Parliamentary Strategy – October 2012

This is the second chapter in a series of articles regarding the duties of chapter officers.  Please see the first article regarding “general duties” that appeared in the September 2012 Clarion.

Duties of the Chapter Regent

As the chief administrative officer it is the responsibility of the chapter regent to see that the business of the chapter is properly transacted.

BE INFORMED. It is essential to be familiar with the basics of parliamentary procedure. A“PARLIAMENTARY LAW CHART” may be obtained from The DAR Store. The small, singlefold card describes motions to be used and includes how a member and the chair properly process a main motion. It is also important to be current on NSDAR procedures and familiar with the three NSDAR objectives and their implementation through various national committees.

Additional duties include:

1. Knowing the duties of all officers and chairmen.

2. Knowing what the chapter objectives are and the person responsible for each task.

3. Supervising and coordinating all committees, providing help as needed.

4. Assisting officers and chairmen to develop expertise in their positions.

The above may seem like a daunting list; however by spending just a little time each day reading the DAR Handbook and the National Information Packet (NIP), you will quickly acquire not only the knowledge you’ll need to be a successful regent, but also a deeper appreciation for the scope of projects and programs DAR encompasses.

BE EFFICIENT. It saves time. For easy reference, use a large loose–leaf notebook, and dividers with tabs. Include at least the following items:

• Calendar

• Agenda

• Duties of Regent

• Duties of Officers and Chairmen

• Membership list

• Materials and Supplies Order Form

Make a realistic evaluation of your chapter’s needs and capabilities; then select a particular area where improvement is needed, i.e., attendance at State and National functions; bylaws update; membership and junior membership increases; preservation of genealogical records. Select one or two definite goals, capable of being reached, and concentrate your efforts in those areas. If every officer and chairman will do the same thing, chapter goals will be attained and the chapter will be successful under your leadership.

Prepare a calendar, listing the tasks which should be accomplished each month. The DAR Handbook (pages 188-193) provides a calendar with information pertinent to chapters, i.e., deadline for election of delegates to Continental Congress, National reporting dates, and other deadlines. A sample calendar of activities is included in this manual. (see Appendix B). Either calendar may be expanded for chapter use by setting chapter deadlines that allow the chapter to meet National and State deadlines. Include chapter and State meeting dates, deadlines for dues and conference fees, when magazine or newsletter advertising must be sent, deadlines for reports and contests, etc. When the calendar is completed, mark chapter functions in red and use another colors for dates that affect chapter business and deadlines. Make copies for your parliamentarian, vice regent and recording secretary. Set a date prior to each chapter meeting to check with your officers and committee chairmen who are to report, and with the program chairman.

Set aside time to prepare your agenda prior to your chapter or board meeting (see Appendix D, Agenda with Dialogue). Time limits placed on reports and speakers keep the meeting on schedule. Chapter bylaws should provide for executive board meetings or for the regent to call a meeting as needed.

Check your calendar frequently throughout the year and with the following chapter officers/chairmen:

  • Chapter Achievement Award chairman – verify all requirements are met
  • Treasurer – verify prompt payment of obligations. Consult after each National Board of Management meeting so new members’ State dues are paid
  • Committee Chairmen – to ensure duties of their committees are being accomplished or to check on progress of work
  • Registrar and Treasurer – regarding membership count
  • Membership chairman – to check on status of prospective members

Mary Lynn Dalrymple Brown
State Parliamentarian

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