A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
Implementation Plan
Structure usually refers to the roles (and
their functions) you establish for individ 
Once you have defined your mission and
uals within your group.  There is no one
set your goals, you must next decide on a
right way to structure your organizations,
plan of action that will help you to
each has its pros and cons.  There are lots
achieve those goals.  If there are tasks to
of variables to consider:  who you are,
be done, decide how these will be accom 
why you exist, what you are planning to
plished.  This includes figuring out who
do, and what kind of relationship you
will do it, by when, and with what
want to have (or are required to have) to
resources.  
the larger campus structure.  Being clear
on each of these questions can make it
We must look at our past success 
easier to answer structural questions.
es and failures.  We must use
The primary question to think about is:
these experiences to help guide
Which option will best serve our particu 
us in making better decisions for
lar group?  The answers to these ques 
the future.
tions are typically set forth in documents
such as charters, constitutions, and by 
laws. 
No matter what else happens, if the mem 
bers of the group listen to each other,
There are several different leadership
treat each other respectfully, maintain
models.  You can choose a parliamentary
trust, and work hard, your group can
structure (president, vice president, etc.)
develop a strong cohesive group that
or a collective one (various co chairs, all
lends a sense of meaning and a sense of
with equal power).  You can also choose
belonging to what you are doing, for the
among decision making processes;
group as a whole, and for the individuals
majority rule and consensus are the most
who make up your group.
common.   In addition to these issues, you
will need to decide on some basic logisti 
cal pieces such as:  choosing a meeting
WHAT IS OUR STRUCTURE?
place and time, deciding how often to
meet, deciding on membership criteria,
After clarifying your group s purpose,
dues, and the process for selecting lead 
your goals, and what concrete steps you
ers.
plan to accomplish your goals, it is
important to consider how to structure
It may be useful to consider some of the
your group so that you can do your work
pros and cons of each of these elements:
most effectively.  When thinking about
structure, it is important to remember that
Parliamentary
if you don't have a good structural foun 
Often in a parliamentary structure one or
dation, you could have problems down
two people (usually the officers) have the
the road.  If people are not clear about the
power to decide what is in the best inter 
group s structure they will be confused
est of the entire group. One of the posi 
about how they can participate and they
tive aspects of having your group struc 
will lose interest.  Also, conflicts may
tured in this way is that it is possible to
arise.
make decisions quickly.  There are some
problems, however. 
D e f i n i n g   Y o u r   G r o u p
M     1 1






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