Forming a Student Chapter of the Forest Products Society
Student Chapters at educational institutions provide an excellent means of furthering both your professional and academic goals.
Within the academic program, a Student Chapter provides the unifying organizational structure of a “club,” and gives the added distinction of professional affiliation, affording greater stature to both the students and the academic program. In addition to regular meetings, typical Chapter activities range from hosting industrial speakers, visiting scientist lecturers, and graduate seminars to sponsoring forest products displays and career promotion exhibits. Joint activities are often held with other student groups such as a Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Chapter members also engage in fundraising activities and sponsor social events.
Chapter status provides an excellent basis for establishing off-campus contacts. Student/alumni/industry banquets renew contacts with past graduates, assist in developing industry support, and provide opportunities for making potential employment contacts. Chapter representation at FPS Section meetings affords the dual advantage of contact with other FPS members and student attendance and participation in technical meetings. Students are also actively involved in the FPS Annual meetings, and some Sections offer Student Chapter members financial assistance for Annual Meeting attendance.
Procedure for Chapter Formation
The following seven steps must be followed to establish a Student Chapter:
- Five or more FPS Student members in a wood-related academic program at an educational institution recognize an interest in forming a Student Chapter.
- The students contact a Faculty member, who agrees to serve as Chapter Advisor.
- The Students and Advisor send a written request for approval to form a Chapter to the Chair of the Section in which the educational institution resides. If the institution is outside the boundaries of a currently active Section, the Students and Advisor may send the request directly to the FPS Executive Board.
- The Section officers, if voting affirmatively, return their written approval and notify the Executive Board through the Executive Vice President.
- Having received Section (or Executive Board) approval, the petitioning Student members then draft Bylaws in accordance with the FPS Constitution and elect appropriate officers.
- Copies of Bylaws, the list of officers (with complete names addresses, phone, fax, and e-mail), and the list of Charter Student Chapter members are forwarded to the FPS Executive Vice President.
- A Student Chapter Charter certificate is prepared by the International Office and sent to the chapter officers.
Constitutional Guidelines for the Preparation of Student Chapter Bylaws
The following constitutional guidelines must be adhered to during the drafting of Student Chapter Bylaws:
- The Bylaws of a Student Chapter may not conflict with those of the Section in which the Chapter resides or the Bylaws of the parent Society.
- An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Student members in attendance, and the faculty advisor in case of a tie vote, shall be required to amend, repeal, or in any way alter the Bylaws of a Student Chapter.
- Student Chapters shall have student officers, and the Student Chapter Bylaws must require that a faculty member serve as Chapter Advisor. Further, the Chapter Advisor must be a member of the Forest Products Society.
- Student Chapters must hold at least one meeting per year to retain their authorization. Open meetings are authorized and encouraged.
- Student Chapters shall forward minutes of the Student Chapter meetings to the Section officers.
- Student Chapters may submit their recommendations, opinions, and actions taken to the Section officers for consideration by the Section’s Voting members.