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          Serving as a Local Officer

          Contributed by National Officers

          Happy December BPA!

           With the first semester quickly coming to an end, most of your chapters have probably already elected and installed your local officers for the year. That is great! So proud of you guys!

          So, now it’s time to talk serious – serving as a local officer comes with responsibility and I’m going to give you advice on how to handle that responsibility.

           In general, being a local officer requires that you portray at least a certain amount of leadership (more so if you are President). But, maybe you don’t know exactly how to be a leader. That’s perfectly alright as long as you are willing to learn from your advisors and fellow officers. A leader is just someone who is willing to and capable of leading others in the organization, but also listens to the ideas and thoughts of others and takes them into consideration. A leader should be responsible, organized, a team player and above all, honest. This may seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you examine your daily actions and then gradually try to make changes that allow you to reflect these traits, you’ll do fine.

           As an officer, you need to be involved in the activities of your chapter. However, you shouldn’t take on more than you can handle. If you do that, then you might become too overwhelmed and not be able to do anything. It’s ok to say NO from time to time.

           Make sure you attend ALL of your chapter’s meetings. It’s important that the members see the officers fulfilling their duties.

           Be as organized as you can be. Get a three-ring binder that you can take with you to all of the meetings and any other activities. Put your name and office on the front. This binder should hold meeting agendas and minutes, contact information, officer handbook, by-laws, important dates, notebook paper (especially for the Secretary) and any other important information. You might even separate the items using tabs. This way, you will have all the information you need in one place and you can take it with you anywhere.

           Get to know the members, let them know you are there for them. Get to know your advisors as well – they will be your go-to person throughout your entire term.

           Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you are having a problem, are confused about your duties or need help with a project, it’s ok to ask an advisor or fellow officer for help. Asking for assistance doesn’t mean that you don’t know anything; it just shows that you are willing to learn. After all, you are human.

           AND, above all, have fun! Serving as a local officer is a wonderful experience that is enjoyable and helps you grow as a person. So, have fun and make wonderful memories that will last a lifetime!

           Stay tuned for more helpful information.

           Best regards,

           Natasha Smith

          National Vice-President, Post-Secondary Division

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