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"Organization and Participation" - Mason Freed - Spring 1996

Mason Freed

When Mason took over from Babak, many of TBP's long time problems still had to be solved. He focused on the organizational structure withint the chapter as well as increasing member interest in TBP events. The following is his detailed summary of the steps he took in building a more efficient and popular TBP,written and edited during Fall 1998.

Basically, when I took over as president,I saw a number of things that didn't work well simply because they were not organized. For example, many of the necessary officer jobs were not being completed because nobody knew which officer was in charge of the particular job. Another small but important example was the TBP computer account. Since it was so badly disorganized, nobody used it. As a result, most of the information that should have been stored from previous years was basically lost. Therefore, I tried during my presidency to keep the chapter organized, with the hope that a more organized chapter could more effectively host activities, and the chapter would look more appealing to new and continuing members. One of the more noticeable changes I made was to reorganize the officer structure at the end of my term, so that fewer officers performed the same duties, and each had well-defined responsibilities.

I also felt that member participation was a critical issue for the chapter. At previous events, probably 98% of the people who showed up were either candidates or officers. As a result, the few members that did show up found themselves left out, and so they didn't show up at future events. This was a big problem. With a total membership of around 100 people, chapter events should easily draw more than 40 people; however, this rarely happened. To attempt to improve participation, my first action was to simply try to get more candidates to join. We accomplished this task by getting the dean of the College of Engineering to write a letter to the candidates, encouraging them to join (this was the first time this had been done in our chapter). This alone caused the number of candidates to jump from the usual Spring semester average of 25 to over 40. The other thing I did to try to increase participation at the events was to try to have them well organized so that members who did show up did not feel out of place.

Important Contributions and New Traditions

  • Improved Chapter organization
  • Sorted out TBP computer account
  • Reduced Redundancy in officer responsibilities
  • Increased member participation through attracting candidates
  • Began "Dean's Letter"
  • Held well organized events