Handbook for the National Officers
All four national officers of Eta Sigma Phi are expected to be present for the entire national convention. Normally the executive board meets with the Executive Secretary for a planning session a few hours before the start of the convention.
The Eta Sigma Phi Constitution states the following concerning the office of the Grand President:
1) “The Grand President shall be a Senior while holding office.”
2) “The Grand President shall preside over all meetings, shall be ex-officio member of all committees, and shall be chair of the Grand Executive Council. The Grand President shall see that all resolutions passed by the National Convention are carried into effect, and shall perform such other duties as are in the purview of the Grand President of similar societies.”
During the year, the Grand President functions mainly as the figurehead of Eta Sigma Phi. Most of his or her duties take place at the National Convention, but he or she must play an active role in the management of Eta Sigma Phi throughout the year, as well. These duties include, but are not limited to, the following activities and roles:
1) Editing the Nuntius along with all other officers
2) Answering questions from local chapters or directing them to other officers or the Executive Secretary
~Remember: your e-mail address is on the Eta Sigma Phi website, and people will e-mail you with questions or pleas for assistance
3) Assisting other officers with the completion of their duties (usually the Grand Vice President)
4) Attending, if possible, the APA/AIA Annual Joint Conference
~here, you will be the most prominent representative of Eta Sigma Phi. You will be quite visible, and attendees will come to you with questions about the honorary. You should be prepared to answer these questions (or know where to find the answer). If at all possible, you should attend this conference. It brings the officers much closer together and gives you an opportunity to represent the honorary to people who aren’t necessarily members.
5) Presiding over the National Convention (see below for details)
The constitution says this concerning the duties of the Grand President while at Convention:
“The meeting of the National Convention shall be called to order and be presided over by the Grand President, if present. In the absence of the Grand President, the Grand Vice-President or one of the other members of the Executive Council shall preside, or the Executive Council shall appoint a presiding officer from the delegates present.”
Much of what this excerpt says can be explained concisely using another excerpt from the Constitution:
“The purposes of assembling the Convention annually are:
a) To hear, consider, and act upon reports of officers, committees, and local chapters.
b) To fix, determine and declare the policies of the Society.
c) To hear, consider, and act upon such proposals as may be submitted for amendments to this Constitution.
d) To elect and install officers for the coming year and to ratify the appointments to the Board of Trustees and of the Executive Secretary
e) To conduct such other business as the Convention may
deem desirable or expedient for the interests of the Society, and to preserve and maintain unified relationships among the local chapters.”
In order to fulfill these purposes, the Grand President must above all be paying attention. This seems obvious at first, but many things happen at Convention which a new President may not expect. He or she must always be prepared to call for a motion to approve or elect and hold a vote. The Grand President should look carefully at all aspects of the convention program as soon as he or she receives it and address any questions or concerns to the Executive Secretary. At the Convention, much is expected of the Grand President, for he or she is, as stated above, the figurehead of Eta Sigma Phi and is prominently placed at all Convention proceedings.
Normal duties for the Grand President at the National Convention include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
1) Open the Convention
~consists of brief welcoming remarks and introduces the major figures of the convention (officers, Executive Secretary, local chapter, local chapter advisor, etc.) so that attendees know who might be able to answer their questions
2) Preside over first business meeting
~introduce all speakers, officers, etc. except for Chapter Reports (Grand Secretary performs the role call at this time)
~call for a motion to approve minutes from previous convention
3) Lead the committee meeting for those running for office
~introduce self to all candidates for office
~inform candidates of job duties
~direct candidates to those who are able to answer their questions
4) Preside at the banquet
~serve as master or mistress of ceremonies
~thank host chapter
~be prepared to introduce any awards, speakers, etc. that might take place
5) Preside over second business meeting
~listen to committee reports, then move to accept the reports
~install new officers
~“lead” singing of Eta Sigma Phi song (this duty can be passed to another attendee if Grand President is unwilling or unable)
Grand Vice President – Megas/Megale Hyparchos
The Eta Sigma Phi Constitution states the following concerning the office of the Grand President:
1.) The Grand Vice-President automatically shall become chair of the Committee on Reactivation and Expansion, submitting a written report to the succeeding convention concerning petitions received, approved, and rejected by the Grand Executive Council.
Suggested timeline for VP:
Summer – review spreadsheet and make any additional changes, such as new chapters, change in chapter activity, etc. Discuss with Executive Secretary to ensure communication and accuracy.
Sept. Discuss options for expansion and reactivation with other officers and executive secretary. The hyparchos may want to appoint coordinators: those chapters who are interested in hosting regional conventions before National Convention. Hopefully this would allow for more interest in attending National Convention, and information from the National Office may get to chapters more quickly with regional events.
