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Chapter Operations Manual

Introduction

The Chapter Operations Manual is your go-to source for information about how to conduct your chapter activities and get involved in the variety of programs offered by SPE. You can learn more about your individual role and find the forms and deadlines associated with your duties.

All student chapters are sponsored by a section of professional members. These groups should work together in support of SPE’s mission. Below are some ways to work with your section:

  • Ensure your officers and members participate in section events.
  • Invite section officers to attend chapter events and board meetings.
  • Join the section for field trips, trainings, special programs, internships, and community endeavors.
  • Work with your section’s board to set short- and long-term goals, as well as an annual budget.

Annual Report now available online. Login details were sent to each chapter president.

Submission Deadline: 1 April

Any questions can be directed to chapters@spe.org.

You can download a printable version, but check back often for updates and added content.

President & Vice President

President
The president is the leader of the chapter, assuming all responsibilities not otherwise delegated.  You should have: 

  • good leadership and communication skills
  • the ability to work with, and motivate various personalities
  • a solid understanding of the goals and mission of SPE and the chapter’s role in relation to the global nature of SPE

Responsibilities

  • Preside over chapter meetings
  • Communicate regularly with other officers; chapter members; sponsoring section; faculty advisor and SPE staff regarding chapter plans, needs, or challenges
  • Attend chapter meetings, meetings of the sponsoring section, and the SPE Leadership Workshop
  • Ensure the annual report and financial statements are submitted by 1 April
  • Ensure your chapter complies with all SPE policies
  • Conduct election of chapter officers and ensure that SPE is notified of the results

Vice President
The vice president assists in accomplishing all organizational duties and typically serves as president the following year. 

Responsibilities

  • Chair the program committee and other committees as necessary
  • Act on behalf of the president on all chapter business during the absence of the president
  • Work with the president to ensure chapter maintains required membership levels and submits reporting by 1 April

Manage Programs

As chapter president, you oversee that plans for the year are drafted and executed. Various committees and officers may help implement these plans. Your job is to work with your faculty advisor and sponsoring section to ensure that each program plan is specific and detailed enough to facilitate its completion.

Aside from local chapter events, you should consider taking advantage of programs offered by SPE International.

Ambassador Lecturer Program
Student paper contests

Membership Roster

Officers in good standing are able to download membership rosters at any time. The information on the rosters may be used only for programs endorsed by SPE.  Use or reproduction of the information for commercial purposes or for programs not endorsed by SPE is strictly prohibited and subject to legal action. All data contained within the reports is updated daily.

Rosters include the following useful pieces of information:

  • Paid and unpaid members of your chapter
  • Identification of any new members for the current month
  • Date each member joined SPE (election date)
  • Anticipated graduation date

Officer Elections

Although students do not typically attend university year-round, SPE requires that Student Chapters have officers on file for all 12 months. To ensure no lapse in service from SPE and to build continuity with your chapter operations, consider holding elections of new officers three months before the end of your annual term. In doing this, your newly elected officers can receive three months of mentoring from the past officers before school ends. This also allows the outgoing officers the time to complete the annual report while the new officers are conducting the operations of the chapter.

Secretary

Responsibilities

Record Minutes

Record the official business of the chapter through the writing, retention, and distribution of minutes. Minutes should be taken for all meetings of the chapter officers. Minutes should only include action taken and not verbatim discussion. At each meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting should be reviewed and approved by the group.

Minutes often resolve misunderstandings, so they should be accurate, objective, complete and clear. Minutes of meetings should contain the following:

  • Name of the organization or committee
  • Place and date of the meeting
  • Names of officers and members present
  • The statement that the minutes of the previous meeting were amended or approved
  • A list of reports that were presented and accepted
  • All the main motions that were made, with statements as to whether they passed or not and by what vote count

Maintain officer roster

You are responsible for ensuring SPE has accurate record of officers and their contact details. Changes should be sent to chapters@spe.org, as they occur, to ensure no lapse in service. All officers must be SPE members in good standing. You can review the officer roster SPE has on file for your chapter through Membership Builder.

