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Student Chapter Leadership Roles

Student Chapter Advisor

The guidance that the chapter advisor provides is the primary element in establishment and continuity of the student group. The advisor's understanding of the human resource field and recognition of benefits of participation in an established professional community guides his or her actions. A general interest in and enthusiasm for the students' efforts and activities and attendance at planned events are important contributions that the advisor makes throughout the year. A chapter may have co-advisors; however, one person should be identified as the primary contact.


  • Primary contact for Society headquarters.
  • Receives chapter materials for distribution to officers.
  • Advises chapter officers on the formation and implementation of the chapter's goals, objectives and programs.
  • Ensures that the chapter understands the role of SHRM as a professional organization.

​For more information on the chapter advisor role, please visit our Role of the Student Chapter Advisor page​.

Executive Officers

The quality of leadership provided by the officers of the student chapter significantly influences the level of involvement and participation of both chapter members and other interested individuals in planned chapter activities. The officers' understanding of the importance of their roles in setting the direction of the student chapter and seeing to its management will be reflected in the overall success and continuity of the group. The officers of a student chapter usually consist of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and director of SHRM Merit Awards.


  • Be fully conversant with the chapter bylaws.
  • Act as the primary interface between the student chapter, advisor, the department and university within which it functions, and SHRM.
  • Establish a clear set of objectives and an operating plan for the chapter year.
  • Take responsibility for fulfillment of the chapter's established objectives.​
  • Train newly elected officers and hand over materials each spring.

President. Shall preside at all meetings of this chapter; shall act as chairperson of the Executive Council; and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The president shall generate and update the chapter mission statement and annual goals/objectives. The president shall appoint chairpersons for standing and temporary committees, and shall administer the business of this chapter between regular meetings, exercising authority consistent with the powers given in the bylaws.

Vice President. Shall perform the duties of the president in the event of his or her absence, disability or at the president's request. If the office of the president becomes vacant, the vice president will temporarily act as president of this chapter. The chapter membership will then nominate and vote on a permanent replacement for the president. Shall also be responsible for coordinating the semester calendar of events for the chapter. The vice president oversees the director of corporate relations, the director of finance and the director of student relations.

Secretary. Shall take minutes of meetings, distribute meeting agenda and previous meeting minutes, circulate sign-in and sign-up sheets at meetings, make copies available of relevant announcements, scholarship forms, and any other materials for distribution at chapter meetings. The secretary shall also distribute all announcements, meeting agenda and minutes for chapter members through the listserv. The secretary oversees the director of communication, director of chapter information systems and director of SHRM Merit Awards.

Treasurer. The treasurer has the responsibility for gathering, distributing and managing the chapter's funds. Sound chapter operations require the establishment of and adherence to realistic budgets. All officers should be informed of funds budgeted for chapter activities prior to planning for the year.

Note: Other positions may be necessary depending on the needs of the chapter as well as availability of students for those roles. The positions provided below are not required.

Director of Chapter Information Systems. Shall develop, maintain and regularly update the chapter Web site, listserv and membership database.

Director of Communication. Shall update chapter bulletin board, post fliers and contact interested student organizations to advertise upcoming chapter events, submit articles publicizing chapter events to media outlets, and generate a chapter newsletter each semester.

Director of Community Relations and Development. Shall pursue and organize community service projects and fund-raising events, and shall be responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers for chapter/university marketing/recruitment and retention programs.

Director of Corporate Relations. Shall contact and coordinate speakers for chapter meetings. Shall identify speakers on various topics of interest to chapter members, formally invite them to present; send a confirmation letter with the time, date, topic and directions to campus; host, schedule audiovisuals, and provide technical assistance as needed the day they present; and send thank you letters after their visit. Shall generate the speaker calendar each semester and maintain a speaker database to keep track of past speakers, topics and chapter members' evaluation of their presentation.

Director of Student Relations. Shall welcome new and help retain existing members, recruit from HR classes, provide forms for joining SHRM National, and assist and mentor students in ways that enrich their chapter membership experience. Shall maintain graduated student database to which student information is transferred from the membership database to this alumni database and record graduating student job placement information, including (minimally) hiring company and position.

Director of SHRM Merit Awards. Shall advise, track and record how chapter activities fit national SHRM Merit Award guidelines. At least twice a semester, shall inform chapter on point totals, and shall submit the Student Chapter Merit Award application to SHRM National.

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Questions? Contact Student Programs at​ or 1-800-283-7476.​


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