Chapter Officer Timeline
Fall & Winter/School Year: Workin' for a Livin'
The school year itself is the longest chunk of this AMSA timeline, and as such is filled with many events. These are constant tasks, emphasized sometimes, present always. The year provides a variety of different events, however, and they deserve monthly notice:
July, August and September are for ORIENTATION
Our repetition on this subject may get old, but a chapter can make or break a year here. Start a simple project that a few new members can work on. Whether it be a voter registration project or a blood drive, a simple project will make them feel involved and might help you identify some really interested members early on.
October and November are for AMSA CONFERENCES
AMSA conferences are the high point of the fall season, and you should budget accordingly so you can haul some AMSA folks on the road. Start promoting the conferences several months ahead of time. The superb speakers and workshop programming are great ways to introduce first year students to regional and national AMSA.
Hey, even AMSA gives thanks for its blessings. Speaking of turkeys, have you spoken to your BRD lately? Communication during the winter months can bog down under exams. This is a good time to make sure all of your projects are running smoothly and to troubleshoot problems. It's never too late! And always-fundraise!
December is for RECRUITMENT GOALS
December is a good time to assess your New Member Engagement. If you had a successful recruitment drive, congratulations! If not, plan for a winter recruitment drive after the holidays. December is also the time to revisit your timeline to see if you have achieved your goals for the fall season. Talk with your fellow officers about new ideas to spice up the coming year. And be aware . . . the Big One is coming! The Annual Convention is coming in March, and deadlines for national convention committees, submission of resolutions to the House of Delegates (HOD), and early registration are rapidly approaching. If you wait until after the holidays, it may be too late to organize these efforts.
January spells MONEY
Fundraising for Convention, it can happen now! January is also an excellent time for a winter recruitment drive. Returning students may have more funds for the membership fee than at the beginning of the year, they may be a little more willing to participate in extra-curricular activities after the initial fear of exams is gone, and they will certainly be excited about attending convention!
You should be formulating plans for the upcoming Annual Convention. If you have a small chapter, think about getting a few first year students psyched to go - it's a great motivator for future leaders. If you have a large chapter and plan to send lots of folks, appoint one reliable student to organize advertising, fundraising, travel, and logistics for the event. If you need help, your Regional Director or AMSA's vice president for finance are a call away!
February is for ANTICIPATION
Your chapter's collective engine begins to rev for the Annual Convention. You will be mailed information, but check the AMSA web site for current updates. Have anyone who wants to be a delegate get together and review the HOD resolutions: your chapter has a responsibility to have a position on them! These resolutions represent AMSA's internal policy and our principles on issues such as medical education and health policy. Often, they shape the issues on which we will lobby Congress in the upcoming year. If individuals in your chapter are seeking National Offices, let your whole chapter know. And while you're at it, why don't you think about a National Office? Do you have the stuff it takes to be an RD? Does an Action Committee position interest you? Check into it!
February is especially important for identifying the future leaders of your chapter. If you know a first-year who has worked hard all year for you and who has that AMSA spirit, take a special interest in getting them to convention. Once there, their AMSA light will burn full time.
AMSA is spelled F-U-N
During all this time, don't let go of an important fact: enjoy yourself. Leadership should be enjoyable, not hard labor.
- Annual Convention
- Elect new national leadership
- Elect new local chapter officers
- Transitioning begins between old and new officers
- Organize a membership committee - brainstorm for activity ideas, create rough outline for upcoming year
Spring / Transition: The Adventure Begins
- Make sure you have updated Chapter Officer contact information with AMSA, which includes an updated address.
- As a new officer, you will automatically be subscribed to our chapter officer community in Inspiration Exchange (AMSA's member-only online networking platform), which allows officers the opportunity to communicate and share with fellow AMSA officers (project ideas, recruitment questions, etc). It also allows for updates and information from the national office.
- After transitioning, meet with your fellow officers to discuss the leadership structure, roles and responsibilities for each officer. Make sure to leave some leadership opportunities open for new first year students in the fall.
- Make sure the new Chapter President fills out a recruitment form. This form should be completed early so recruitment materials are received in time for your school's Orientation.
Remember which chapter members showed real initiative or leadership during the year. By now, you should have some idea about who would make a good chapter leader. You've worked with the chapter all year, so use your experience to encourage new leaders. Within two to three weeks of convention, capitalize on everyone's enthusiasm and hold elections.
In your final days of office, give your chapter a report on the past year. Follow up with project heads, treasurers and deans and close out your term with a view of what you wanted to do and what you did. Read your goals. Which worked and which didn't? Think about the pitfalls of your year, and let the new officers know what they were. And, as a final favor, introduce them around to the folks you have trusted. They'll thank you. Be proud-when you look back at a year of AMSA accomplishments, you'll see what a great job you've done.
|Help develop new AMSA leaders-encourage promising first years to run for chapter office! Many a National Officer was motivated by the gentle advice/shove of a past leader. |
Are these requirements? Roughly, yes. These are our expectations of you during the year. Do you have to accomplish them all by yourself? Perish the thought! There is a dedicated team of people at the national level who exist to help you accomplish your goals. As a chapter officer, you should demand tons of help from the national office and the BOT.
- Contact the national office with new chapter officers and contact information (necessary to receive AMSA mailings)
- Transfer chapter materials (bank account; names, addresses; etc.)
- Hold a local chapter meeting to introduce new leaders, discuss rough outline for coming year, fill any unfilled leadership positions
- Meet with your Dean to discuss financial support for you and your chapter throughout the year.
Summer: Hot Fun in the Summertime
Transitioning is under control and you are well on your way to a successful year. Most of your responsibilities for the upcoming year are probably individualized to your chapter. There are, however, a few items that deserve your attention as you do your research/externship/ tour of Tibet in the summer sun.
The summer is a mere prologue to your school's Orientation. Be sure to schedule late summer and early fall meetings with your fellow chapter officers so you are not caught unprepared for your recruitment activities during school Orientation. If you are not involved directly in your school's Orientation, get involved. There is no better way to be highly visible and well known by the new first year students. Offer your chapter's full support to the Dean-they will at least let you pitch in and at most put AMSA's name on it.