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Kappa Omicron Nu Chapter Handbook

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Mission

The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is to promote empowered leaders through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research in the human sciences.

Our vision includes lifelong opportunities for professional and personal growth through networking, education, and service.

We value strong affiliate networks, continuing advancement in one’s profession, and recognition of quality scholarship, leadership, and research.

KON defines the human sciences professions eligible for membership to include:

  • Family & Consumer Sciences
  • Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Athletic Training
  • Food Science & Human Nutrition, Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • Health Sciences, Wellness
  • Human and Child Development, Gerontology, Social Work
  • Interior Design and Human Environment
  • Personal and Family Financial Planning
  • Textiles & Apparel, Design, Merchandising Management
  • Educator training in these fields
  • Related Fields

Duties of Chapter Officers

The following officers form the executive committee; they should be elected in March or April and start service following officer training and installation. Each office shall include the traditional duties outlined in the chapter bylaws. Suggestions for duties are listed below.

President

  • Bring all official correspondence to the attention of members either by means of business meeting, newsletter, or bulletin board
  • Appoint standing committees and special committees
  • Plan meeting agendas with Vice President and Adviser
  • Coordinate work of officers and committee chairs

Vice President

  • Chair program committee and coordinate program activities

Secretary

  • Compile Officers and Addresses Form (Form 1) – link provided by your chapter adviser
  • Record proceedings of chapter meetings
  • Chair membership committee and coordinate recruitment and initiation activities
  • Compile Chapter Annual Report (Form 10) – fall chapter A, spring chapter B, link provided by your chapter adviser.

Treasurer

  • Issue receipts for all income
  • Pay all bills in a timely manner
  • Keep accurate records of receipts and expenditures
  • Report financial status at regular business meetings
  • Have financial record audited at end of term
  • Compile Chapter Financial Report (Form 8) – link provided by your chapter adviser.

Editor

  • Chair publicity committee and coordinate activities that recognize members and promote KON
  • Submit articles for Dialogue, blog, or social media to [email protected]

Kappa Omicron Nu Leadership Development

To keep your chapter strong and effective and develop leadership skills in your officers, each chapter will conduct leadership training sessions based on the needs and interests of officers and members. The adviser and outgoing officers plan and implement a training session prior to the term of office of newly elected leaders. Chapters are encouraged to use any available college/university and unit resources or plan a cooperative effort with other student organizations.

Needs Assessment, Goal Setting, and Cooperative Planning: Each chapter should involve the adviser, officers, selected members, faculty, and administrators in a process to identify short-term and long-term leadership needs, set goals, and cooperatively plan to operationalize the goals.

Leadership Mentoring: Each chapter is encouraged to identify faculty, alumni, or other professionals who will serve as role models and mentors and to initiate a structure to facilitate mentoring.

Suggested Components for Officer Training:

  • Review of Chapter Annual Report prepared by outgoing officers
  • Review of recommendations of outgoing officers
  • Review of the Chapter Handbook
  • Review of Officer Duties in Chapter Bylaws
  • One-on-one interaction of outgoing and incoming officers for each leadership role
  • Preliminary decision-making (who, when, and how) regarding
    • Specific duties and responsibilities of each officer
    • Communication process
    • Meeting schedule for adviser and president
    • Meeting schedule for executive committee
    • Chapter meeting calendar
    • Involvement strategies and committees
    • Chapter image and visibility
    • Needs assessment, goal setting, cooperative planning processes
    • Program planning and evaluation

Kappa Omicron Nu Recruitment

The following chapter activities are recommended to promote Kappa Omicron Nu membership, recruit members, and increase membership acceptances. In addition, the recruitment process should be evaluated and revised to correct deficiencies.

