Getting the Jump on Next Year: Advice for Newly Elected Officers
Your brother Knights have just elected you an officer of your council. Congratulations! Perhaps this is your first elected position, or maybe you’ve made the move from guard to chancellor. For some of you, this means being elected grand knight and charged with leading your council over the next fraternal year. Whatever position you’ve been selected for, now is the time to start preparing for next year. Below are five simple ways to do this:
1) Meet with the brother Knight that held your position last year.
For most officer positions, a single meeting will be enough to discuss what the role involves and to explain any tricks of the trade. For positions like grand knight, it may take several meetings to completely discuss all that’s involved in leading the council. At this meeting, anything that needs to be handed over (such as the recorder’s minute book; checkbooks for the treasurer; access/passwords to the council’s email account, Facebook or website) should be given to the newly elected officers.
2) Meet with your grand knight (If you’re the grand knight, meet with each of your officers).
Each officer should meet with his grand knight to discuss his role during the upcoming fraternal year. As mentioned above, you’ll want to continue to improve upon the work of your predecessor, but your grand knight may have an additional goal or objective for you. Additionally, you may have a special event or focus that you’d like to work on in the upcoming year. For example, as advocate, you may want to promote pro-life activities within the council. Maybe as warden, you wish to help maintain the Newman Center grounds by shoveling snow and raking leaves. There’s always flexibility to expand and
define your officer role, so make sure you take the time now to discuss this with your grand knight and plan for the year ahead.
3) Get to know the other Catholic group leaders on campus.
Other Catholic organizations on campus have also selected leaders for their clubs for the coming year, and in order to begin collaboration, you should meet with these leaders now. In order to reduce the burden on the grand knight, perhaps each officer can serve as a liaison for one group.
4) To the best of your ability, plan the fall semester now.
Start by scheduling business and officers meetings and by planning a recruitment drive for early September. Then, begin filling in service projects, faith programs and social events. Successful college councils typically hold two non-meeting events per week. For councils not up to this activity level, start by holding three non-meeting events a month — one service, one faith and one social. This allows your council to touch on all pillars of the Knights each month. From here, you’ll begin to schedule events more frequently, eventually to the level of two per week.
5) Pray for your work as an officer, the members of your council and those your council will impact.
Having a robust prayer life is an extremely important aspect of being a Knight, but especially important for officers. Being an officer can be challenging and demanding at times, especially with schoolwork and the other exciting opportunities of college life. By maintaining your focus on God you can best serve your council and campus community.