Choosing the right officers doesn't begin
when the nominating committee is given the membership list and
instructed to find members to serve. It really begins when a
member joins the organization.
Every member has the possibility of serving
in some leadership position if allowed to grow and develop with
the organization. But the first thing the other members have to
do is recognize the abilities and talents of other members.
If a few people are doing all the work in an
organization, then there needs to be some soul searching and
self-examination. Members might ask the following questions:
Are we giving new members an orientation
where we explain the purpose and goals of the organization?
Do we explain what the officers do? What the
various committees do?
Do we tell the new members what we expect of
Do we assign a new member a mentor?
Do we get to know the member and his talents
so that he can be assigned to the right committees?
Do we give new members any information about
basic parliamentary knowledge so that they can make motions at
meetings and follow the business at the meetings?
Do we assign them to committee work
immediately or do we make them wait awhile?
Do the members think that only certain
individuals can do things?
Is there an inner circle in the organization
so that others feel excluded?
If someone isn't doing their job well do
we criticize or offer to help them?
Do committee chairmen allow the committee
members to have input or do they run the entire show and just
order the committee members around?
Does the president allow members to present
business and participate in discussion? Or does the president act
as a tyrant?
How an organization answers these questions
will determine the kind of organization and what happens to new
The successful organization that retains
members is active and growing, is the one that recognizes and
uses the talents of all the members. Those organizations that
have an inner circle or just a few people doing the work will no
doubt not exist within a few years.
Organizations must encourage all members to
work and develop their skills. The older students should mentor
the younger students so when they graduate, the remaining
students are prepared to take over. This not only means in
carrying out the day to day duties of the organization but also
in such matters as parliamentary competition. Continuity is the
key factor. The organization is an entity in and of itself.
Members come and go. By having mentors, training sessions, and a
constant appreciation of everyone's work and talents, the
organization will survive the transition of graduating seniors
and incoming freshman.
How the Nominating Committee Should
Select the Nominees
The purpose of a nominating committee is to
find the best people for each office. One might say that this is
a screening committee for the organization. This committee is to
find the best nominees for this office and to see if the person
is willing to serve. So the when the members elect someone they
know that the person is qualified and has said that he or she
When the nominating committee is selected,
they should be given a list of all the eligible members and what
the specific needs of the organization are at that time. Officers
should be selected to fill those needs. For example if the
organization needs to set up a new computerized system for
keeping track of dues, expenditures and that would give detailed
reports, then the nominee should possess the skills to do that.
If the organization wants to start working with other clubs, and
they want the president to be the emissary, then the committee
should select someone that is outgoing and knows how to work well
with others. It is important for the committee members to be
unbiased and select the best people for office and not just their
friends. They should also consider how the new slate would work
together. If they know that two people have personality
conflicts, then it might not be wise to have them on the same
Passing the Torch
After the election it is important that the
previous officers meet with the new ones. The outgoing officers
should give the incoming officers their files and go over the
information with them. If at all possible there should be a
training session for the new officers. The new president should
be trained in parliamentary procedure, how to conduct a meeting,
prepare an agenda, and other necessary information needed to
fulfill his duties.
The treasurer should be brought up to date
with the financial records of the organization. If these are on
the computer, then he or she should be made familiar with the
program and how to give reports. The secretary should be trained
in how to take the minutes, what to include in them and the
correct way of writing the minutes and keeping them in a
If the officers comprise the executive
committee or board then they should be brought up to date with
the activities of the previous one and what is expected of them
in this new position. The more new officers are trained and
mentored the easier the transition will be. This will also ensure
Choosing the Right Officers. McConnell, Robert. Parliamentary Internet Newsletter. Volume 11, Issue 1. 2006. English.
Last Reviewed: October 2012
Last Updated: August 27, 2014