1. Informational sessions and/or brochures for incoming freshmen and transfer students

2. Information booths at student activities fair

3. Informational sessions or receptions for prospective members

5. Announcement of potential candidates to department heads and faculty with encouragement to recognize candidates

6. Involvement of administrators, faculty, and alumni in Initiation and chapter activities

7. Bulletin board display of chapter and society activities

8. Publicity regarding new initiates and chapter activities in college/university newspaper, hometown newspapers, and unit newsletter

9. Participation in college or university honors convocation

10. Sponsorship of awards event for unit

11. Co-sponsorship of educational programs or recognition events

12. Honor cords for graduation caps and gowns

13. Medallion for recognition of service

Each activity should be planned to honor excellence and the high standards of scholarship, research, and leadership that Kappa Omicron Nu represents.

Kappa Omicron Nu Financial Accounting

Responsibilities

  • Maintain records of financial transactions
  • Chair finance committee to prepare budget
  • Submit budget for chapter approval
  • Monitor budgetary income and expenditures and report financial status
  • Pay bills and submit fees and reports to National

1. Chapter and National Dues: National Kappa Omicron Nu collects chapter dues from active members and annually returns dues and a membership list to the chapter on September 30. Active chapter membership status requires payment of national and chapter dues.

New members are not required to pay national dues for two full academic year following the year of initiation. Most chapters, however, require payment of chapter dues. Each chapter sets the chapter dues.

2. Initiation: Prior to initiation, each chapter shall collect the following fees:

National initiation fee of $60.00 (2021-2022) plus chapter dues specified by your chapter.

At the time of initiation, new members shall complete the duplicate membership card.

Within two (2) weeks of initiation, each chapter shall file the following forms with the Kappa Omicron Nu National Office:

  • Membership forms, invitations, registrations, and payments- https://kon.org/advisers
  • Alternate form [including name, maiden name if applicable, permanent address, gender, graduation month/year, status (undergrad student, grad student, professional), degree candidacy, major].
  • Chapter Remittance Form (Form 7)

3. Insignia: Kappa Omicron Nu insignia may be ordered through National Kappa Omicron Nu (see Order Form).

4. Chapter Financial Report: This annual report (Form 8) must be filed on or before June 1. This report is necessary to maintain good standing (national funds are not released to chapters if this report has not been filed).

5. Chapter Tax-Exempt Status: See Policies: IRS Classification and Tax Return Information.

6. Orientation of Incoming Treasurer: Review chapter financial accounting system as well as national procedures and report forms.

7. Storage of Campus Chapter Financial Records: Arrange with adviser for safe storage.

Publicity

KON’s national office produces a newsletter and chapter editors are asked to submit articles regarding the following topics:

  • Program successes, particularly related to the national program initiatives of writing, ethics, and mentoring
  • Enrichment award projects
  • Member (faculty and student) accomplishments, newsworthy research, awards
  • Successful chapter management practices

Copy should be sent to [email protected]

Local Publicity: Articles for the campus newspaper, hometown newspapers, or unit newsletter can feature similar topics. In addition, news releases should recognize new initiates, officers, and award recipients. The resources and services of the College/University Public Relations Office and the unit information coordinator are sometimes available to student organizations.

Advisers

Each KON Chapter has an Adviser.  The campus chapter is a student organization. The adviser is part of the team but not the captain.  One or two assistant advisers should be appointed so that stability and continuity is maintained when the chief adviser position changes.

Duties of the Chapter Adviser include:

1. Represent the college/university in upholding the high standards of the KON charter and the tenets of the National and Chapter Bylaws.

2. Monitor chapter procedures to assure fairness, dignity, and equality.

3. Serves as the guardian of the official chapter records.

4. One or two assistant advisers should be appointed so that stability and continuity is maintained when the chief adviser position changes.

5. Model effective leadership.

6. Assess the status of officer leadership skills, and help set needed, appropriate, and realistic goals for advancing student leadership.

Chapter Management: The following principles and procedures may provide a framework for successful management.

Shared leadership

  • Team concept of management
  • Quality, not quantity
  • Officer training to establish duties and responsibilities
  • Annual calendar of events and programs
  • Regular executive committee meetings
  • Regular meetings of president and adviser
  • Phone tree for officers
  • Annual evaluation, reporting, and needs assessment

Motivation and Participation: Chapter advisers should encourage participation and help motivate chapter officers and members to achieve their goals.

