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Chapter Operations Manual



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.

President & Vice 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

Learn more about great communication skills.


  • 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

It is important to maintain a healthy student chapter to avoid being considered “At Risk” and/or subsequently disestablished. The Self Check List outlines the minimum requirements and performance metrics student chapters should meet and the Timeline outlines the annual process.

The annual report portal is open, and login details were emailed to the president on file. Check your spam folder if you do not see the email. Contact for login help.

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


  • 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.




  • Record, store and distribute minutes of officer meetings
  • Maintain officer roster
  • Coordinate chapter postings on SPE Connect
  • Maintain chapter bylaws or operation procedures
  • Publicize chapter meetings and activities
  • Sign up for Broadcast Email service

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



Chapter Logo
An official student chapter logo and stationary template are provided for student chapter officers in the library folder of the Officer Community of SPE Connect.  Please reference the Policy on the Use of the SPE Name and Logo before using this file.

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.




  • Liaise with the sponsoring section to discuss financial needs and request funding
  • 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

Student Support Funds

Eligible sponsoring sections may claim student support funds as part of their annual rebates. Funds are not sent directly to student chapters. Sections must indicate in their annual report that they provide financial support to students.

Budgeting Best Practices

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.

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



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. Current members serving as Faculty Advisor will receive complimentary dues for the upcoming year.


  • 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.



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.


  • 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


Student Chapter Awards
The Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Chapter and Student Chapter Excellence Award recognize those that succeed in fulfilling SPE’s mission by serving local members. The awards honor exemplary efforts in industry engagement, operations and planning, community and social outreach, and more.


Appreciation Letters and Certificates
Officers and Faculty Advisors may download their own appreciation letters and certificates from their member profile. On the “Volunteer Service and Letters” page, they can see their volunteer history with the option to download a personalized thank you letter or request a management letter be sent to thank their manager (if applicable) for supporting their volunteer activity. They may also download a certificate in appreciation of their service to SPE. Please note current, ongoing, volunteerism will not display until complete and will only include official officer positions.


Tools and Resources

SPE Cares


The objective of SPE Cares is to unify and recognize the community services activities that SPE members are already conducting in their respective sections and student chapters.

Promote SPE Cares in your area by:

  • Organizing a community service project for your section or student chapter
  • Partnering with local government and non-government organizations to further community service initiatives
  • Collaborating with other sections and student chapters worldwide for community service initiatives

Examples include environmental clean ups, serving in soup kitchens or food banks, visiting nursing homes, holding food drives, home or school makeover, tree planting program, organizing a race or walk, donating clothes, toys, books or household goods to local charity, or volunteering at local animal shelter.

You are encouraged to use the SPE Cares logo for your community volunteer-related projects.

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.

Logo and Stationery


An official student chapter logo and stationery template are provided for student chapter officers in the library folder of the Officer Community of SPE Connect.  Please reference the Policy on the Use of the SPE Name and Logo before using this file.



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

For more information about Membership Builder

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



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.


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.


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:


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.

Broadcast Email


Due to strengthening privacy laws, all emails related to SPE business must be sent through the broadcast email service, Informz. Please do not maintain lists of email addresses. SPE provides you this complimentary service so you can continue to communicate with your members via email. This system includes reporting on the success of your email and ensures compliance with all privacy laws. Please review the Email Policy for Sections and Student Chapters and request a broadcast email account by emailing When making your request, be sure to provide your full student chapter name (no abbreviations) and chapter number. You will be notified when the set up with Informz is complete.