Oct/Nov – Make phone calls or send mass letter encouraging chapters to become regional heads.
Dec/Jan. Gather all possible information during Christmas Break and give to Executive Secretary.
Feb/March – Prepare for National Report. Power point is not necessary, but it’s a good way to present. Also make sure that you have received all letters of application from prospective schools, print out and take with you to convention.
April: National Convention Duties
A. Attend all events
B. Give report Saturday morning. Also set the bar high: make sure those wanting to run for this office knows and understands the duties that must be completed, hopefully noting it all through the Officer’s Handbook.
C. At Committee meeting, hand print outs of chapter applications to committee, review and discuss.
D. At Sunday’s meeting, give brief outline of Saturday’s discussion, and allow for a vote on all applications.
D. Attend APA/AIA and other meetings of classical organizations as the representative of Eta Sigma Phi.
Grand Treasurer – Megas/Megale Chrysophalax
The Eta Sigma Phi Constitution states the following about the office of the Grand Treasurer:
“The Grand Treasurer and the Executive Secretary shall receive and have custody of all funds belonging to the Society, and shall disburse said funds from time to time as the needs of the Society may require. They shall keep accurate records of accounts in a book or books belonging to the Society, and shall enter therein accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements, and an accurate account of such sums as may be owing to the Society from time to time, likewise an account of all indebtedness the Society may from time to time incur, together with a record of any other financial transactions in which the Society may engage. The Grand Treasurer and the Executive Secretary shall submit a written financial report to the Annual Convention.”
To expand upon this, it is the duty of the Grand treasurer to co-sign checks with the Executive Secretary in a timely manner, no more than a two day turn around period upon receiving the checks barring extenuating circumstances. The treasurer will also review monthly bank statements sent by the Executive Secretary. Along with this, before the National Convention, the Grand Treasurer and Executive Secretary must be in contact with each other to finalize the details for the annual budget proposal that occurs at the first general business meeting.
Other than the aforementioned duties of the Grand Treasurer, other responsibilities that are not outlined in the Constitution are as follows:
1) To edit the Nuntius with the other officers
2) To assist the other officers with their duties when possible
*especially to the Grand Vice President in helping to reactivate dormant/at-risk chapters
3) To attend the APA/AIA Annual Convention if possible
*this helps to make the Honorary more visible in the realm of Classics and to grow closer with your fellow officers.
At the National Convention, aside from giving the Annual Budget Report, the Grand Treasurer must be present at the committee discussing the finances of the Honorary for the past year.
Grand Secretary – Megas/Megale Grammateus
The Eta Sigma Phi Constitution states the following about the office of the Megas/Megale Grammateus:
“SECTION 3. The Grand Secretary shall attend, and record the minutes of, all meetings that shall be held, and these shall be transcribed and kept in a book belonging to the Society. The Grand Secretary shall submit in written form to the chapters any amendments which are to be considered for final adoption at the next National Convention.”
Simply put, the Grand Secretary is responsible for keeping minutes at the National Convention. That is the office’s highest responsibility. The minutes that are taken by the Grand Secretary are published in the NUNTIUS and should be submitted to the editor as soon as possible. The Grand Secretary should also put the annual chapter reports in order and edit them, before submitting them to the NUNTIUS. Additionally, the Grand Secretary maintains the rules of order during the National Convention, and oversees the election process for new officers.
Article XVI also describes the amendment process of the Eta Sigma Phi Constitution, in which the Grand Secretary plays a crucial role:
“SECTION 1. Any article of this constitution may be amended in the following manner: A proposed amendment shall be presented in writing at one annual national convention, and if passed by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, shall be submitted in written form through individual correspondence by the Megas Grammateus to each chapter at least two months prior to the next annual national convention and shall be presented for final vote at that convention, where a two-thirds majority of all votes shall be necessary for adoption.”
The Grand Secretary is responsible for informing each active chapter of the proposed amendment, which is to be voted on at the next National Convention.
In addition to his obligations at the National Convention, the Grand Secretary serves in a number of functions at the local level to promote Eta Sigma Phi. That is, he/she should work to encourage the creation of new chapters in Classics programs across the country, as well as assist in reactivating dormant chapters whenever possible. Furthermore, in order to encourage the visibility of Eta Sigma Phi, the Secretary should attend scholarly conferences whenever possible, including but not limited to Classical Association of Midwest and Southern States, American Philological Association, etc. The Grand Secretary should support the activities of the other officers, providing assistance through his own efforts and by rallying support from his local chapter whenever possible.