Duties Of All TSA Officers

Each TSA chapter has certain officers elected by the membership to lead the chapter for a stated term. The following officers are generally elected in each TSA chapter:

President
Vice-President
Secretary
Treasurer
Reporter
Sergeant-at-Arms

By electing you to TSA office, the membership has entrusted the leadership of its organization to you and your fellow officers. With the acceptance of this honor come duties and responsibilities. Duty is defined as “the conduct, obedience, loyalty, and submission required of an officer." Responsibility is "the reliability and the moral accountability for duties expected of an officer.” Together, duty and responsibility convey the conduct and performance appropriate to all TSA officers.

Regardless of which office you hold, your duties and responsibilities as a TSA officer obligate you to do the following:

• Understand the mission and goals of your organization.
• Understand the organization’s constitution and its bylaws.
• Understand the organization’s creed and know it from memory.
• Be familiar with the organizational structure and state policies of TSA.
• Understand and correctly use parliamentary procedure.
• Memorize appropriate ceremonies and rituals.
• Attend all meetings.
• Be prepared to conduct organization and chapter meetings.
• Be prepared to serve as a speaker for civic clubs, banquets, school assemblies, technology education classes, and similar meetings when asked to do so.
• Prepare speeches to be used during your term of office to inspire, inform, and motivate others.
• Prepare for and help conduct TSA conferences.
• Attend TSA officers’ training sessions.
• Be loyal to the organization and the chapter to which you belong.
• Help other officers accomplish their tasks.
• Keep members constantly working toward goals and objectives through involvement in worthwhile projects and activities.
• Practice good speaking and writing skills as you represent the chapter.

PRESIDENT

The president presides over and conducts all meetings in accordance with parliamentary procedure; keeps the members’ discussion to the subject at hand and within time limits; appoints committee chairs and serves on committees, except the nominating committee, as an ex-officio (non-voting) member; represents the association at all functions; coordinates the activities of the association by keeping in touch with other officers, the membership, and the advisors; and keeps himself/herself informed to ensure that the association is moving according to its program of activities.

As presiding officer, the president should do the following:

1. Begin the meeting on time. (Members will be there if they know that the meeting will begin at a specified time.)
2. Be sure a quorum is present before the business portion of the meeting is conducted.
3. Stand while presenting business or directing the assembly.
4. Proceed in a manner established by the order of business.
5. Conduct the opening and closing ceremony according to TSA guidelines.
6. Use the gavel according to accepted practices.
7. Conduct the meeting in accordance with parliamentary procedure.
8. Keep the meeting under control. Limit debate on the part of any one individual to specified times or turns (Ample but not excessive time should be allowed for debate).
9. Refer to himself/herself as ‘the chair.”
10. Recognize any member who wishes to speak.
11. Be impartial at all times.
12. Turn over the chair to the vice-president or other designated member when desiring to enter into debate. Information, but not opinions, may be given from the chair. If the presiding officer wants to make or discuss a motion personally, he/she must leave the chair and do so from the floor.
13. Allow a member to suspend the regular order of business only by a formal motion that is carried by a two-thirds vote.

14. Permit discussion on a motion only after it has been seconded and restated by the chair.
15. Be seated when granting the floor to a member, and remain seated while the member discusses the motion.
16. State motions clearly. Before taking a vote, be sure that everyone understands the question.
17. Announce the result of the vote. First, state the motion, and then say, “The motion is carried/lost.”

18. Vote to break a tie.
19. Require that all remarks be addressed to the chair. Do not allow members to discuss questions, remarks, or answers among themselves. All discussion must be recognized and approved by the chair.
20. Permit the maker of the motion or the vice-president to put a question to a vote that concerns the president alone.
21. Close the meeting at the point when all business has been disposed of and/or at a designated time.

As chief officer, the president should also do the following:

1. Appoint committee chairs and serve as an ex-officio member on all committees except the nominating committee.
2. Represent the association at all functions.
3. Make public appearances, including speaking engagements, on behalf of the organization.
4. Coordinate the activities of the association by keeping in touch with other officers, the membership, and the advisors.

5. Develop a program of activities for the executive council.
6. Keep informed to ensure that the association is moving according to its program of activities (see officer report form).

