Election Year 2004. The year 2004 once again brought the election of the President of the United States. This election comes but once every four years, although to some it seems much sooner than that. After a long election season, a majority of Americans reelected George W. Bush to his second term of office. An election for any type of position is important. Whether it is a position on your High School Student Council or the office of the President of the United States, all elections are important to the candidates and the people they represent. And if I may reiterate what everyone heard so much during the past election season--every vote does count!
Psi Chi holds its own elections for the Psi Chi National Council. This Council governs our organization. The Psi Chi National Council consists of a National President, a Past-President, a President-Elect, and six Regional Vice-Presidents. For a listing of the current members of Psi Chi's National Council, please go to www.psichi.org/about/council.asp. Each position has different responsibilities, and together they are responsible for such things as policy making for the organization, selecting new Psi Chi Chapters, implementing new programs, and programming at the annual conferences of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, and seven regional psychological associations. For a complete listing of each national position and its responsibilities, please visit this link: http://www.psichi.org/about/constitution.asp#V.
Every year a new Psi Chi President-Elect is elected to office. The President- Elect serves a one-year term as President-Elect, followed by a one-year term as National President, and a one-year term as Past-President. Also elected each year are Regional Vice Presidents. In odd-numbered years, the Eastern, Rocky Mountain, and Western Regional Vice-Presidents are elected. In even-numbered years, Midwestern, Southeastern, and Southwestern Regional Vice-Presidents are elected. Each Regional Vice-President is elected to a two-year term of service. This is where your vote counts. All active Psi Chi Chapters elect the incoming President-Elect of Psi Chi and the Regional Vice-Presidents for that year.
Each year on November 1, the Psi Chi National Office mails out a Call for Nominations to each chapter. On November 15, the chapter selects a candidate and mails the Nomination Form to that person. Take some time to think about all the potential candidates you have interacted with in the past. It might be your own faculty advisor, a professor that you heard lecture during a Regional Conference, or someone you had as a research advisor in previous years. Send that candidate the Call for Nominations. Even if the candidate decides not to run for office, your nomination provides an opportunity to thank the person for his or her encouragement to your chapter.
Once the candidate receives the nomination, he/she signs it and returns the form, by December 6, to the chapter with a biographical statement and position statement. Then on December 15, the chapter mails the signed forms with the statements to Psi Chi's CPA firm, Rubino & McGeehin. Once all the nominations are in, the Psi Chi Nomination/Election Committee considers the qualifications of all the candidates for office and proposes at least one nominee for each office. For complete details on the Call for Nominations procedure, visit the Psi Chi website at: www.psichi.org/news/article_131.asp.
Election Ballots are mailed to the chapters on or before February 1 with a summary of information regarding the candidates, including their biographical statement and position statement. By March 15, all Psi Chi chapters must send in their completed ballot in order to be counted. Plan to organize a chapter meeting where all members can be present when the candidates for office are announced. Use the meeting time to read the candidates' biographical information, their position statement, and their goals for their term of office. Have your chapter make an informed decision about which candidate you feel would benefit your chapter. But most of all--vote! Shortly after this issue of Eye on Psi Chi arrives at your chapter, your chapter's official ballot will follow. I would like all chapter officers and faculty advisors to encourage their members to vote in this election. Because, in the end, it is the chapters who are responsible for the elected officials of Psi Chi!
Additionally, once the Psi Chi President-Elect and Regional Vice-Presidents have been elected, do not hesitate to contact them via telephone, mail, or email. Let your elected National Council Member know of any suggestions, questions, or concerns that you or your chapter may have about the organization. The Psi Chi National Council contact information can be obtained from the Psi Chi National website at www.psichi.org/about/council.asp. These officers want to hear from you!
In addition to electing the future Council Members of Psi Chi, voting in the elections helps your chapter fill one of the requirements to becoming a Psi Chi Model Chapter. The Psi Chi Model Chapter Awards of $100 each are presented annually to recognize and reward Psi Chi Chapters that consistently maintain outstanding records of membership inductions, chapter correspondence, service projects, and other criteria associated with being an outstanding chapter. Criteria 3 states: "Chapter voted in national elections." By voting in the upcoming Psi Chi election, you fulfill this criteria and are one step closer to being recognized as a Psi Chi Model Chapter. For more information on the Psi Chi Model Chapter Award, please go to www.psichi.org/awards/completelist_awards.asp#18.
Please vote in the Psi Chi National Election for President-Elect, Eastern Regional Vice-President, Rocky Mountain Regional Vice-President, and Western Regional Vice-President. Your chapter's Vote Does Count!
Winter 2005 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 5, 17), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2005, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.