allows officers to focus on meeting the needs of chapter members and better serving the campus and community.

Chart of Good Standing Requirements and due dates.
UTILZING THE CHAPTER OFFICER PORTAL

All national requirements of the Fraternity are reported through the Chapter Officer Portal (https://op.apo.org), an online chapter reporting platform, designed to allow chapter officers the ability to provide real-time, ongoing
maintenance of the chapter membership, officer rosters and other national reporting requirements. The OP is available to all officers on record with Alpha Phi Omega.

 

The role of the chapter president in Officer Portal is unique. While the president has access to perform all chapter functions on Officer Portal, they are often not the most active user. The primary reporting duty of the chapter president is to complete the fall and spring charter reaffirmation, and ensure all other reporting requirements have been completed and invoices paid by the assigned chapter officer in a timely fashion. It is important for the president to ensure the reporting duties of each officer position are discussed during officer transition so each officer knows what to expect and how to utilize the OP.

 

More information on how and what to submit through the Chapter Officer Portal can be found in the Chapter Officer Portal User Manual, which is available in the OP Library and the Chapter Officer Resource Area of www.apo.org.

 

Below is a list of items to be submitted through the Chapter Officer Portal, as well as the officer position that is typically responsible for submitting that item. (*Indicates an optional, though encouraged form)

TASKRESPONSIBLE OFFICER
ROSTER CHANGES Membership VP
PLEDGE AND INITIATE CLASSES Membership VP/Pledge or New
DUES AND INVOICE PAYMENTS Treasurer
FINANCIAL INSPECTION NOTIFICATION Treasurer
FALL/SPRING CHARTER REAFFIRMATION Submitted by chapter president, reviewed and approved by advisory chair.
OFFICER CHANGES Secretary
SPRING YOUTH SERVICE DAY REPORT Service VP
SPRING YOUTH SERVICE DAY PARTICIPATION REPORT Service VP
NATIONAL SERVICE WEEK REPORT Service VP
NATIONAL SERVICE WEEK PARTICIPATION REPORT Service VP
ANNUAL SERVICE HOURS REPORT Service VP
CHAPTER ASSESSMENT & PLANNING SESSION REPORTS Secretary*
IRS 990 RECEIPT SUBMISSION Treasurer
YOUTH SERVICE GRANT APPLICATION/REPORT Service VP *
SERVICE INNOVATION GRANT APPLICATION/REPORT Service VP *
CHAPTER OF EXCELLENCE APPLICATION President *
PLEDGE PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE APPLICATION President *
ANNUAL CHAPTER EVALUATION President *
H. ROE BARTLE AWARD APPLICATION Secretary *
UNDERSTANDING MEMBERSHIP DUES
Membership dues and fees cover many things such as national insurance, leadership development, chapter programming, and general operational support for the Fraternity. The first semester of membership may cost more in comparison to following semesters due to one-time fees related to pledge or new member status, initiation, educational materials, and new member experiences. These fees are paid by each student to the chapter, along with any local chapter dues, and then paid to the National Fraternity.
The funds paid by chapters through national membership dues and fees support the operations of the Fraternity including:
  • Pre-paying required chapter insurance fees for the next school year
  • Creating new tools for virtual and in-person operations
  • Licensing more software to help chapters stay connected
  • Maintaining technology
  • Paying a downsized National Office staff to keep the Fraternity operational
  • membership processing and materials
  • and much more

The following breaks down the national fees charged to each type of student as outlined in the National Bylaws, Article IX – Finance.

 

PLEDGE OR NEW MEMBERS

Due within 10 business days of the pledge or new member ceremony

  • Total Due: $31 ($25 Pledge Fee and $6 Insurance Fee)

 

INITIATES

Due within 10 business days of the initiation ceremony

  • Total Due: $35

 

ACTIVE MEMBERS

Fall Semester (Due November 15)

  • Total Due: $20 ($14.50 Active Dues, $1.50 Region Dues, $1 Section Dues, $3 Insurance Fee)

Spring Semester (Due April 15)

  • Total Due: $20 ($14.50 Active Dues, $1.50 Region Dues, $1 Section Dues, $3 Insurance Fee)

NOTE: Students who pledge and initiate in the fall semester will not be charged for insurance at the time of the spring charter reaffirmation since an insurance fee would have already been paid for the year. Per the National Bylaws, the insurance fee is set each year by the Board of Directors on or before August 1, not to exceed $7 per year, per student.

