Congratulations! You have been elected chapter secretary. The responsibilities assigned to the chapter secretary fall into two categories: internal and external communications. Some chapters elect a single chapter secretary to handle both of these roles; others have chosen to divide these duties into separate positions. Please read through this guide and pick out those portions that apply to your position, as defined by your chapter’s constitution and bylaws.

Regardless of the approach your chapter has adopted, it is important to remember that the secretary is a key leadership position. You must work closely with all other chapter officers to insure the smooth operation of your chapter. An effective secretary makes chapter administration easier, plays an important role in communications, and helps preserve the record of chapter activities. By doing your job well, you will contribute to the chapter’s success and sharpen your leadership skills.

No publication can provide all of the answers to the challenges you will encounter during your term of office. We won’t even attempt to do so in this guide. Instead, we are providing some guideposts as you plan your term of office. This guide should give you a better understanding of your role as the chapter secretary.

It is recommended that during the term of your office you work on creating a supplement to this handbook to assist the future secretaries of your chapter.

This supplement should include the following information:
  • Chapter Bylaws
  • Contact information for the current section chair, region director and advisory chair
  • Sample chapter minutes
  • Order forms for supplies
  • Sample roster
  • Last years schedule of chapter events
  • Schedule of general events throughout the school year.
  • Print or electronic back up copies of chapter minutes from current and previous years.
Throughout your service as secretary remember that you have chapter advisors and a sectional chair (and staff) who are willing and able to assist you. Use their talents and experience.




Internal Secretary Duties
**Calendar Planning**
**Effective Meetings**
Chapter Planning
Chapter Roles
Goal Setting
Long term planning
Chapter Space and PropertyNon-performers
Record Keeping
Risk management
Taking and Maintaining Minutes
Working with Advisors
External Secretary Duties
Marketing and Branding Overview
Correspondence (Letter Writing)
Chapter Planning
Chapter Websites Building
Communications Electronic
Officer transition
Writing Press Releases


  • National Bylaws Spring 2011- Under Chapter Improvement- must be logged into Website
  • Membership Policy- Under Officers
  • Chapter Assessment and Planning Session- Under CAPS Resources
  • National Pledging Standards- Under Officers
  • Pledge Manual March 2011- Under Chapter Improvement
  • Risk Management Policy- Under Managing Risk
  • APO Style Guide- Under Communications


Whether your elected position covers both secretarial roles or just one of them, your role is essential to an effective chapter. Through your leadership and efforts, you can influence the effectiveness of others in your chapter, foster good communications, and improve access to important chapter resources.

It should be clear by now that we have not attempted to provide you with an answer to every question, problem, or crisis. Your chapter believed enough in your leadership ability to elect you its secretary. To be effective you must share that confidence.

You will find that we have not attempted to provide you with an answer to every question, problem, or crisis that may arise during you tenure. Instead, we hope the guidance provided will enable you to make proactive decisions that will provide positive experiences and support for your chapter's alumni program. Remember, one of the best supports any officer can have is interaction with the previous officer and transference of information. If you feel that you have learned something in your position which could help many other officers in the Fraternity, please send your suggestions to so this manual can remain fresh and relevant

Finally, remember that when your term of office is over, your responsibility to the chapter does not end. You will have learned a great deal about what the chapter expects from its secretary and what the chapter needs. When you plan your officer transition retreat, share this information with your successor. Make sure he/she knows you will be around and willing to help.


APO IMPACT Chapter Training Program was developed under the 2006-2008 National Leadership Development Committee, Ed Richter; Program Director. Many thanks to all who helped in writing, reviewing and developing this dynamic tool.