The following practices help build relationships and create opportunities for commitment:

  • Schedule a chapter event soon after Initiation and publicize
  • Review involvement opportunities and encourage participation
  • Build relationships through ice breakers and name tags
  • Appoint new initiates to committees at first meeting
  • Schedule an incoming and outgoing officer planning session
  • Share personal success stories at each meeting, such as a recent internship appointment, acceptance of a paper for publication or presentation, or fellowship announcement)
  • Issue personal notes of congratulations
  • Schedule brown-bag seminars

It is advisable that chapter officers and advisers encourage participation from initial contact with members. Having planned events already decided and inviting members at the initiation is important to continued involvement.

3. Eligibility Lists: Determining who is eligible and securing correct permanent addresses are probably the most difficult tasks of advisers (non edu email addresses please!). Because college and university procedures vary, there is no tried and true method. Most registrars and administrators of units will be able to assist the adviser in developing a fair and efficient procedure. Advisers who have exhausted local resources should contact KON national office staff for ideas and suggestions. Each chapter should have a system for managing unintentional exclusions from the list of potential members.

The success of collegiate honor societies is largely dependent on the chapter adviser.  KON promotes the value of advisers through the Adviser Award of Excellence and the Adviser's Fellowship. Administrators of units are encouraged to recognize and reward advisers for their inestimable contributions to excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership.

Guidelines for Program Development

As part of KON’s effort to develop empowered leaders, each chapter is required to plan, develop, conduct, and report upon a Required Service Leadership Program (also called the “Required Program”). The purpose of this program is to make an impact on an issue of importance, to demonstrate the value of honor societies, and to fulfill the KON mission by helping chapter members demonstrate leadership initiative in their communities.

Inasmuch as the mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is empowered leaders, it is incumbent upon each chapter to develop a balance of activities to accomplish the mission.

Quality, not quantity, should govern chapter program decisions.

Chapters are encouraged to use KON National Office themes and initiatives to guide program planning and –collaborate with Student Affairs, or other organizations.

Procedures

  1. Selection of Required Program: The Required Program was established to make a national impact, aid in chapter accountability for achieving the Kappa Omicron Nu Mission, and demonstrate the value of honor societies to the educational mission of each higher education unit.
  2. Selection of Program Theme: The biennial theme and other national initiatives are resources for identifying the annual chapter program theme. The nature of the theme will determine whether the program objectives focus on a topic in depth or explore related topics.
  3. Selection of Chapter Program Objectives: Each chapter should determine the local concerns and needs within the scope of the selected theme. A membership needs assessment process would help the program committee to respond to member concerns and needs and promote participation in the chapter activities.
  4. Implementation of Chapter Program Objectives: Chapters are encouraged to involve members in programs through reports, symposia, panel discussions, workshops, etc. and to plan open meetings for other students within the academic unit or university.
  5. Motivation and Participation: Humans are goal-striving and purpose-oriented creatures, and they will participate in organizations that meet their needs-and that provide a comfortable atmosphere. Because motivation is an internal force that commits one to goals, the key to participation is managing the organization in such a way that members have an opportunity to meet their personal needs in a climate that is acceptable to a variety of individuals.

The following practices help build relationships and create opportunities for commitment:

Schedule a chapter event very soon after Initiation and publicize at Initiation Review involvement opportunities and encourage participation at Initiation Build relationships through ice breakers and name tags Schedule personal success stories at each meeting (e.g., internship appointment, acceptance of a paper for publication or presentation, fellowship announcement).

Required Program

Purposes: The purposes of the Required Program are

  • To make a national impact on an issue of importance to the educational and professional preparation of members,
  • To aid chapters in accountability for achieving the Kappa Omicron Nu mission, and
  • To demonstrate the value of honor societies to the educational mission of each higher education unit.