Supplies

Chapter Logo
An official chapter logo is available to all chapters by request to chapters@spe.org. Only the official SPE logos may be used, strictly adhering to SPE Policy on Logo Use.

Podium Sign/Stationery
Submit the completed Chapter Resource Form to chapters@spe.org to request a podium sign and stationery at no cost to the chapter. The limited sheets of stationery and envelopes are imprinted with the chapter logo.

SPE Apparel
Order clothing with the SPE logo through our partnership with Lands’ End.

SPE Connect

Chapters are encouraged to post innovative activities on the Student Community of SPE Connect. This promotes collaboration and the exchange of knowledge with student members from all over the world.

Treasurer

Responsibilities

  • Receive and disburse chapter funds as approved by the faculty advisor
  • Complete annual financial statement to include with the annual report
  • Provide financial reports and make recommendations on the management of your chapter’s finances
  • Reconcile all chapter accounts and prepare annual operating budget

Audit Financial Records

Your audit should take place before each new treasurer assumes office. We recommend having your Faculty Advisor and Chapter President conduct and informal audit to ensure an orderly transfer of financial records. Upon request and at no cost to the chapter, SPE’s Internal Audit department will audit the chapter’s financial records.

To mitigate risk to SPE, a section may be audited at any time. Key indicators to SPE that an audit is needed include:

  • Lost contact/no officers
  • Absence of financial reporting
  • Large cash balances
  • Large, unexplained reduction in cash balance

Rebates

Student chapters receive rebates from SPE to fund ongoing chapter operations, such as the publication and distribution of newsletters, officer travel to society-sponsored events and membership development programs. Rebates are only available to active chapters who are operating as of 1 January and submit the annual report by 1 April.

Chapters receive USD 10 per student member as of 31 December, up to a maximum of USD 2,000. Funding is disbursed in early May and held on account at SPE until proper payment information is received.

Fundraising

Chapters may engage in fundraising activities providing that the chapter does not obligate SPE to debt or defamation. The following resources are a good place to begin with seeking monetary support:

  • Your sponsoring section
  • Local companies
  • Your university

Faculty Advisor

As a member of the university community and SPE, the Faculty Advisor provides a critical link between the student chapter, the university, and the sponsoring SPE section. As an active Faculty Advisor, your SPE membership dues are complimentary.

Responsibilities

  • Ensure that at least one meeting per year is held between chapter officers and the university department
  • Guide the formation and implementation of goals, objectives and programs
  • Remind the chapter to remain aligned with the SPE vision
  • Counsel chapter members in matters regarding society policies
  • Attend officer meetings
  • Promote interaction and cooperation with other university groups
  • Attend the sponsoring section board meetings, when possible
  • Ensure chapter officers are aware of and accomplishing their responsibilities

OnePetro Subscription Grant

To support active SPE chapters, Faculty Advisors can apply for a grant to receive OnePetro access for the university.  This program is intended for universities with an SPE student chapter, where limited funds prevent the university from purchasing access.

Faculty Resources

SPE supports faculty from around the world through SPE-sponsored grants, awards, and participation in our programs and activities. Through these programs, SPE hopes to aid faculty in educating the next generation of petroleum engineers and industry leaders. Learn more.

Membership

Because the scope of activities related to membership recruitment, retention, and volunteerism is so extensive, the chapter should consider utilizing a committee for these duties.

Responsibilities

  • Know the requirements of SPE membership and how to apply
  • Ensure that both members and non-members are fully aware of all the advantages of SPE membership
  • Organize member recruitment drives
  • Inform the chapter board about membership statistics
  • Encourage members to volunteer

Recognition

Outstanding Student Chapter
The award for Outstanding Student Chapter recognizes exceptional merit. Learn more.

Gold Standard Designation
Gold Standard designation is available to all student chapters that have accomplished an admirable level of activity. Learn more.

Past President Certificate
You can order this certificate as a way to say thank you to a past chapter president. Complete and submit the Past President Certificate Form to chapters@spe.org.

Faculty Advisor Recognition
Recognize your Faculty Advisor for outstanding support. Complete and submit the Faculty Advisor Certificate Form to chapters@spe.org.

