NHS Chapter Secretary
The secretary’s primary responsibility is to keep the official records of chapter business and serve as the official correspondent for the chapter. The historical memory of the Honor Society on your campus depends on the quality of the secretary’s performance. This is a job that requires accuracy, neatness, and completeness.
The duties of the secretary are much more comprehensive than simply taking minutes. Your work will be the life-memory of all that is done by the chapter.
As Secretary, you will be expected to:
- Be the keeper of the records, designer of the agenda
- Become organized at the beginning of the year and remain so
- Know nearly everything about every meeting
- Be alert to the calendar and the progress of committees
- Be knowledgeable about meeting procedures
- Spend all your time planning and organizing the chapter’s work
- Accomplish major miracles in minimal time, and minimal miracles exactly on time.
The Secretary’s Challenge
To be successful as a chapter secretary, you need to know how to handle many types of situations. You must be accurate, efficient, trustworthy, dependable, and have the ability to work with many different kinds of people and personalities. In addition, you need basic office computer skills. There is also the practical side of being secretary that requires energy, careful organization of time and resources, and a good relationship with the president, the chapter members, the adviser, and even the student body.
Depending upon your chapter and school size, the secretary position may actually be divided into two separate positions – recording and corresponding secretaries. Middle level chapters, for example, often separate the secretarial duties to distribute the workload and involve more students. The recording secretary deals with the agenda and minutes of meetings. The corresponding secretary maintains files, communications, and distribution of materials.
The Secretary needs to:
- Make up a master calendar of chapter meetings and schedule committee reports for the entire year.
- Establish a timeline for publishing the agendas.
- Prepare the agenda for meetings with the president and vice president.
- Notify chapter members of upcoming meetings and distribute agendas to them.
- Come well prepared to every meeting with such reference materials as a copy of the constitution and bylaws, minutes from previous meetings, lists of committees, committee reports.
- Take roll of attendees at meetings, either written or verbal, and keep records of who attended.
- Take minutes of the proceedings of all chapter meetings.
- Prepare and distribute the written minutes, with the president’s assistance, in a timely manner.
- Make certain that the administration and faculty receive copies of the minutes.
- Maintain chapter files including minutes and agendas.
- Type all required letters of the president, vice-president, and adviser.
- Maintain contact names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails of people with which the chapter regularly works.
- Send thank-you notes, birthday cards, and other courtesy notes as needed to teachers, administrators, and support staff members on behalf of the chapter.
- Produce a chapter directory with member contact information (however, please consult with the chapter adviser regarding policies regarding release of student information).
- Alert members to important correspondence.
- Be responsible for coordinating all chapter reporting (committees, administration, faculty, others).
- Work closely with the chapter adviser on all planning.
- Participate in Honor Society-sponsored activities.
- Meet deadlines and achieve goals.