Gamma Theta Upsilon

The International Geographical Honor Society

 

GTU Announcements

December, 2018 Issue of the GTU Newsletter is now available on our Newsletter page.

November, 2018 Volume 59-2 of The Geographical Bulletin is now available online.

Award winners, 2018 recipients announced:
Scholarships
Chapter Awards

Promote GTU on your campus:

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GTU Operations and Procedures Manual

Updated April 13, 2018
Updated August 16, 2013

This Operations and Policy Manual details duties and procedures of each office. 

 

Table of Contents

CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT

Gamma Theta Upsilon's Code of Ethics and Conduct requires officers to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As representatives of Gamma Theta Upsilon, officers are expected to practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling their responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

A. Officer's Covenant

Each elected or appointed officer of the Society is required to sign a Covenant Statement prior to beginning a term of office.  The Covenant Statement acknowledges that the duties of the office each individual is about to assume have been explained, that each individual knows what is expected of him/her, and that each individual agrees to meet those expectations.

B.  Conflict of Interest.

Conflicts of interest can take many forms, the most common being a situation in which an officer, or an immediate family member of an officer, of an organization stands to benefit financially by the actions of the organization. It is the policy of Gama Theta Upsilon, that should an officer become aware of a potential conflict of interest, that individual must disclose the potential conflict to the President of the organization.  If the President must make a disclosure, it should be made to the First Vice-President. The individual must then recuse himself/herself from any discussion or action involving the potential conflict of interest.

C. Whistleblower Policy

  1. Reporting Responsibility.  It is the responsibility of all officers to comply with the Code of Ethics and Conduct and to report violations or suspected violations in accordance with this Whistleblower Policy. 
  2. No Retaliation.  No officer who in good faith reports a violation of the Code shall suffer harassment or any form of retaliation. An officer who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including dismissal as an officer.  The Whistleblower policy is intended to encourage and enable officers and others to raise serious concerns within the Society prior to seeking resolution outside the Society.
  3. Reporting Violations. The Society maintains an open door policy and suggests that officers share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with someone who can address them properly.  In most cases that would be the President.  However, if you are not comfortable speaking with that individual, you are encouraged to seek out another officer who you are comfortable in approaching. 
  4. Compliance Officer.  The President serves as compliance officer of the Society unless the complaint involves the President, in which case, the First Vice-President assumes that responsibility. If the complaint/allegation involves financial matters, the President will call upon the Finance Review Committee to aid in the investigation.
  5. Acting in Good Faith.  Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of the Code must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation of the Code.  Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.
  6. Confidentiality.  Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously.  Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
  7. Handling of Reported Violations.  The Compliance Officer will notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspected violation within five business days.  All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.

D. Removal from the Executive Committee

If a member of the Executive Committee fails to keep the terms of the Covenant Statement by failing to perform the duties expected and agreed upon or exhibiting behaviors that violate basic tenants of the Code of Ethics and Conduct, the Executive Committee may remove that person from office.  The individual will be told of the problem(s) and will have opportunity to account for his/her actions/inaction.  The Executive Committee may request a letter of resignation.  Should that letter not be forthcoming, that individual may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

E. Liability Issues.

Gamma Theta Upsilon shall carry liability insurance to cover its officers as they conduct the business of the Society.

F. Transparency

Federal laws and guidelines require that 501(c)3 organizations maintain a high degree of openness or transparency regarding their operations.  Therefore, the Society will post on its website, in a timely manner, copies of its Constitution and Bylaws, minutes of its last four meetings, reports of its officers, financial statements, its Strategic Plan, its Operations and Policy Manual and its Chapter Handbook.

G. Document Ownership.

All documents created or received as part of the operations of the Society are the property of the Society.  Each officer, as he/she leaves office, is expected to transfer all Society documents in his/her possession to the individual assuming the office he/she is vacating or to the GTU historian.

