Top 10 List to Get you Started this Semester! 

The arrival of the new school year comes with a great amount of energy across campus.  This is the time to harness that energy and develop a plan for the year ahead.

  • Talk, Plan, Schedule. If officers for the new year were elected in the spring, don’t let summer go by without talking – even via email.  Throw out ideas.  If a Chapter Annual Report was created in the previous year, be sure to review and see what worked and what can be done again. Talk with officers from the previous year about how they operated. Find those things that worked well and try to do them again.

  • Don’t wait! Schedule a meeting or two with your faculty advisor right out the gate. Develop a plan to communicate through the course of the year.  Think about setting up a weekly or biweekly meeting. Cooperation between student officers and faculty advisor is key!

  • Make a calendar.  Think about the big activities on campus and in your department that you want the chapter to be part. This could include setting up a table for your campus “Club Fair” or something similar.  If there is a Major Fair or something around political science? Be sure to be part of such events. Get a date for your induction event as early as possible. Be sure to make a note that your Annual Chapter Report is due June 30.

  • Delegate responsibility. Beyond the title, it is incredibly important for incoming officers to understand their responsibility to the chapter and to the members.  Pressures from competing demands – academic, professional, and work – can impact a student officer’s ability to fulfill their duty. Work out early who has responsibility for what element. 

  • Hold a Kick off meeting early. Try to get as many members to this first meeting as possible. Have pizza or sandwiches or cookies. Be sure the chapter advisor can take part! Share your calendar and talk about opportunities from the national office (student research conference, chapter grants, graduate scholarships, best paper awards, and more)

  • Make a Recruitment Plan. How do you plan to find new members? Your faculty advisor can draw a list of all eligible students from the registrar as step one. Step two is how you promote the chapter.  Ask faculty if you can speak at the beginning of their classes to introduce Pi Sigma Alpha. Hold a call out session where you invite eligible  - and soon to be eligible - students to learn more about the organization and what it does on campus. 

  • Think about your induction event (fall or spring or both). How can you make it special? Plan ahead. The deadline for national office Chapter Activity Grant proposals is October 31.  Do you want to spend money to invite an out of town speaker or could you find a local alum who would be interesting to your members and faculty.

  • Think social.  Does your chapter have active social media channels? If so, be sure you have one officer responsible for managing them. If you don't have a Facebook, Insta, or Twitter account give some serious thought to adding one or more to communicate with your members both on campus and off.

  • Be active in the department.  Find a way for the chapter to take part in department events.  This might involve cosponsoring an existing program or developing something new that is valuable for the department.  Does your department have a Best Professor Award or something similar? How about inquiring if Pi Sigma Alpha can sponsor the prize.  How about a holiday party?  If you department hosts such an event see what role your chapter in play in making it successful. Perhaps help with set up and cleanup. This can be a bonus for your chapter members as they get more access to faculty.

  • Keep your campus status in order.  Is your chapter a registered student club? If the chapter needs to file paperwork annually to maintain its active status on campus make sure that this is done early!  Your active status make impact the ability to reserve rooms for events or apply for university funds to support an activity.