Use of the Gavel

Every presiding officer should be familiar with the use of the gavel. It is used as a symbol of authority, to be exercised in the support of self-government and orderly procedure.

• Two raps of the gavel call the chapter meeting to order.
• Three raps of the gavel signal all members to stand during the opening and the closing ceremonies. Another rap serves as the signal to be seated.
• One rap of the gavel should follow the announcement that a meeting is adjourned.
• The gavel is also the instrument for maintaining order during the chapter meetings. If at any time members do not conduct themselves properly, a sharp rap or a series of sharp raps of the gavel should restore dignity and order.


VICE PRESIDENT

The vice president assists the president in the discharge of his or her duties. The vice-president presides at meetings and other functions in the absence of the president and must be prepared to assume the office of the president if necessary. The vice president is in charge of all committee work and the management of committee assignments. He/she works closely with all committees, keeping well informed of their activities.

The vice president should do the following:

1. Assist the president.
2. Preside in the absence of the president.
3. Be in charge of setting up and carrying out the association’s program of activities.
4. Assist with the preparation of meeting agendas.
5. Report on the status of the program of activities at each meeting.
6. Submit a report on association accomplishments at the end of the year.
7. Keep an accurate list of committee members.
8. Manage committee assignments using committee report forms.
9. Work closely with all committees, keeping well informed of their activities.

SECRETARY

The secretary prepares and reads the minutes of meetings; sends out and posts meeting notices; has the agenda for each meeting available for the president; reads communications at meetings; counts and records votes when taken; attends to official correspondence; keeps permanent records; and maintains and has ready for each meeting current descriptions of officers' duties and a Secretary’s Record.

The secretary should do the following:

1. Record the minutes of all meetings.
2. Handle official chapter correspondence.
3. Send out meeting notices.
4. Prepare the written agenda for each meeting.
5. Maintain the Secretary’s Record.

"Minutes" is the word used to describe the official record of what takes place at a meeting. The secretary prepares the minutes of each business meeting and reads those from the previous meeting as part of the order of business. The secretary should record the minutes of all meetings: formal, informal, and called. In preparing the minutes, it is not necessary to record discussion about a subject; rather, record decisions and actions taken by the group.
In preparing the minutes, the secretary should do the following:

1. Begin the minutes with basic information.
2. State the kind of meeting (regular, special, etc.).
3. Name of organization.
4. State the date and place of meeting.
5. State the fact of the presence of the regular chairperson and secretary, or in their absence, the name of their substitutes.

6. Give the status of the previous minutes (whether or not the minutes of the previous meeting were approved or their reading dispensed with).
7. Record in the minutes what is decided upon and done.
8. Record, whether carried or lost, the exact wording of every motion and amendment and the name of the member who made the motion/amendment. Stop the proceedings, if necessary, to get the exact wording of a motion. The secretary may request that a motion be submitted in writing by the member presenting it. Include all main motions and points of order and appeals, whether carried or lost, and all other motions that were not lost or withdrawn.
9. Record in the minutes the names of members who have been appointed to committees as well as the persons serving as chairs of those committees.
10. Include a copy of the treasurer’s report in the minutes.
11. End by stating the time of adjournment.

The items listed above must be included in the minutes. Other items such as announcements and program highlights may also be included.

Attending to Official Correspondence

The secretary should handle official correspondence of the organization by writing letters as needed or as directed by other officers and by keeping files of incoming and outgoing correspondence. In composing and preparing letters, the secretary should be careful to follow the accepted rules and practices of business correspondence.

Maintaining the Secretary’s Record

The Secretary’s Record is generally a three-ring binder that is used to collect and keep important documents concerning the business of the association. The record usually contains the following items:

• a copy of all approved minutes
• a list of all members
• a list of all standing and special committees, committee members, and chairpersons
• a copy of all committee reports
• a copy of the state and national programs of activities
• the constitution and bylaws of the organization

The secretary is responsible for keeping the Secretary’s Record current and should bring it to each meeting.


REPORTER


The reporter gathers association news; prepares news releases and articles for publication in local and statewide newspapers; acquaints local newspaper editors with information about TSA; assists in the planning and arranging of association exhibits; and collects and prepares news and feature stories of association activities for national publications.

