2000 Cousins National Chapter Award
How to Become a Successful Psi Chi Chapter
Psi Chi Chapter President
Augusta State University
Winner of the 2000 Cousins National Chapter Award
[above] Representatives of the Augusta State University Psi Chi Chapter receive the 2000 Cousins National Chapter Award plaque at the 2000 Psi Chi/APA Convention. From left, ASU chapter officer, ASU faculty advisor, chapter president Lisa Wiggins, and former faculty advisor Dr. Harold Moon (who also served as Psi Chi's 1988-89 National President).
The mission of Psi Chi is "to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly psychology, and to advance the science of psychology." In order to become a successful Psi Chi chapter, not only does your chapter have to work in accordance with these goals, but it also has to possess several other characteristics. It is the opinion of the Augusta State University (ASU) Chapter of Psi Chi that some of the most important elements in building a successful chapter are strong leadership, publicity, and activities that are effective in meeting the goals of Psi Chi.
One key factor in the formation of a successful chapter is the presence of strong, consistent leadership. The leaders should be dependable, personable, and open to suggestions on how to improve the chapter. They should make decisions based on the desires of Psi Chi members and seek and encourage input and feedback on chapter activities and needs. These leaders should also take their responsibilities seriously, taking a personal interest in the chapter and its accomplishments. Since the chapter's success and achievement is often closely related to and intertwined with its leaders contributions, personal interest is vital in the development of a successful Psi Chi chapter.
Publicity is also vital to the formation of a successful Psi Chi chapter. Publicity informs current members of upcoming activities, and events, thus increasing the likelihood of membership participation. Publicity also informs nonmembers of the society's existence. Many students may have an interest in the goals set forth by Psi Chi, but are unaware of the activities of their local chapter. Others may want to join such as organization, but do not know whom to contact. Therefore, advertising chapter activities and events is important in the recruitment of new members. In additions, advertising is important in maintaining participation of current members.
In advertising your local Psi Chi chapter, you should utilize more than one form of media. At ASU, Psi Chi has posted flyers to notify students of our activities, advertised in the campus newspaper, and reserved display cases outside of the bookstore. Additionally, we have created an e-mail mailing list for anyone interested in Psi Chi, written articles for the psychology department newsletter, and advertised on an electronic sign located outside of the athletic complex.
Chapter activities are another integral part of the formation of a Psi Chi chapter. These activities should encourage the development of personal and professional relationships, give students the opportunity to increase their knowledge base, and prepare students to become successful psychological professionals. Furthermore, Psi Chi activities should reflect the interests of Psi Chi members and the student population at large. In doing so, many more individuals may become interested in Psi Chi and will be motivated to become an active participant in all of the chapter's endeavors.
The ASU chapter of Psi Chi meets the above goals by hosting various dinners and socials throughout the year, sponsoring educational lectures and seminars, and actively participating in many community service projects. We also strongly encourage students to attend or present research at professional psychological conferences. Those Psi Chi members who strive to maintain a high level of involvement and interest in current research are reimbursed for travel expenses to such conferences.
In closing, the key ingredients to becoming a successful Psi Chi chapter involve working in accordance with the goals of Psi Chi, possessing strong leadership, effectively advertising your chapter's activities and events, and hosting many, diverse activities. When combined with active participation on the part of both members and leaders, these elements will work to build a strong, cohesive, and successful Psi Chi chapter.