 

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Fall Semester (Due November 15)

  • Total Due: $3 Insurance Fee

Spring Semester (Due April 15)

  • Total Due: $3 Insurance Fee

 

RETURNING ASSOCIATES

Total Due: $17 ($14.50 Active Dues, $1.50 Region Dues, $1 Section Dues)

 

RETURNING ALUMNI

Total Due: $20 ($14.50 Active Dues, $1.50 Region Dues, $1 Section Dues, $3 Insurance Fee)

RUNNING EFFECTIVE CHAPTER MEETINGS

The role of chapter president also includes planning and facilitating meetings of all types to keep members and officers in-the-know with the details of chapter happenings. These meetings are a critical part of chapter operations – without clear communication and transparency, members may feel a lack of motivation or may not feel welcome to join the conversation as they should. Delivering effective meetings is a life skill that will support members in their professional lives as well. The three most common meetings that take place are the chapter, executive committee and advisory committee meetings.

 

Chapter meetings are an essential aspect of chapter operations since they keep everyone on the same page. The executive committee will organize and help facilitate this meeting for all other audiences. Chapter meetings should rarely run longer than two hours. The ideal length of a chapter meeting is an hour to an hour and a half, which allows enough time for chapter business without exhausting so much time that members grow bored and inattentive. Utilizing Robert’s Rules of Order or another form of parliamentary procedure will help keep the meeting on track and efficient.

SETTING UP THE MEETING

Chapter presidents often begin a meeting with a brief call to order or by banging the gavel three times to signify the three Cardinal Principles of Leadership, Fellowship and Service. Following any introduction comes the meeting itself – a time for members to connect with each other, hear updates from officers or committees and learn about upcoming chapter events. The chapter president will want to ensure the minutes of the meeting are being kept, often by the chapter secretary.

 

The agenda of a chapter meeting is up to the discretion of the chapter. They often include the following items:

 

  • Call to order
  • Officer and committee updates
  • Upcoming events and planning
  • Debrief of past events
  • Fellowship activities
  • Advisor comments
  • Strategic discussions
  • Open forum
TAKE TIME FOR FAMILY

How says chapter meetings have to be all business? Be sure to include fellowship activities to give members a chance to come together as brothers and have a little fun while strengthening the culture of the chapter. Below is a small sampling of some activities that chapters utilize to make meetings enjoyable and meaningful, as well as space to add other ideas.

 

  • Brother or new member of the week
  • Kudos or snaps
  • Two truths and a lie
  • Family, lineage or big/little games
  • “Would You Rather” questions
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Executive committee meeting time is best utilized as a time to plan or take action on chapter programming and operations. In addition to the business that takes place at this meeting, check-in with chapter officers. Officer burnout can happen when an officer feels overwhelmed, overloaded and unsupported in the work they’re doing.

 

To be sure this meeting is impactful and productive, create an agenda with topics each officer will cover, including time expectations. Start with individual officer reports, then dive into more complex subjects, and wrap up with an officer check-in or moments to look forward to.

 

Be sure attending officers come prepared with resources that help promote discussion or clarify a point of conversation. That may include a calendar of upcoming events to continue planning, membership data for a conversation about recruitment and retention goals, or a list of potential projects that have yet to be built out.

 

The agenda of an executive committee meeting will vary depending on the goals of the chapter, however often includes the following:

STANDARD AGENDA ITEMS

The agenda of an executive committee meeting will vary depending on the goals of the chapter, however often includes the following:

 

  • Officer updates and feedback from committees
  • Upcoming events and potential new projects
  • Status of goals (individual, team and chapter)
  • Evaluation of past events
  • Agenda and structure of the next chapter or executive committee meeting
NEXT LEVEL SUGGESTION

Does the chapter’s executive committee struggle to compromise, delegate or otherwise find it hard to communicate and work together? Consider hosting an executive committee retreat at the beginning of the term or following the election of the new executive officers! A retreat could range from a potluck at someone’s apartment to a day dedicated to the development of the executive committee team. Regardless of the setting, a retreat should be a specific time for officers to understand how to effectively and efficiently work together as chapter leaders and establish a framework for the year ahead.

ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The advisory committee is an integral part of a chapter’s support system and meeting regularly with them will benefit the chapter and will be reflected through the decisions and direction of the chapter. The National Bylaws (Article X, Section 2) require that each chapter have four or more advisors including, at minimum, two advisors from the faculty, administration or staff of this educational institution, one advisor representing scouting or other youth services, and one advisor from the community.

 

Chapter presidents should work with the advisory chair to connect with the full advisory committee face-to-face at least twice per academic term – once in the beginning and once at the end – in order to discuss the chapter’s status, goals and expectations. Expectations go both ways, so it’s important to dedicate time to establish concrete expectations for the advisory committee and to understand what advisors need in order to support the chapter as best as they can.

 

Every chapter utilizes advisors in their own unique way. Be mindful that as the culture of the chapter may naturally ebb and flow, the chapter’s advisor expectations may transition too. Transparency and communication between the chapter and all advisors make tough conversations easier, and the easy conversations fun!

STANDARD AGENDA ITEMS

The agenda of an advisory committee meeting will vary depending on the expectations of the chapter, however often includes the following:

 

  • Officer updates
  • Questions, comments or concerns about the chapter’s status
  • On-going goals (individual, team and chapter)
  • Upcoming dates and deadlines for reporting or events
  • Advisor updates
(ADVISORY) COMMITTEE CONNECTIONS

As chapter president, meet with the chapter advisory chair regularly in order to keep them informed of chapter operations. Time spent together can also be spent discussing chapter goal and expectations – transparency will help both the advisors and president understand where the chapter sees itself in the future and what steps will be required to get there. Keep in mind, a healthy chapter needs advisors that feel supported and wholesome in their efforts to serve. The advisory chair should serve the chapter as a mentor, providing training, motivation, coaching and support.

TIPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES

There are many resources – both people and material items – within reach to help chapter presidents better understand their role and the role of other officer positions. Below are a few of these resources.

National Bylaws

The National Bylaws are all-encompassing since they apply to the entire Fraternity. They outline membership types, dues, National Convention and the boundaries in which a chapter must operate.

 

Chapter Bylaws

Chapter bylaws include more specific information about chapter programming and operations, officers and their duties and membership requirements and expectations. These bylaws and the National Bylaws help guide governance of the chapter. It is the responsibility of the chapter president to ensure the chapter is following the bylaws at all times and operating in a way that embodies the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. For bylaws best practices and help updating the chapter’s bylaws, check out the Guide to Writing Chapter Bylaws!

 

Chapter Policy Manual

Beyond governance and bylaws, it is best practice for the chapter to have a chapter policy manual that outlines various policies that do not rise to the need of a bylaws article, but are helpful in creating consistency in the operations of the group. Check out this Sample Chapter Policy Manual, as well as the Operations Manual Template.

 

Same Page

The Chapter Same Page Guide outlines the reporting requirements of APO chapters and provides a checklist for pursuing Chapter of Excellence and Pledge Program of Excellence recognition.

 

Officer Transition Plan

A successful officer transition period helps keep the chapter president and supporting officers from having to reinvent the wheels and supports chapter growth from year-to-year.  The Fraternity created the Chapter Transition Guide to help chapter’s tackle transition and have a starting point for these important meetings and conversations.

 

Chapter Calendar

A Chapter calendar is a great resource for all chapter members to stay on track and on time. Refer to the 2019-20 Chapter Calendar Template to create your chapter’s calendar!

Campus Support

On-campus administrators, often in Greek Life or Student Affairs, can help explain campus requirements, point the chapter towards extra funding, or recommend on-campus initiatives for the chapter to support through servant leadership. They also help navigate campus policies and procedures, educational resources and much more.

 

APO Volunteer Support

Sectional and regional staff provide support to operations, including connecting the chapter to other members, officers and alumni in the area. Visit the Officer Tab in the Chapter Officer Portal for contact information for the regional chair and sectional chair who support the chapter.

 

National Office Team

In addition to the elected leaders who support the Fraternity, APO has a professional paid staff. The Fraternity’s National Office is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and employs 17 full-time staff members who are available by phone and email to answer questions and provide support. Click here to learn more about the professionals who support the Fraternity’s operations on a daily basis.

Visit the APO Online Learning Center and enroll in the Understanding Risk Management course to enhance your chapter’s understanding of the Fraternity’s risk management policies and how to manage risk as a chapter.

Download the APO Mobile Resource App here
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