Constitution-Article IX, section 3
The following explanation of the constitutional changes introduced this year was first published in Leadership for Student Activities magazine, September 2008.
Q: Article IX, Section 3: What is the purpose of the new constitutional amendment that requires advisers to report to the principal with the results of Faculty Council voting? How will this impact my local selection process?
A. Article IX of the national constitutions (NHS and NJHS) outlines the selection procedures for all chapters. Section 3, specifically, notes that candidates must receive a majority vote of the Faculty Council to be selected for membership. This council vote has been an important part of the selection process for many years and up to this point has been the last step prior to notifying members of their selection (or nonselection). Note: Per Article 8, section 4 of the NHS Constitution and Article 8, section 3 of the NJHS Constitution, candidates become members when inducted.
Effective July 1, 2008, this section of the constitution has been amended to include the following: “Prior to notification of any candidates, the chapter adviser shall review with the principal the results of the Faculty Council’s deliberations.” This step is now a required feature of all local chapter selection processes.
For the past several years, the national guidelines have referenced this step as an option in the “Recommended Selection Process.” In that document, it has been noted that the adviser should present to the principal lists of selected and non-selected students and the reasons for nonselection. The rationale for this step is to allow the principal to exercise his or her authority, as granted in Article V, Section 1, in such a manner to avoid awkward or embarrassing post-notification conferences for those involved.
Principals, serving in the administrative leadership position at the school, often retain information that is not widely known or cannot be shared with staff regarding the activities of individual students. By now requiring that the principal review the voting results prior to making those results public, the chapter and its decisions can be maintained in the best possible light for all involved.
For the chapter adviser, it is now important to be able to explain the rationale for selection and nonselection of all candidates in the event the principal inquiries. It is expected that principals will generally approve the decisions of the Faculty Council, but this added step does open the door to requests for reconsideration by the council in the event the principal has additional information to be considered or otherwise questions the details presented in support of the original vote. Advisers are encouraged to review the description of the recommended selection process to more fully understand the nature of this obligation.
Regarding the new, more active role for the principal, if in the past there has been a general lack of familiarity with the chapter’s selection process, advisers are encouraged to share the written description of the local selection process along with all candidate forms and letters that may currently be in use. Doing this prior to the beginning of the selection process will prove helpful in case suggestions for improvement are warranted.
Questions regarding this new constitutional amendment identifying an added step in the selection process can be directed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.