The process to establish or re-establish a circle (chapter) on a campus is relatively simple. The steps are presented below. The most important factors to consider are: a) how does a circle enhance the leadership environment of the campus and, b) what does that circle contribute to the Society as a whole. Before considering a circle, we recommend you read our Charter Relationship Statement. This document provides in detail what OΔK expects from the institution and what the institution can expect from OΔK. From the beginning of the partnership, it must be clear that OΔK is not a “student” organization but a multi-generational association focused on the values of honoring, educating, and promoting leaders and leadership.
Seven Steps to Chartering
1. Establish the Working Group
Gather an initial group of students (30-40), faculty/staff, and alumni who meet the OΔK membership criteria, as well as faculty, staff, and administrators who are currently OΔK members, to serve as members of the chartering class. This becomes the working group who will collectively develop and implement the chartering plan. If your college or university already has an organization with a mission similar to OΔK, that group can serve as your organizing team.
2. Select Working Group Leaders
Select a faculty advisor, circle coordinator, and student president, student vice president, and treasurer. If necessary for institutional purposes, complete on-campus student organization recognition process. This group of leaders should meet with the senior institutional administration (chancellor, president, provost, chair student affairs officer, dean of honors, etc.) to establish a place and role for OΔK at the institution. Again, OΔK is not a “student” organization but should be considered an honor society of the institution which has the programmatic support, including budget, of the highest levels of the institution.
The Application for Circle Charter officially begins the process with the OΔK National Headquarters. The extension liaison will establish a timeline for chartering that is usually no less than six months and maintain regular communication with the working group officers and campus officials.
4. Official Site Visit*
Once the Application for Circle Charter has been processed and the working group has made significant progress in developing the purpose, goals, organizational documents, and even held recruiting events, an official Site Visit will be scheduled. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these visits may be virtual although OΔK believes strongly in assessing the nature of the institution in person whenever possible. The site visit usually requires one full day. Meetings with the working group, working group officers, senior university officials including the president and provost, and other interested parties are required. The extension liaison will also work with the working group officers to finalize the Petition for Charter.
The Petition for Charter is an extensive document which provides the OΔK Board of Trustees all the information they need to determine if the institution should be granted a charter for a circle. The petition includes background on the institution, nature of leadership and honor programs, student body and faculty/staff demographics, draft circle bylaws, and the appeal for why both OΔK and the institution would benefit from the relationship.
A one-time $1,500 institutional chartering fee is assessed to the circle upon submission of the Petition for Charter. Payment must be made prior to installation ceremony. The chartering fee is non-refundable.
6. Recruitment and Selection
While the working group will all be considered for membership, the process or recruiting and selecting members should be conducted with the goal of installing the strong possible chartering class. All potential members must complete the OΔK National Leadership Honor Society Membership Application. The working group will make the final selection of membership for the chartering class. Prior to the Installation Ceremony, the petitioning group must submit the Membership Certificate Order Form and ensure that all National Lifetime Membership Fees ($94 each) have been paid. The OΔK Circle Officer Handbook provides detailed information on recruitment and selection.
The final step in establishing a circle is the Installation or Chartering Ceremony. This is a formal ceremony at which the new members will be initiated, the circle officers installed, and the charter officially presented to the institution. The OΔK President and CEO or a member of the OΔK Board of Trustees generally presides over this ceremony. The Installation ceremony should be a celebration for the entire campus. Senior university officials, organization leaders, and families of initiates should all be invited to attend this celebration of leadership. If required by the campus, this ceremony could be conducted virtually.
* Official site visits and installation ceremonies are coordinated through your OΔK extension liaison.
For more information about chartering contact:
Brent J. Anderson
Director of Finance and Extension