Tools and Resources

Materials and Brochures

Find flyers to help promote SPE on the SPE marketing materials site. All materials are free of charge and shipped to you. Please allow ample time for delivery. Most materials are also available for download.

Supplies

Chapter Logo
An official chapter logo is available to all chapters by request to chapters@spe.org. Only the official SPE logos may be used, strictly adhering to SPE Policy on Logo Use.

Podium Sign/Stationery
Submit the completed Chapter Resource Form to chapters@spe.org to request a podium sign and stationery at no cost to the chapter. The limited sheets of stationery and envelopes are imprinted with the chapter logo.

SPE Apparel
Order clothing with the SPE logo through our partnership with Lands’ End.

Rosters

Officers in good standing are able to download membership rosters at any time. The information on the rosters may be used only for programs endorsed by SPE.  Use or reproduction of the information for commercial purposes or for programs not endorsed by SPE is strictly prohibited and subject to legal action. All data contained within the reports is updated daily.

Rosters include the following useful pieces of information:

  • Paid and unpaid members of your chapter
  • Identification of any new members for the current month
  • Date each member joined SPE (election date)
  • Anticipated graduation date

Speaker Source

This online directory provides section and student chapter officers a searchable database of professionals willing to travel and share their knowledge through in-person presentations to SPE sections and student chapters. Search for a speaker.

Social Media Guidelines

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM SHOULD I USE?

Choose the platform that works best for your audience. Do they primarily use Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Determine the channel that works best for your members and update frequently.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I POST?

Social media is 24/7, all year long. As such, it is critical to update your content regularly. At a minimum, post at least once a week. Three times a week is ideal.

WHAT SHOULD I POST?

Post original, engaging content regularly. Some ideas include:

  • Specific call-to-action (register for an event, renew membership, etc.)
  • Statistics / Fun Facts about your section/chapter
  • Photos / Videos / Presentations / Slideshows
  • Member Quotes / Testimonials / Positive Feedback
  • Announcements / Milestones 
  • Questions / Quizzes you would like to ask your members 

In all cases, Sections and Student Chapters must also adhere to the SPE logo policy.

To generate more conversation and interest in your posts, consider these tips and tricks:

FACEBOOK  

  • Tag Society of Petroleum of Engineers in your posts when relevant. This makes your shared content searchable and visible to the entire SPE Facebook community.
  • Write on the SPE Facebook wall to share updates, photos, ask questions, etc. This makes your content visible to SPE followers.

TWITTER

  • Mention and retweet @SPE_Events on Twitter. Engaging with us makes your profile more credible and legitimate.
  • Utilize hashtags. They make your content more searchable, categorized, and part of the SPE conversation. Some key hashtags to include are #SPEevents, #SPETRAINING, and #SPEWEBEVENTS

LINKEDIN

  • All LinkedIn groups need to be “subgroup” of the official SPE group.  This gives the subgroup credibility and makes it a part of the SPE LinkedIn community.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I RECEIVE A NEGATIVE COMMENT?

In the event of negative or disparaging comments or content not in line with SPE’s mission, protocol is to remove the post and block the user.

This is not to be confused with criticism of SPE, SPE affiliates, or SPE Members. The protocol in this instance is to not delete the criticism, but address the criticism with facts.

SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES

  • Be concise. Generally, readers are more prone to skip your post entirely if it is too drawn out. Post in the clearest, shortest form possible.
  • Consider your audience. Remember that your readers are comprised of diverse backgrounds. Also consider the platforms i.e. people on Facebook, may not want the same type of information as on Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Bring value. Everything posted reflects SPE’s reputation and influence. Be sure that your posts are of a topic of interest.
  • Be Responsible for what you write. Exercise good judgment and common sense when developing posts. If you think it is inappropriate or may not be received as your intended purpose, it’s probably best to refrain from it.
  • Copyright infringement. As SPE holds the right to all developed content (including photos, video, technical papers, etc.), SPE reserves the right of approval regarding use of content and the right to remove content used without the said approval from SPE.