Finding Your Next Leaders - Chapter Leadership Transitions

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Meghan Murphy & John Pasquesi, Saint Louis University CDN Chapter
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Starting as a small, 4-person executive board, our Chapter has grown into one of the bigger, more developed organizations on Saint Louis University’s campus within the past 3 years. We started this chapter together, after attending a JDRF Summit and hearing a speaker, and have put so much time into building this Chapter to become what it is today.

Leading this Chapter has proven to be more difficult than we thought, being seniors and having to pass it along to a new set of leadership. However, with such fantastic future leaders, we have no doubt that the club will continue to flourish in the years to come.

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The hardest part of the transition definitely includes handing off all of the information that both of us have gathered over the last 3 years. After plenty of consideration, we decided the best way to achieve this was to get a head start on the transition process. Typically, we conduct our executive board elections in November, have the new board “shadow” the current board for about a month until winter break, and then the new team takes over in January at the start of the semester. We decided to keep that the same, but we had president and vice president applications in May. The idea behind this was that the new president and vice president would have the summer to get on board with some of the information (the current president and vice president put together packets), and then during the Fall semester, they would work with the current president and vice president to get things done, and then in the Spring semester, they would be on their own. This way, they still have the president and vice president around on campus in case they need anything, but have the opportunity to be independent. They also have the chance to make decisions about their new executive board, since elections for the rest of the board would take place at the end of the Fall semester.

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In addition to that transition timeline, we met with our respective positions (president with new president, vice president with new vice president) multiple times during that Fall semester, in order to give them some tasks and answer any questions they might have along the way. That way, by the time the Spring semester came around, they were ready to hit the ground running and work with their new executive board, completely on their own!

And one last, really important thing that we used was a transition packet, which we mentioned earlier. This was basically a packet filled with all of the information that we used during our time as president and vice president. This included contact information, tips for dealing with hard situations (i.e. when the executive board starts slacking, trying to get more involvement, etc.), and events that we have done in the past and worked really well. With this transition packet, we could confidently say that our new leaders had all of the information they needed for success, in the palm of their hands.

Handing off a new Chapter (or any Chapter!) can be extremely difficult when it comes to teaching a handful of information in such a short time. So, our best advice for you would be to start early on, and put all of the information in one place whether it be a transition packet, google drive, folder, etc. and most importantly, make sure you are taking careful consideration when it comes to electing your new leadership team, as you want individuals with the same passion you have for CDN to help carry it on to future generations of college students!

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john and megahn
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Meghan Murphy is a senior student at Saint Louis University, majoring in Nutrition & Dietetics on the Pre-Med track, planning to graduate and go on to medical school in May of 2019. Meghan co-founded the chapter of CDN at Saint Louis University in 2016. She loves to spend her time going shopping, being with her friends, and taking lots of naps!

John Pasquesi is a Mechanical Engineering student at Saint Louis University, and he loves running, water polo, and doing his best to help others. John got involved with starting a CDN chapter at SLU because of his girlfriend Meghan, and he has loved every minute of it. John is moving on to get a Masters in computer science next year, and then moving forward from there.