Primary functions of the Graduate Council are categorized into basic areas:
Conduct a minimum of one official meeting each year.
Your Graduate Council faces failure if you plan to meet too often and if your programs are too ambitious. Twice-a-year meetings are the most effective and reasonable. Remember, many of your members will make special efforts to travel many miles to attend a meeting that has been well-planned and one they have known about for months in advance. This is the reason your Graduate Council should plan to send out newsletters with the dates firmly established months ahead of time. Without newsletters, Graduate Council Directories and membership cards, you will be very displeased with the turnout.
Most successful Graduate Councils have maximized their meeting attendance by coordinating with some social function. By working closely with the Resident Council, graduate members can easily organize such an event (i.e. Homecoming, Founders’ Day, etc.).
Homecoming – A kickoff meeting in line the football enthusiasm. You can coordinate your meeting according to traditional chapter activities.Graduate Council Social Functions*
The Graduate Council should normally conduct social functions twice a year in conjunction with the following occasions:
- Founders’ Day – The traditional time for a dinner meeting is the Founders’ Day Banquet. This is the period for a speaker, election of officers, and some serious thought of service to Phi Kappa Tau and to the chapter.
- Campus Alumni Weekend – That time during which graduates normally return to visit with old friends and to attend reunions. Have the chapter host a dinner or reception for the benefit of the graduate members.
- Chapter Anniversaries – Conduct a major celebration every five years (25 and 50 year member certificates are available through the National Headquarters).
*Please note that the National Fraternity has a very comprehensive Risk Management Policy which applies to both Resident and Graduate Council social functions.
Assure representation of the Graduate Council at all National Conventions.
Each Graduate Council should elect a National Convention delegate and one alternate delegate. In all but few of our most recent chapters, the Graduate Council delegate may represent hundreds of his chapter’s total initiated membership. The largest Resident Council members are approximately 100+ (members and associates), and the total Resident Council delegates to the Conventions represent a very small percentage of the total Phi Kappa Tau membership.
A budget should be prepared and presented to annual Graduate Council meetings that will include expenses for the Convention for the Graduate Council delegate. Conventions are held every two years. A Graduate Council treasurer should be working on the expenses in his annual program to ensure the necessary money when Convention time rolls around.
Establish a Board of Governors and a House Corporation.
The Graduate Council is the entire alumni body of the chapter. Perhaps its major responsibility is ensuring that the chapter has a functioning Board of Governors to provide proper supervision of the Resident Council. If property or housing is involved, or if there is a need for housing, it is the Graduate Council’s responsibility to organize and perpetuate a suitable not-for-profit local House Corporation under the provision of IRS Code 501(c) 7.
It is essential that each Resident Council have viable, functional alumni supervision on a regular basis if they are able to their full potential. Without a Board of Governors or House Corporation, we cannot be assured of the Residents Council’s ongoing development.
Monitor all alumni solicitations.
Too often undergraduates undertake soliciting alumni for contributions to the chapter in a somewhat haphazard manner. Consequently, their results are neither financially or aesthetically what they should be.
Every chapter has the need to increase its own financial base. Such an effort requires a great deal of planning and continuity if it is to be successful. Graduate Councils are best qualified to supervise such undertakings. Information regarding a specific fund-raising program for a particular chapter (i.e. Brotherhood Loyalty Fund) can be secured by contacting the National Headquarters. Funds raised through the Brotherhood Loyalty fund are not tax deductible.
Publish a Graduate Council directory every three years.
A directory should be published once every three years to be effective! Some Graduate Councils charge for these directories; others do not. Local custom and financial conditions of the Graduate Council should determine which method is best for your Graduate Council. Please make certain that the National headquarters receives a copy of all directories and any alumni address changes that may occur. The maintenance of our records at the National headquarters depends greatly on the information we receive from the Resident and Graduate Councils.
Publish newsletters regularly.
In the Graduate Council yearly budget, list the money to be used for publications. Most of the money used for publications should be sued to mail out Graduate Council newsletters. Should you Graduate Council decide to mail out your letters on a local basis, be sure the National Headquarters receives a copy.
Plan a monthly gathering for fellow Gradate Council members.
Coordinate either a monthly luncheon or an informal reception at a suitable location where there are numerous alumni within the immediate geographic area. This will provide fellow Graduate Council members the opportunity to meet on a regular basis, allowing them to develop and maintain strong fraternal.