The exact organizational structure, definition of roles, and responsibility of Chapter Officers will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the Chapter and the scope of its mission, any relevant school or campus policies, and individual Chapter preferences and individual skills.
Which leadership roles should my SVA Chapter establish?
At minimum, the Chapter must have a President, but the institution may require additional leadership roles. Leadership responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
- Ensuring that the Chapter is properly reporting membership and Chapter information to National Headquarters.
- Coordinate membership recruitment, Chapter Officer installation/transition, and Chapter meetings.
- Be familiar with the Chapter’s constitution and/or bylaws, membership requirements and Chapter reporting procedures.
- Planning Chapter events and promoting SVA on campus.
- Encouraging the Chapter’s attendance at university functions.
- Communicating effectively with the active membership, the university, community partners, and National Headquarters.
- Setting and evaluating Chapter goals annually.
Suggested Chapter Leadership Structure
The exact organizational structure, definition of roles, and responsibility of Chapter Officers will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the Chapter and the scope of its mission, any relevant school or campus policies, and individual Chapter preferences and individual skills. The suggested leadership positions are designed to mirror the executive leadership roles at National Headquarters for ease of guidance and assistance. Position descriptions for the suggested positions are described in the Chapter Leaders section below, and success themes for each of these positions are available to download.
The President is the most senior leader in a Chapter and holds overall accountability for all aspects of the organization’s operations, finances, development, recruitment, and engagement with National Headquarters and external parties. The responsibilities of the president include, but are not limited to:
- Overall accountability and ownership of the creation of the Chapter strategic plan and the success of the Chapter.
- Direct overall Chapter operations in accordance with governing documents, delegate appropriate responsibilities to Chapter Leaders as needed, and oversee the execution of the strategic plan.
- Represent and promote the Chapter at events on campus and in the community.
- Serve as the primary point of contact between the Chapter and National Headquarters, school administration, student government, other student organizations, and community entities.
- Conduct general body and leadership meetings.
Vice President of Programming and Member Development
The Vice President of Programs and Member Development is responsible for all facets of Chapter programming and ensuring all Chapter Members have a clear path toward Chapter Leader and/or liaison positions, if desired. This person manages the “so what” of the organization, and so is often considered the “second in command.” The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Use the strategic plan to set goals for programming and member development goals.
- Build and execute the programming calendar in coordination with other important calendars (i.e., university’s calendar, community calendar, holidays, etc.).
- Work with the Vice President of Communications and Marketing to ensure each event on the calendar is adequately publicized.
- Delegate event preparation responsibilities to Chapter Members based on individual skillsets.
- Track and report attendance outcomes for all events and lead the after-action review to discuss ways to improve the event.
- Track and report on the impacts from programming (i.e., graduation rates, engagement, Chapter status).
- Assess the skill level of Chapter Members and advise them on ways they can support the Chapter and assume leadership positions in the Chapter.
- Advise and encourage Chapter Members on professional development opportunities such as the LinkedIn Professional Development Community, the SVA Regional Summits, and the SVA Leadership Institute.
- Serve as the official second-in-charge of the Chapter in the event the President is unable to fulfill their responsibilities.
Vice President of Finance
The Vice President of Finance is responsible for managing all incoming and outgoing Chapter funds. The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Use the strategic plan to set an operations budget, and guide financial planning and decision making.
- Establish, improve, and/or maintain best practices for sound financial management.
- Manage the Chapter budget and prepare detailed financial reports for the Chapter president, Chapter Advisor and the college or university, if required.
- Identify the most affordable vendors and seek additional ways to save money for the Chapter.
- Create and/or mange a record keeping system for the filing of receipts, bills, invoices, and financial reports.
- Work closely with the Vice President of Fundraising to identify potential funding sources including institutional funding, grant funding, and private donors.
- Ensure the Chapter complies with all financial regulations set by the college or university.
Vice President of Recruitment and Member Engagement
The Vice President of Recruitment and Engagement is responsible for recruiting Chapter Members and encouraging their engagement in all Chapter events, meetings, community outreach, and other Chapter initiatives. The responsibilities of the role include, but are not limited to:
- Use the strategic plan to set recruitment and attendance goals to guide engagement objectives and strategies.
