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Secretary responsibilities

Secretary

PHS qualifications:

1)  Must have a minimum GPA of 4.00

2) Position is for one semester, but if duties are met satisfactorily, it will be renewed for second semester.

3) Recommendation of one of your English teachers.

4) Will be the student leader for the school blood drives.

5) Will contact other officers and all 4 faculty sponsors (online or in person) one week before scheduled meetings to ask what will be on the general meeting agenda; once completed, type out an agenda and email to Mr. Coventry, so it can be loaded onto the Stuco website. The agenda must be posted at least 3 days prior to the general meeting.

6) After completing 'minutes' for the meetings, email them to Mr. Coventry, so they can be loaded onto the Stuco website.

 

The secretary’s primary responsibility is to keep the official records of council business and serve as the official correspondent for the council. The historical memory of the student council depends on the quality of the secretary’s performance. The secretary’s job requires accuracy, neatness, and completeness.

The Secretary’s Challenge

To be successful, the student council secretary must know how to handle many types of situations. The secretary must be accurate, efficient, trustworthy, dependable, and have the ability to work with many different kinds of people and personalities. In addition, the individual needs basic office computer skills. There is also the practical side of being secretary that requires energy, careful organization of time and resources, and a good relationship with the president, council, and student body.

Depending upon your council and school size, the secretary position may actually be divided into two separate positions. Middle level councils, for example, often separate the secretary duties to distribute the workload and involve more students. The recording secretary deals with the agenda and minutes of meetings. The corresponding secretary maintains files, communications, and distribution of materials.

  • Be the keeper of the records and designer of the agenda.
  • Be organized throughout the term of office.
  • Know nearly everything about every meeting.
  • Be alert to the calendar and the progress of committees.
  • Be knowledgeable about meeting procedures.
  • Spend all your time planning and organizing the council’s work.
  • Accomplish major miracles in minimal time and minimal miracles exactly on time.
  • Take minutes of the proceedings of all student council meetings and distribute the written minutes, with the president’s assistance, in a timely manner.
  • Make certain that the administration and faculty receive copies of the minutes.
  • Maintain council files including minutes and agendas.
  • Type all required correspondence of the president, vice president, and adviser.
  • Know how to write reports- Business or English teachers and writing textbooks are a great resource in this area.
  • Work with the adviser to develop a system for keeping reports and records on file.
  • Cultivate a positive relationship with the school staff. The secretary will need to be able to have access to the office machines such as copiers, computers, and collating equipment. The assistance of these valuable staff members is vital to the individual’s success.
  • Make up a master calendar of council meetings and schedule committee reports for the entire year.
  • Establish a timeline for publishing the agendas.
  • Prepare the agenda for meetings with the president and vice president.
  • Notify council members of upcoming meetings and distribute agendas to them.
  • Post agendas around the school to keep the student body apprised of what is going on with student council.
  • Come well prepared to every meeting with such reference materials as a copy of the constitution and bylaws, minutes from previous meetings, lists of committees, committee reports.
  • Take roll of attendees at meetings, either written or verbal, and keep records of who attended.
  • Maintain contact names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of people with which the student council regularly works.
  • Send thank-you notes, birthday cards, and other courtesy notes as needed to teachers, administrators, and support staff members on behalf of the student body.
  • Produce a student council directory with member contact information.
  • Alert members to important correspondence.
  • Be responsible for coordinating all council reporting (committees, student body, administration, faculty, others).
  • Work closely with the student council adviser on all planning.
  • Participate in student council-sponsored activities.
  • Meet deadlines and achieve goals.

Taking Minutes

Keeping an official record of what occurs at student council meetings is one of the primary responsibilities of the secretary. Don’t be intimidated by this responsibility. The very process of recording minutes can give the secretary a deeper understanding of the issues faced by the student council along with the ability to focus on what’s important.

In keeping the minutes, the secretary should record what was done at the meeting in an objective and impartial manner. Opinions, favorable or otherwise, should not be recorded. The secretary should not make the mistake of trying to record everything that is said. Concentrate on getting the gist of the discussion and taking enough notes to summarize it later. Think in terms of issues discussed, major points raised, and decisions taken.

There are several organizational steps the secretary can take to make the job a little easier:

  • Make attendance lists to help when working with large councils. Make a master list of everyone and just check off each person’s name as they arrive.
  • Prepare an outline based on the agenda ahead of time and leave plenty of white space for notes. By having the topics already written down, the secretary can easily switch to a new topic when the discussion moves on.
  • A structured format will help keep the minutes succinct. For example, the secretary may wish to develop a note-taking form with headings such as “Agenda Item” followed by subheadings “Discussion” and “Action Taken.”
  • Develop standard forms to fill in during the meeting such as a “Motion” form that must be completed by the person making a motion and submitted to the secretary. This helps ensure that the correct wording of motions is entered into the minutes.

After the meeting, the secretary should type up the minutes as soon as possible, while everything is still fresh in mind. It’s easy to forget details when waiting too long. Include the following items in the minutes:

  • Name of the group or committee.
  • Place, time, and date of the meeting.
  • Names of members present.
  • Names of members excused or absent.
  • Items discussed in the order listed on the agenda. Briefly describe main points discussed and state actions taken such as votes, resolutions, motions, etc. If a member of the committee or council is assigned a task or volunteers for an assignment, state clearly the person’s name and the responsibility accepted. It’s a good idea to attach a separate sheet to the minutes that summarizes all action items for future reference. List each item on which action is needed and the responsible council member.

Proofread the minutes before submitting them and be sure to have the minutes approved by the president or committee chair before distributing them to the members.

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