H. Document Retention and Destruction

  1. Purpose.  In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created by Gamma Theta Upsilon in connection with the transaction of organization business.  This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form.  The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate the Society's operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up storage space.
  2. Document Retention.  The Society follows the document retention schedule outlined in the Policy Manual.  That schedule details for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed.  Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents.  Therefore any electronic files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types on the schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time.  If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in an appropriate file or moved to an "archive" computer file folder.
  3. Emergency Planning.  Gamma Theta Upsilon officers are expected to store records in a safe, secure and accessible manner. 
  4.   Document Destruction.  The Society's Historian is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction.  Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.
    Document destruction will be suspended immediately upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent.  Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
  5. Compliance.  Failure on the part of officers to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against Gamma Theta Upsilon and officers and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals.  The Comptroller and Historian will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or a certified CPA to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.

PRESIDENT

The President shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Preside at Business and Executive Committee meetings.

Appoint Regional Councilors, with the consent of the Executive Committee.

Appoint all ad hoc committees, with the consent of the Executive Committee.

Fill vacancies, when they occur in other offices, with the consent of the Executive Committee.

Serve on the Scholarship Committee.

  1. review all scholarship applications
  2. make awardee recommendations to the Executive Committee

Serve on the Financial Review Committee.

  1. review financial records and documents
  2. assure financial operations of the organization meet legal and ethical standards
  3. review GTU's 501© 3 status every five years

Issue Presidential Citation Awards.

Upon completion of term, serve as Immediate Past-President.

Appoint one member to the Nominating Committee.

Appoint one member to the Website Committee.

Appoint one member to the Awards Committee.

Serve as Compliance Officer of the Society in cases of conflict of interest and violations of the Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II.  Additional Duties

Develop agendas for Executive Committee and business meetings and conduct them in an orderly fashion.

Request meeting space for GTU meetings at AAG and NCGE conventions at the time of the call for papers.

Write new chapters congratulating them upon their installation; write the chief academic officer of each campus on which a new chapter is installed alerting him/her to the fact and providing names of initiates and chapter sponsor.

Write a letter of congratulations to each award winner; construct a certificate to accompany each letter using materials passed down from the previous President.

Retain cordial relations with AAG and NCGE in order to (i) assure proper recognition at banquets, (ii) have an opportunity for presentation of the Society's awards, and to (iii) arrange for display space at AAG and NCGE conventions.

Maintain regular contact with officers to encourage completion of assignments and duties in a timely manner and to facilitate operations of the Society.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.
               

FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT

The First Vice-President shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Become acting President in the event of a vacancy in the office of President.

Preside at Business and Executive Committee Meetings in the absence of the President.

Serve as advisor to the Regional Councilors.

Serve as Chair of the Scholarship Committee and ensure that all steps in the Scholarship Award

Process are completed in a timely manner.

Serve on the Financial Review Committee.

  1. review financial records and documents
  2. assure financial operations of the organization meet legal and ethical standards
  3. review GTU's 501© 3 status every five years

Serve on the Educational Fund Committee.

Be responsible for the coordination of any Educational Fund solicitation.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. First Vice-President Additional Duties

Maintain regular contact with the Regional Councilors

Serve on the Website Committee.

Inform departments without chapters or with inactive chapters, of the benefits of having an active

GTU chapter on campus.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office. 

III. Policy and Procedures

Scholarships:

Members of GTU are eligible to apply for scholarships each year. Four of the scholarships are designated for undergraduate members and one to a continuing graduate student.  These scholarships have been established in honor of individuals who were instrumental in the establishment and success of GTU: Dr. Robert Guy Buzzard, Dr. Benjamin F. Richason, Jr., Dr. Orland Maxfield, and Dr. Alice T.M. Rechlin Perkins. Applications are due in June of each year and include a resume, a personal essay, unofficial copies of transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.

GTU/AAG Travel Scholarships:

In conjunction with the Association of American Geographers, GTU offers travel support to selected students to attend the national AAG meeting. Preference for these awards is given to first time attendees and those who are presenting a poster or paper.

Scholarship Award Process
The Scholarship Awards Process and Timeline is determined by the Scholarship Committee and will be posted on the website before the opening of the scholarship awards period.

 

SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT

The Second Vice-President shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Maintain contact with all chapter sponsors.

Obtain from each chapter data regarding chapter activities, officers and membership.

Compile information about the chapters for posting on the GTU website.

Serve on the Educational Fund Committee.

Serve on the Scholarship Committee.

Serve as Chair of the Website Committee.