Chapter Obligation: Each chapter shall choose one of the Required Program alternatives that fits the interest and needs of members.

Selection of program: National Kappa Omicron Nu shall offer Program alternatives each year for chapter selection.

Program Planning: Each chapter shall use member input in program selection to ensure ownership and participation. The programs below may be used as designed or modified to fit the needs of the group.

Program Implementation: Each chapter may select the program presenter, including but not limited to chapter undergraduate members/officers and graduate student members.

Accountability: Each chapter shall file a description of the activity and assessment of outcomes in the Chapter Annual Report (Form 10).

Risk Management Policy

The Risk Management Policy of Kappa Omicron Nu includes the provisions which follow and shall apply to all honor society entities and all levels of honor society membership.

Alcohol: The possession, use, and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages, during an official event, or in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, county, city, university, and other institutions.

No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through the chapter treasury nor may the purchase of same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter.

No chapter members, collectively or individually, shall purchase for, serve to, or sell alcoholic beverages to any minor.

Drugs: The possession, sale, and/or use of any illegal drugs or controlled substances at any chapter sponsored or endorsed event, or at any event that an observer would associate with the honor society, is strictly prohibited.

Safety: All chapters shall comply with local fire ordinances and any food preparation or other health codes.

Abuse: No chapter may conduct activities that create embarrassment, harassment, shame, or ridicule, or any other form of bullying or hazing. Chapter activities should be compliant with the regulations and policies of the educational institution.

Civil Rights and Discrimination: Membership in Kappa Omicron Nu is open, without restriction as to race, creed, sex, national origin, conditions of handicap, and sexual orientation. KON values diversity in our membership. Invitation and participation of members should be restricted to educational merit and desire and ability to participate alone.

Education: An annual review of the Risk Management Policy of Kappa Omicron Nu is required of each chapter.

Collegiate Membership

The collegiate category of membership includes undergraduate and graduate students duly enrolled in the institution represented by the chapter.

To be eligible Undergraduate students shall:

  • have declared a major in human sciences or one of the specializations,
  • have completed 45 semester hours or equivalent,
  • rank in the top 25% of their class in the unit.

Graduate students shall:

  • be enrolled in a graduate program in human sciences or one of the specializations,
  • have completed 12 semester hours of graduate work or equivalent, and
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Any chapter, at its discretion, may establish higher collegiate eligibility criteria.

Election of Members: Chapter policies for election of members must comply with the provisions in the KON National and Chapter Bylaws. Membership in KON is open to qualified candidates including persons with disability, without regard to age, color, gender, national origin, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation.

Recruitment: As part of the recruitment process, an informational session is recommended for those interested in membership.

Invitations: Potential members are invited to membership.. Invitation letterheads and brochures, are available from KON’s national office.

Chapters can choose for their adviser to create system generated invitation letters by email to be sent to students. Chapters can also choose to make their own locally prepared invitations outside of the kon.org database. Students must be registered before initiation, for questions consult the adviser training video in the adviser portal.

Invitations should be issued about one month in advance to assure adequate time for a response. This will allow time to call non-respondents to encourage acceptance and to make arrangements for those who need to pay the fee at a later date.

Orientation: An informal orientation session is recommended for candidates.

Initiation: Attendance of candidates, though not mandatory, is encouraged. The Kappa Omicron Nu initiation ceremony shall have three elements:

  • Dignity and beauty in setting and apparel,
  • An impressive ritual, and
  • The pledge of loyalty to the ideals and objectives of Kappa Omicron Nu.

Other aspects of initiation may be planned by each chapter in accordance with its needs and desires.

National Reports: Within two (2) weeks of initiation, each chapter shall file the following forms with the Kappa Omicron Nu National Office:

  • Membership Cards (national portion of duplicate card) OR
  • Alternate form (to include name, maiden name if applicable, permanent address, gender, graduation month/year, status [undergraduate, graduate, professional], degree candidacy, and major)
  • Initiation Remittance Form (Through adviser portal)

Professional Membership

The Professional category of membership includes faculty and other alumni not previously initiated into Kappa Omicron Nu or its predecessor societies.

