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Ease Into Fall by Taking Care of Chapter Business This Summer
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by Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD
- Psi Chi Executive Director - Associate Editor
Categories: Executive Director’s Message
Summer. Most of us are ready for sleeping in, sunning, and sipping lemonade
poolside— even if the truth is we really won’t spend much time doing so. Whether
you will spend your summer days mostly working, studying, relaxing—or some
combination of these—taking care of chapter business over the summer can ease
the start of the fall semester.
For many Psi Chi chapters, summer is the time of year when literally nothing
happens. One advantage of this, however, is that chapters may be able to
complete some important (academic) year-end tasks before officers scatter after
spring finals. Two important items of chapter business are due June 30, but
unfortunately many chapters lose out on earning a model chapter award because
they neglect them. Your chapter treasurer should prepare and turn in the annual
Chapter Financial Report, and your chapter president should work with the
secretary to prepare and turn in the Chapter Annual Report.
Both reports are available on the Psi Chi forms webpage under Forms, Chapter
Materials, item numbers 7 (Chapter Financial Report) and 8 (Chapter Annual
Report). It is a good idea to print the forms now so that all chapter officers
know what will go into the reports and can work together to collect the
necessary information before the end of the spring semester. Even if chapter
business continues until June 30, having most of the report prepared by the end
of the spring semester will make finalizing the report in June much easier.
The forms can be filled out online. In order to access the online form, the
person filling it out will need the chapter administration username and
Your faculty advisor has the chapter’s username and password and can turn in the
officers’ reports or work with the officers to do so. Keep in mind, however,
that the annual reports are not the responsibility of the faculty advisor, but
of the chapter president (using information that the secretary should have been
keeping track of during the year) and the treasurer.
Another task that can be addressed through the end of spring and over the summer
is officer transition. If any officers graduate in spring or summer, these
officers need to ensure that the incoming officers know about their
responsibilities, where to find chapter information, and how to work with
university groups and offices. Outgoing officers need to remove their names from
any bank or university accounts, and incoming officers need to add theirs.
Summer can be a good time for officers to review their responsibilities (see
Chapter Officer Guidelines and Chapter Handbook on the Psi Chi website at
less demanding schedule in summer allows continuing officers to double check
that they are doing all they can to fulfill their roles and to advise incoming
officers about what they can expect in the next academic year. The executive
committee (all officers and the faculty advisor) can also review what goals were
met over the previous year, and what goals might be presented to the chapter for
possible adoption in the fall.
Officers and members on campus over the summer might look over the requirements
and deadlines for grant and award submissions (see
www.psichi.org/Awards/). They could
plan together which awards the chapter and individual members might pursue, and
how the chapter could best publicize such opportunities to its members.
Summer can also be the ideal time to talk to your faculty advisor about updating
the 35 percent cutoffs for each class. While chapter faculty advisors may be
able to access the cutoffs for all sophomores, juniors, and seniors on campus,
they probably need to request them from the registrar. If your faculty advisor
can communicate to the registrar what he or she needs (calculate cutoffs after
spring grades are completed, or after all summer sessions), then the chapter is
more likely to receive the cutoffs right at the start of the fall semester. This
will allow more time to determine who is eligible for Psi Chi membership, send
invitations, and plan a fall induction.
Most universities have some sort of welcome back picnic or activity before the
start of the fall semester (you might pick someone to check campus mail at least
once a month over the summer), often providing an avenue for student
organizations to disseminate information at a booth or table. At the start of
summer, ask your student government or student activities office about
end-of-summer opportunities to promote your chapter of Psi Chi. That way the
chapter has plenty of time to plan ahead and determine which members will do
what, rather than checking the campus mailbox in September to find several old
flyers about opportunities that have already passed the chapter by.
Whether you are looking forward to a summer that is already jam-packed or one
that will give you some downtime, following these suggestions will allow your
chapter to start the fall semester on the right track.
Summer 2011 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 15, No. 4, p. 5), published by
Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright,
2011, Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology. All rights reserved.