  1. oversee the content and design of the Society's website
  2. assure website's timeliness and accuracy
  3. retain the services of a Webmaster as needed

  Serve as Chair of the Awards Committee.

  1. select the winner of the Chapter of the Year Award
  2. recommend individuals to the Executive Committee for the Distinguished Service and Endowment Awards

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Second Vice-President Additional Duties

Work closely with the Student Outreach Assistants to gather information about the chapters.
Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.
 

III.  Policy and Procedures

Chapter Awards Criteria

Honors Chapters
Chapters will be recognized as Honors Chapters that meet the criteria determined by the Awards Committee and detailed on the website.

Presidential Honors Chapters 
Chapters will be recognized as Presidential Honors Chapters that meet the meet the criteria determined by the Awards Committee and detailed on the website.     


EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

The Executive Secretary shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Maintain copies of all official documents and records of membership of the Society including a record of the initiation of all members as per the Document Retention and Destruction Policy (see Historian).

Keep a record of the initiation of all members.

Ensure that all steps in the Member Initiation Process are completed in a timely manner.

Provide to officers of the Society materials needed to fulfill duties assigned to them.

Ensure that all steps in the Charter Application Process are completed in a timely manner.

Inform all chapters of election announcements and of proposed amendments to the Constitution and/or Bylaws at least 30 days prior to a vote/election.

(If an amendment to either the Constitution or Bylaws is approved) provide amended copies to all members of the Executive Committee within 30 days.

Prepare an annual report as requested by the Association of College Honor Societies and provide a copy of that report to the Executive Committee.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Executive Secretary Additional Duties

Backup all essential data and share access with the Comptroller per Article IX.H.3.

Forward monies received for initiation fees and charter fees, to the Comptroller on a monthly basis.

Maintain proper signatures for the charters and certificates

Write letters to prospective employers confirming membership when requested.

Provide data to the Website Committee as requested concerning membership, active/inactive chapters, etc.

Serve as a primary communications link of the Society, answering questions, providing verification or data, etc.

Maintain an electronic data base of all chapters.

Maintain a spreadsheet of all positions on the Executive Committee, who is currently in each

position, when did each term of office begin, when will each term end.

III. Policy and Procedures

Member Initiation Processing

All initiate reports are received via mail due to payment restrictions and ACHS signature requirements.

  1. Incoming reports are to be immediately marked with:
    1. Date of receipt
    2. Check number and amount
    3. Dues are recorded
  2. Sponsor and Chapter name verification
  3. The Google docs spreadsheet file "Gamma Theta Upsilon Chapter Status" is updated to reflect the most recent initiation date (and updating to active from inactive as necessary) so that the map located at www.gammathetaupsilon.org/chapters.html may automatically update.
  4. Recordation of new members
  5. A scanned copy of the processed report is emailed to the chapter sponsor.
  6. Certificates and membership cards ordered

Charter Application Processing

  1. Petition is received via eMail in the Office of the Executive Secretary.
    1. Executive Secretary reviews petition to ensure completeness and accuracy.
    2. Executive Secretary verifies accreditation by a regional accreditation agency for institution.
    3. Executive Secretary contacts potential chapter sponsor to acknowledge receipt of petition and to offer assistance.  Also asks about letter of support from an appropriate administrator.
  2. Once petition and letter of support have been received and verified, and accreditation verified, petition and letter of support are sent to President and 1st Vice President for their review and vote.
  3. Executive Secretary collects votes and informs potential chapter sponsor of outcome.  If petition is approved notification goes to all Executive Committee members.
  4. When first (charter) initiate report is received chapter name is assigned.  Initiates are handled exactly as are those from existing chapters.  In addition to the reporting of the charter members the charter is also ordered.

COMPTROLLER

The Comptroller works with the Executive Secretary to maintain financial records of the organization and prepare appropriate financial reports.

The Comptroller shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Receive all monies due the Society and provide for their safe-keeping in reputable financial institutions satisfactory to the Executive Committee.

Keep a record of all receipts and expenditures.

Submit balance sheets and financial reports at each Executive Committee and official business meeting of the Society.

Provide to the Executive Committee a copy of all reports submitted to the IRS.

