1. Conduct an organizational meeting with all the schools that wish to become part of the at-large chapter to assess interest and commitment. The following should be considered and discussed.
- Timeline to Amend a Chapter's Charter
- Inclusion -- Representatives from the new schools will need to be included and take an active role within the prospective at-large chapter to ensure collaboration among all of the schools involved.
- Logistics --
- How physical distance between the schools will affect operations;
- Where, when, and how events, programs, and inductions will take place;
- How finances will be handled for each location;
- How future elections and chapter leadership will be structured to ensure equal representation and workload;
- How will members perceive the collaboration? Will they realistically attend events at the other school(s)? Will leader candidates be put off at having to attend meetings/events at other locations?
- Chapter Board Vote -- If all parties agree to pursue a chapter charter amendment, the board of directors of the established chapter must vote to approve this action. Be sure to document this vote in the meeting minutes, including:
- Date chapter board of directors voted to amend chapter.
- Number of board members present.
- Number of votes to approve charter amendment.
- Number of votes to not approve charter amendment.
- Number of voters who abstained.
STTI Mission and Vision
2. Chapter leaders and representatives should talk to the university officials at each school interested in being a part of the chapter to gain their support for having an at-large chapter of STTI. Officials at the university where the existing chapter resides should also be consulted to make sure they are in agreement to forming the at-large chapter with the other schools.
- Letters of support for the collaboration among the schools on the STTI chapter will need to be submitted as part of the chapter charter amendment application.
- Letters are required from each non-chapter university/college administration and each non-chapter school of nursing.
- Letters are required from each university/college administration and school of nursing that are officially affiliated with the existing chapter.
- Sample Letters of Support for Charter Amendment
3. Consult with STTI Headquarters staff and report charter amendment collaboration.
4. The members of the chapter’s board of directors and the representatives from the joining school(s) should meet to discuss/agree upon how chapter operations will change to integrate students and nurses from the new school into the new at-large chapter.
- There should be an equal partnership among all schools involved in the new at-large chapter
- For a minimum of six months, all groups should demonstrate an ability to work together and document efforts as evidence of this collaboration.
- Documentation may include:
- Copies of meeting minutes.
- Copies of policies & procedures.
- Statements & appendices requested on application.
- Reviewers will expect high levels of inclusion and collaboration in the areas of leadership, programming & events, inductions, communications, board planning, and finances. Supporting documentation submitted with the application should reflect this.
5. Draft proposed at-large chapter bylaws using the chapter bylaws template from headquarters noting the changes needed for at-large chapters in RED font.
- If your chapter is already an at-large chapter and it is just adding additional schools, submit a revised copy of the chapter’s current at-large bylaws (including each new school name to be added within the heading and Article 1) as the proposed at-large bylaws. You may also add revisions in the allowable sections of the chapter bylaws. Consult Chapter Bylaws Guideline--areas you are allowed to revise are highlighted in yellow. Additional changes must be approved by the STTI Governance Committee.)
6. Membership Vote — The membership must vote to add a school(s) of nursing to the chapter’s charter.
- The vote can be electronic, by mail, or at a chapter meeting (check local laws in your area).
- Notice of the vote must be sent to all active members.
- If the vote is conducted electronically or by mail, ¾ of the ballots returned or completed must be favorable.
- If the vote is at a chapter meeting, the opportunity to vote should be announced with the notice of the meeting. The notice should be sent at least 30 days prior to the meeting. (60-90 days’ notice is recommended.) ¾ of those present and voting must vote in favor of the charter amendment.
- If you do not give 30 days’ notice of the vote, 100% of the ballots returned or completed must be favorable.
7. Chapter should begin informing potential candidates about Sigma Theta Tau International perhaps through an informational meeting. This should make recruiting new members easier once final approval for the at-large chapter is given.
After above tasks are completed, please utilize the Charter Amendment Application Readiness Checklist with staff to determine readiness to submit and official application.
Approval and the Charter Amendment Ceremony
Once approved by the Board of Directors, a charter amendment ceremony will be arranged with headquarters and the new at-large chapter. The Amendment Ceremony is required and consists of the official chartering of the new school to be included in the chapter AND an induction. STTI will identify and pay travel expenses for the STTI leader who will officiate at the chartering ceremony.
- Ceremonies will be scheduled no earlier than 12 weeks after final board approval.
All charter amendments are recognized at the next Sigma Theta Tau International biennial convention. Final approval is given by the board of directors for amendments rather than the House of Delegates.
- 2017 Biennial Convention is in Indianapolis, Ind., USA