By Rick Abraham, PTK Member
As I read your article, “Empty Seats: Honors society members fail to attend elections,” February 5, 2013, about the lack of participation at the PTK elections, I was also concerned about the attendance issue. I joined Phi Theta Kappa last year and I have tried to participate as often as I can. The problem isn’t with attendees not caring or wanting to participate, as President Levi Turner would have you believe. The problem is extremely poor communications from Alpha Upsilon Chi chapter. I addressed these concerns via Facebook and email, but only was given excuses as to why nothing was happening.
In the past year, PTK-AYX has called few meetings to be held at the SRC. Upon arriving to these meetings, there would be a note saying the meeting was canceled. We may receive an email fifteen minutes beforehand if we were lucky. Eventually, PTK-AYX was able to obtain a portable building to hold these meetings in. I know for myself that my time is limited and to have a few meetings canceled at the last minute is not only disrespectful of our precious time, but very unprofessional. It is difficult to keep members participating for any group when the leadership fails to follow through on their commitments. The same holds true for the elections.
On Jan. 28, President Levi Turner sent an email about a very important meeting that Friday in SB 100. The email didn’t specify a time so on Jan. 31 I replied back and asked what time the meeting was scheduled for. I didn’t hear anything back from Mr. Turner and Mr. Arfai wrote back saying he couldn’t do 1 to 3. This explains the attendance issue for elections. On Feb. 2, Mr. Turner sent another email stating that we had another meeting that included the elections on the agenda and a contradicting Word document attachment. At this point I am confused as to what to expect and what is going on. On Feb. 4, I sent an email explaining my confusion and that I didn’t think these elections were being done according to PTK guidelines. I even referenced and quoted the procedures for him to review. On Feb. 7, Mr. Turner wrote back stating he understood my confusion but also said, “Really, the best way to reap rewards from our program is to first ask yourself, what do you want to gain from ptk. Then make it happen.” It is hard for anyone within PTK-AYX to even know the rewards when we don›t schedule meetings properly nor have clear agendas. As far as making things happen, that is why I wrote my emails, copied everyone that I think should know and now I write the CNM Chronicle.
I believe that PTK-AYX’s communications problems could be avoided if the leadership used all the resources available to them, such as phone calls, emails, Facebook and The CNM Chronicle. Additionally, members should be given more than a few days notice/reminder of the events so they can plan their work and/or school schedules. Candidate recruitment is key to any organization. We should be given a copy of any organizational rules and descriptions and duties of each position. We should also send an email out about the candidates and ways for us to contact them. As I mentioned to Mr. Turner, not performing these actions undervalues PTK and its purpose. I disagree with Mr. Turner and think that if things don’t change that this chapter may become inactive.