Prepare a budget proposal for each upcoming year to present at each fall meeting and a budget report for the past year at each spring meeting.

Invest monies of the Society and report annually on the status of those investments, their location and the interest, dividends and any change in market value associated with them.

Serve as Chair of the Educational Fund Committee. In that capacity the Comptroller will: (i) inform the Educational Fund Committee of proposed projects, (ii) provide the Educational Fund Committee report at each Executive Committee meeting, and (iii) coordinate, with the First Vice-President,

Educational Fund fund-raising solicitation campaigns.

Submit financial records annually to a professional accountant who shall prepare and submit to the IRS all financial documents required by Federal law. 

Serve as consultant to the Financial Review Committee.

With the Historian, periodically review procedures for document retention with legal counsel or a CPA to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Comptroller Additional Duties

Backup all financial data onto a portable storage device monthly and transmit an electronic copy to the Executive Secretary.

Maintain Journal Ledgers for Cash Receipts (Income), Disbursements (Expenses), Investments and Journal Entries.
 
Maintain GTU checking account.  Prepare and make deposits into account.  Balance bank statement monthly.
 
Make all disbursements upon receipt of original invoices.
 
Provide quarterly finance reports for Executive Committee.
 
Maintain database of initiations (membership certificates).
 
Prepare draft budgets for each fiscal year.
 
Maintain investment records.  Consult with investment financial advisor as to advantageous investments for GTU and report to Executive Committee.
 
Maintain tax records for GTU and for GTU chapters.
 
Prepare and submit annual GTU tax forms to IRS.
 
Prepare and submit annual individual GTU Chapter tax forms to IRS.

All financial records are retained by the comptroller for four years, and then forwarded to the archives (as per Document Retention and Destruction Policy, see Historian).

 

HISTORIAN

The Historian shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Maintain an historical record of the Society.

Implement the Documents Retention and Destruction Policy.

Forward appropriate materials to the archives.

Obtain from each officer all materials that should be either destroyed or retained per Article IX.H.4.

Destroy materials as stipulated in the Document Retention and Destruction Policy and forward materials to be retained to the archives. 

With the Comptroller, periodically review procedures for document retention with legal counsel or a CPA to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Historian Additional Duties

Attempt to fill in any "gaps" that exist in the Society's history.

Provide the Editor of the Geographical Bulletin and the Second Vice-President with the dates of service for any present or past officers on their demise.

Obtain from the Second Vice-President reports on chapter activities to be sent to the archives.

Encourage chapters to develop historical records of their activities.

III. Policy and Procedures – Records, Communications, and Schedules

Definition of a Record.   For purposes of this policy, a "record" is any document created to be a final product.  Examples would include forms, such as award application forms; initiation report forms; meeting agendas and minutes including all submitted reports; contracts and agreements; spreadsheets; invoices, bank and investment statements; correspondence that concludes a process, such as a letter to a scholarship recipient announcing the award.  One hardcopy of each electronic record should be created for archival purposes.

Communications.  For purposes of this policy, communications include letters, memos and emails.  Often a series of communications precedes the creation of a "record".  When this is the case, it is important to retain a hardcopy of those communications to be able to document how a particular situation was handled.  Examples would include correspondence that resulted in a contract with a vendor, or correspondence that documents how the organization responded to a complaint or request. This policy considers each "record" and its associated correspondence as a package.  The retention and destruction schedule listed below applies to the packages.

Schedule. 
All financial records – retained by the comptroller for four years, then forwarded to the archives (Historian). One hardcopy of each electronic record should be created for archival purposes.

Meeting minutes/agendas/reports – copy kept by the Executive Secretary; hardcopies submitted to the archives annually (Historian).

Publications – One copy sent to the archives (Historian); five copies kept by the GB editor.

Communications – hardcopy of relevant communications within the organization forwarded to the Historian annually to be sent to the archives.
 
               

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

The Outreach Coordinator shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Regularly communicate with the membership, both directly and via the Student Outreach Assistants, about Gamma Theta Upsilon's purpose, benefits, activities, and opportunities, for the purpose of encouraging ongoing support.

Contact all GTU initiates each year with an invitation to support GTU by becoming an Omega Omega sustaining member.