- Work with the Vice President of Programs and Member Development to develop programming that encourages an active and engaged membership, and that are aimed attracting, selecting, identifying, and recruiting new members.
- Work with the Vice President of Communications and Marketing to represent and promote the Chapter and recruit new members.
- Work with the leadership team in creating, developing, and reviewing membership guidelines and requirements.
- Maintain relationships with the office of admissions, Dean of Students, the School Certifying Official (SCO) to welcome incoming student veterans and military-connected students.
Vice President of Fundraising
The Vice President of Fundraising is responsible for establishing and cultivating relationships with potential donors, raising funds for the Chapter, and assisting the Vice President of Finance in accounting for donations and income. The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Use the strategic plan to set a fundraising goal.
- Establish, improve, and/or maintain best practices for relationship building with donors and potential donors.
- Identify potential funding sources including institutional funding, grant funding, and private donors.
- Ensure the Chapter complies with all donation regulations set by the college or university.
Vice President of Communications and Marketing
The Vice President of Communications and Marketing is responsible for all internal and external communications of the Chapter as well as promoting Chapter events to student veterans, their families, allies, and the greater campus community. The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Use the strategic plan to create a communications and social media strategy.
- Maintain communication with National Headquarters and ensure Chapter information is updated every semester.
- Manage and update all social media accounts and the Chapter website (as applicable).
- Take pictures during events and collect pictures taken by Chapter Members.
- Maintain an accurate distribution/contact list of all Chapter Members, family members, allies, partners, vendors, and all other important parties.
- Maintain meeting minutes and distribute to Chapter Leaders and/or members.
- Manage all outwardly facing communications including event promotion and press releases.
- Create a newsletter or publication that highlights Chapter events, accomplishments, and milestones to circulate around campus and throughout the SVA network.
The Policy Liaison pursues policy, rules, and regulations advocacy goals on their college campus and greater community. The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Identify policy issues negatively affecting student veterans on campus.
- Leverage your National Headquarters Government Affairs department for assistance with advocacy for student veterans on campus.
- Join the Policy Liaison Program (PLP) and participate in regularly scheduled calls with the Government Affairs team and fellow Policy Liaisons.
- Leverage your National Headquarters Research department to gather data that can assist with a policy initiative.
- Assist with representing and promoting the Chapter on campus and in the community.
- Meet with university leadership and elected officials to share policy needs of the Chapter, campus, and community.
Career Services Liaison
The Career Services Liaison is responsible for all aspects of career and professional development of the Chapter Members and serves as a link between membership and the career services office on campus. The responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:
- Work closely with the Vice President of Programs and Member Development on all career and professional development events and programs.
- Use the Chapter strategic plan to identify potential programs, resources, and opportunities related to career readiness and professional development.
- Develop and maintain a functional relationship with college/university Career Services Office and National Headquarters.
- Raise awareness of Career Services and related resources and services that are available to student veterans and encourage student veterans to use respective resources and services.
- Plan, coordinate, and execute all Chapter programming and events related to career readiness and professional development in partnership with the Vice President of Programs and Member Development.
- Track and report attendance and/or performance outcomes and engagement for student veterans utilizing the Career Services Office.
- Maintain success stories in career placement after graduation to help tell the important story of your Chapter.
- Assess and build cultural competency training related to job seeker interests and skillsets of student veterans through their transition from the military, through education, and into the workforce.
- Expose Chapter Members to professional development and career opportunities available through Career Services Office, National Headquarters, and their partners, and with companies and organizations that are committed to hiring and developing student veteran talent.
Disability Services Liaison
The Disability Services Liaison connects student veterans with underused services on campus for students with disabilities. The responsibilities of the Disability Services Liaison include, but are not limited to:
- Maintain regular contact with all disability services administrators on campus.
- Create and maintain a list of all disability services and personnel on campus and disseminates to all student veterans on campus.
- Encourage student veterans with disabilities to use services on campus.
- Conduct a presentation or orientation for Chapter Members during the beginning of each semester, and work with the Dean of Students to add a disability services portion of the transfer student orientation.