Developing A Committee

Short Description

A committee should be viewed as a “team” within the chapter. The chair of the committee is the leader of that team. A chapter with a strong, working committee system can accomplish a great deal in a small amount of time.

Target Audience

Undergraduate Officers

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus

Committees
Officer Overview

The purpose of committees:

  • To plan activities
  • To assign tasks
  • To brainstorm ideas
  • To evaluate the value of a project
  • To decide on action or carry out an assignment
  • To follow through and complete a job
  • To presents programs, ideas, and policies to the chapter

Types of Committees:

Executive Board
Coordinates the work of all officers and committees and directs overall plans.
Standing Committee
Usually exist for the duration of a term. Usually has a continuing task (recruitment committee, risk management committee, standards board, etc.)
Special committee
Usually appointed for a specific task. Has a definite job to do, and a time limit in which to get it done (awards committee, dance or formal committee, etc.)

Elements that may hold back your chapter committees:

  • Lack of organization & direction
  • Lack of time
  • Poor use of talent
  • Attempting too much
  • Domineering member

Traits of exceptional chapter committees:

  1. Well organized
  2. Enthusiastic chair
  3. Good attendance
  4. Established goals
  5. Atmosphere that enables all to express their feelings
  6. A feeling of “we”
  7. Shared leadership

Duties of the committee member:

  • To know the job assigned
  • To attend all meetings
  • To participate (share ideas, ask questions)
  • To assume responsibility
  • To bring new ideas

Responsibilities of a Committe Chair

  • To arrange meeting times and notify members and advisors who are to attend
  • To be sure that every member of the committee has a clear understanding of the committee’s responsibility, its authority, and its function. In other words, be sure the committee has established and written goals!
  • To appoint a secretary to record minutes of committee meetings
  • To know when the committee is expected to complete its tasks
  • To know whom you are responsible for
  • To be a democratic leader
  • To follow through, coordinate, check
  • To continually evaluate progress toward established goals
  • To think and say “we, “ not “I” or “You” think in terms of “our group” and what we think

Responsibilities of each committee member:

  • To be an alert listener
  • To play an active role in discussion, brainstorming
  • To follow through with tasks on a timely basis
  • To help the leader settle arguments, keep discussion on task, and get others to contribute

The committee meeting

  • Keep the meetings short — about 60 minutes
  • Keep all committee members involved
  • As the committee chairman, ask other members to answer questions and aid in leadership of discussion. The committee chairman need not be the focal point at all times.
  • Keep the meeting organized and on task. Encourage members to keep frivolous and impertinent discussion outside of the meeting.
  • Realize when one topic is eating a lot of time and state an allotted amount of time for further discussion on the topic.
  • Be sure to have a typed agenda ready for all committee members
  • Be sure to remind committee members of your meeting before hand

Recognition and reward

Be sure to recognize your members for their hard work and dedication. Ways this may be accomplished include:

  • A personal thank you
  • A certificate of appreciation
  • An appreciation dinner
  • A “thank you!”

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