Eligibility: Professionals shall

  • have made a distinctive contribution to the profession,
  • have earned a degree in human sciences or one of its specializations or have earned a degree qualifying them to work in the field, and
  • have a minimum class rank: undergraduate student (upper 25%) or graduate student (3.5 GPA).

Recruitment: Chapters are encouraged to establish a procedure for recruiting professional members. Any active member may nominate a prospective professional member. The Professional Membership Nomination Form shall be submitted to the campus or alumni chapter executive committee which shall determine if the minimum criteria have been met.

Professionals may petition for membership by submitting the Professional Membership Application Form to the National Office. The application will be assigned to the appropriate collegiate or alumni chapter (including the National Alumni Chapter or the International Alumni Chapter) which shall determine if the minimum criteria have been met.

Invitations: Potential members are invited to membership. Chapters are urged to use the official materials to maintain uniform content and quality for recruitment of members. Invitation letterheads with envelopes and two brochures, "Kappa Omicron Nu" and "A Matter of Honor" are available (please see Order Form).

Orientation: An informal orientation session is recommended for new professional members.

Initiation: Attendance of candidates, though not mandatory, is encouraged. The Kappa Omicron Nu initiation ceremony shall have three elements:

  • Dignity and beauty in setting and apparel,
  • An impressive ritual, and
  • The pledge of loyalty to the ideals and objectives of Kappa Omicron Nu.

Other aspects of initiation may be planned by each chapter in accordance with its needs and desires.

National Reports: Within two (2) weeks of initiation, each chapter shall file the following forms with the Kappa Omicron Nu National Office:

  • Membership Cards (national portion of duplicate card) OR
  • Alternate form (to include name, maiden name if applicable, permanent address, gender, graduation month/year, status [undergraduate, graduate, professional], degree candidacy, and major)
  • Initiation Remittance Form (Through adviser portal)

Honorary Membership: Professionals may also be nominated for Honorary Membership, using the Honorary Membership Nomination Form, and the Honorary Membership Evaluation Form

Alumni Chapters

1. Purposes: Alumni chapters provide the means to

  • Support nearby collegiate chapters;
  • Recognize and encourage scholarship, research, and leadership;
  • Maintain contact with Kappa Omicron Nu and contribute to the organization;
  • Keep in touch with and contribute to new philosophical and research developments in human sciences and the various specializations; and
  • Participate in national governance by sending a delegate to Conclave.

2. Membership Eligibility: Any duly initiated member may affiliate with an alumni chapter by paying national and chapter dues.

Membership Recruitment: Alumni chapters are encouraged to establish procedures for recruiting members and for initiating new professional members (see Policies: Professional Membership).

  • National Kappa Omicron Nu supports chapters with recruitment supplies (see order form): Invitation and envelope, "Kappa Omicron Nu" brochure, "A Matter of Honor" brochure.

Criteria for Alumni Chapters in Good Standing: In order to maintain good standing in the Society, Kappa Omicron Nu chapters shall

  • Comply with the National Constitution,
  • Elect a full slate of officers,
  • Maintain current chapter bylaws in the National Office,
  • File Chapter Financial Report (Form 8),
  • File Alumni Chapter Annual Report (Form 11),
  • Submit fees and accurate reports in a timely fashion,
  • and Designate a member as official representative to Conclave.

Criteria for Collegiate Chapters in Good Standing

In order to maintain good standing in the Society, Kappa Omicron Nu chapters shall

  • Comply with the National Constitution,
  • Elect a full slate of officers,
  • Conduct an annual initiation according to national guidelines,
  • Maintain current chapter bylaws in the National Office,
  • File Chapter Financial Report,
  • File Chapter Annual Report, and
  • Submit fees and accurate reports in a timely fashion.