Solicit news about student activities and concerns from members to share with the membership and Executive Committee through social media and other outlets Solicit new members.
Take responsibility for scheduling coverage of the booth at the AAG meeting.

Serve on the Fundraising Committee.

  1. solicit for contributions to the Society review all proposed expenditures to be supported by the Fund

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II.  Outreach Coordinator Additional Duties

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.

 

DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

The Development Coordinator shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Manage all fund-raising activities, working in conjunction with the Fundraising Committee and the Outreach Coordinator.
 
Chair the Fundraising Committee.          

  1. solicit for contributions to the Society review all proposed expenditures to be supported by the Fund

Manage Omega Omega sustaining memberships.

Maintain a database of Omega Omega sustaining members.

Manage the collection of sustaining membership gifts and monitor memberships with the Comptroller.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II Development Coordinator Additional Duties

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.

 

IMMEDIATE PAST-PRESIDENT 

The Immediate Past-President shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee.

  1. solicit nominations for elected officers
  2. present a slate of candidates for approval to the Executive Committee

Oversee voting during the election of officers and serve as Chair of the ad hoc Tellers Committees as they are formed.
Serve on the Financial Review Committee.

  1. review financial records and documents
  2. assure financial operations of the organization meet legal and ethical standards
  3. review GTU's 501© 3 status every five years

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Immediate Past-President Additional Duties

Serve in an advisory capacity.

Continue to serve on committees served on while President if there is unfinished work to be done.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.
               

EDITOR, THE GEOGRAPHICAL BULLETIN

The Editor shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Solicit manuscripts.

Appoint and coordinate an editorial board.

Oversee editing, layout, design, and distribution of the Bulletin.

Provide the Executive Committee with details regarding the publication's costs and other issues germane to the publication's quality and timeliness.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Editor Additional Duties

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.


REGIONAL COUNCILOR

The Regional Councilor shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Remain in contact with all chapters, active and inactive, within their assigned region.

Seek to have new chapters established.

Encourage inactive chapters to reactivate.

Serve as a source of advice and information to active chapters.

Assist the Executive Secretary in updating the chapter database.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.  

II. Regional Councilor Additional Duties

Report on chapter activity within each assigned region to the Second Vice-President for inclusion in his/her report.

Provide a program for students from chapters within each AAG region at the divisional meetings. This might take the form of 1) workshops for students and sponsors to exchange ideas, 2) field trips or 3) GTU student paper sessions.

Provide programs or activities when the AAG national meeting is within your region.  These might take the form of 1) workshops, 2) field trips, 3) social gathering or 4) student paper or poster session.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.
 

CHAPTER SPONSORS

The Chapter Sponsors shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Be a member of the Society.

Hold a minimum of one meeting per academic year.

Membership in a chapter shall be offered at least once during each academic year to those who qualify.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Chapter Sponsor Additional Duties

Send in original, Chapter Sponsor signed copy of initiation paperwork (as per Member Initiation Processing, see Executive Secretary).

Provide Chapter's EIN number (or request that GTU get a number) to Society as per federal tax regulations.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.
 

STUDENT OUTREACH ASSISTANTS

The Student Outreach Assistants Shall:

I. As stated in the Bylaws

Assist Regional Councilors with regional AAG meetings

Assist the Outreach Coordinator in the development of a social media presence.

Serve as a liaison between students and the Regional Councilors for their region.

Upon completion of term, transfer all Society documents to the individual assuming the office.

II. Student Outreach Assistants Additional Duties

Work closely with the Second Vice-President in helping to compile information about chapter activities and ensuring that information that would be of particular interest to student members is posted on the website.

Reply to any requests, questions, comments or suggestions sent by any of the members or chapters.  If the inquiry cannot be answered, promptly forward it to the officer who would be best informed about the subject.

Solicit article submissions for the Geographical Bulletin.

Properly maintain and backup all Society documents pertaining to the office.

 

Review and Amendments to the Bylaws  

The Bylaws may be amended upon recommendation of a majority of the Executive Committee voting and by an affirmative vote of a majority of chapters casting ballots.  A proposed amendment shall be circulated among the chapters at least one month prior to a vote on it.
The Bylaws shall be reviewed a minimum of once every five years.

 

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