The reporter should do the following:

1. Gather and classify all TSA news.
2. Prepare articles and news releases.
3. Develop a working relationship with local media personnel and keep them informed of TSA news.
4. Send news and photographs to the state and national TSA offices for publication.
5. Work closely with the secretary and the historian to prepare the record book.
Informing the Public about TSA Activities

The reporter is a key member in the TSA officer team. Informing the public about TSA activities will contribute to both the community’s appreciation of TSA and the pride of the TSA members. Public relations skills are important for all officers, but particularly for the chapter reporter.

Over the course of a year, a TSA chapter will probably be involved in several newsworthy events. Some possibilities to keep in mind are the following:

• fundraising projects
• members who attended a TSA conference
• community service projects
• winners of state and national TSA competitive events
• an upcoming program, especially one involving parents, community leaders, or other chapters
News about a chapter may be communicated to the public in many ways (newspaper articles, radio shows, or TV presentations). Although appearances on radio and TV shows are excellent public relations tools, the news release is probably the most commonly used tool for informing the public about a chapter’s activities.

WRITING A NEWS RELEASE

A news release (or press release) is an announcement of an event or other newsworthy item sent to the mass media, generally for immediate publication or airing.

The details of a news release should be written in order of declining importance. The inverted pyramid structure is used so that the editor of the newspaper or the broadcast journalist can adjust the length of the article simply by eliminating sentences or even whole paragraphs from the end.

Remember the “Five W’s and the H” when writing a news release: WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? and HOW? In a news story, try to answer as many of these questions as possible in the first paragraph.
Also keep in mind these additional tips when preparing a news release about a TSA chapter event:

• Type the news release on plain white paper or on letterhead.
• Limit the release to one paragraph when possible (presenting the five W’s and the H). Try never to go beyond one page.
• Give the name, address, and phone number of the TSA representative to contact if additional information is needed.
• Be accurate with names, dates, places, and other details.
• Whenever possible, write about future events rather than past events.
• Keep a copy of the news release. Compare your copy with the article as it is printed in the newspaper and/or announced on TV or radio. By comparing the two and noting the changes, you can write an improved article for the next release.
• Provide each newspaper, radio station, and TV station, to whom you send a release an original copy.
• Attach a captioned photograph if appropriate. The caption should be taped to the back of the photograph, and should clearly identify the subject(s) of the photograph. Whenever possible, submit black and white, rather than color, photographs.

Writing for other publications

In addition to sending releases to local community newspapers, TSA reporters send news and feature items about their chapter to the local school newspaper, to their state TSA newsletter, and to School Scene.

The School Scene, published electronically via the TSA website, www.tsaweb.org, four times a year, is National TSA's newsletter. Articles submitted to the School Scene should be written and handled in the same manner as those prepared for any other publication. Include name, address, and telephone number of contact person. Try to submit a black and white glossy photograph with a caption that identifies the people, activity, or project. Email or mail photos and articles to either general@tsaweb.org or to TSA School Scene, 1914 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1540.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS

The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for the physical setup of meetings, banquets, and gatherings. He/she secures the use of any meeting room and facility, assists in seating arrangements, and assures that all necessary equipment is at hand and operating.
The sergeant-at-arms should do the following:

1. Arrange the meeting room and set up officer symbols.
2. Be responsible for the comfort of those present at the meeting.
3. Attend the door during meetings and welcome all guests.
4. Take charge of candidates prior to and during initiations.
5. Assist with entertainment, refreshments, and other details connected with the program.
6. Serve as ex-officio (non-voting) member of any committee that deals with these areas.

TREASURER

The treasurer administers and is responsible for association funds. He/she keeps financial records in order and up to date; devises fund raising activities with the cooperation of the appropriate committee and the approval of the membership and advisor; assists in preparing an annual budget; serves on the enterprising and finance committees as an ex-officio (non-voting) member; and protects the financial reputation of the association.

The treasurer should do the following:

1. Keep a permanent, up-to-the-minute record of all financial transactions. The entries should be recorded in ink in a treasurer’s ledger book.

2. Keep a record of all received monies following accepted fiscal procedures.

3. Record all expenses, noting the date and the party to whom the money was paid.

4. Obtain and keep a copy of all receipts in the permanent records.

5. Be prepared to report the financial status of the association at any regular meeting.

6. Obtain and present ideas and suggestions to the membership for increasing the treasury and for financing association activities.