A Chapter in Good Standing will make every effort to designate a member as official representative to Conclave.

Chapter Probation and Suspension

1. Chapters who do not meet the criteria for good standing for two (2) consecutive years shall be considered for a two-year probationary status.

2. A majority vote of the Board of Directors is required for actions related to the status of chapters.

3. At the end of the probationary period, the Board of Directors shall consider suspension of those chapters who have not met the criteria for good standing. Under special circumstances, the probationary period can be extended for one additional year.

4. Chapters on probation are not eligible for participation in national award programs.

5.After one year of suspension, a chapter can apply for reinstatement. After five (5) years on suspension, a chapter shall be removed from active Kappa Omicron Nu status. The Board Chair shall report this action to appropriate officials in the institution.

6. A chapter which has been put on probation three (3) times within ten (10) years shall be considered for suspension.

7. When a chapter is placed on probation, the Board Chair shall notify the chapter president, the chapter adviser(s), and the administrator of the unit in which the chapter is located. The chapter shall be told specifically why it has been placed on probation and the actions needed for reinstatement as a chapter in good standing. The Executive Director shall work with chapters on probation.

8. The probationary status shall be lifted at the end of the two-year period if, at that time, the chapter meets all the requirements for a chapter in good standing.

9. If no improvement is noted after the first year of probation, a letter of warning shall be sent from the Board Chair to the chapter president, the chapter adviser(s), the administrator of the unit in which the chapter is located, and the president/chancellor of the institution. The letter shall state the possibility of suspension and outline steps needed for the chapter to be reinstated in good standing.

10. When a chapter is suspended, the Board Chair shall report the action to the chapter president, chapter adviser(s), administrator of the unit in which the chapter is located, and the president/chancellor of the institution and outline the steps for reinstatement.

Fund-Raising Policies

Inasmuch as fund raising is a recurrent concern in chapter management, the following policies and possibilities will help chapters use appropriate and effective methods to generate funds for chapter activities.

1. Specific fund-raising activities by chapters shall provide resources for the purposes of recognizing and encouraging scholarship, research, and leadership.

2. Fund-raising shall he carried out in a manner consistent with standards of excellence and professionalism.

3. Fund-raising activities shall have prior approval of the adviser and comply with college or university policies.

Possibilities for Fund Raising

    • Apply for funds from campus student activity fund.
    • Apply for funds from unit sources, including the alumni office and/or institutional development funds.
    • Encourage contributions by alumni, faculty, and friends for specific purposes.
    • Charge a fee for sponsored workshops or presentations on scholarship, research, and leadership.
    • Include a contribution in the price of a recognition event such as a luncheon or brunch for the purpose of honoring achievement in scholarship, research, and leadership.
    • 6 Provide tutoring services for a fee. Charge a fee for other services related to professional expertise.
    • Assess present budgetary allocations to determine if present expenses can be adjusted so that more money is available for chapter activities.
    • Cooperate with other organizations within the academic unit to sponsor activities that serve mutual goals in order to allocate money for other purposes.
    • Increase chapter dues.

IRS Classification and Tax Return Information

Kappa Omicron Nu is classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. National Kappa Omicron Nu has secured tax numbers for each chapter, and the code number should be used in connection with bank accounts or reports for IRS. For further information contact the national office at [email protected]

Income Tax Returns

If your chapter's gross receipts are less than $25,000, National will file a 990-N for your chapter. It is important that the annual financial report is filed with the National Office by August 1 each year.

1. Kappa Omicron Nu is a tax-exempt organization operated for the exempt purpose of recognizing and encouraging excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership. In other words, money-making activities must further the purposes of the organization.

2. Money-making activities shall not form a substantial part of the chapter's activities.

3. Money-making activities shall not compete with a taxable organization and shall be carried on only on an intermittent basis. Gifts can be made and claimed as tax deductions by the donors.

4. Chapters shall refrain from allocating a substantial part of its activities to influencing legislation or in participating in a political campaign.

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