The current PST Manual will have been sent to all advisors in Adobe format as an email attachment; advisors can forward or supply copies to all officers. The Manual is also available online at phisigmatau.org, and officers may download directly from the website. The manual will be updated at least twice annually and contains printable copies of all forms, instructions, and information. We shall continue to supply standard forms in hardcopy via regular mail to all chapters requesting them. You may submit a request for hard copies by returning the Supply Order Form, either by mail or at the website.
Since many chapter officers are newly elected, it is important to arrange a meeting with the faculty advisor early and to set chapter plans for the academic year. Your chapter advisor will have also received the current issue of the PST Newsletter for distribution to members.
Preliminary report for the year
Deadline for filing your report is September 30. The information at the top of the report lists your advisor and current mailing address. If there are any corrections, make them on the report itself.
Accompanying the report form is a Master Membership List containing all initiated members of your chapter. 2018 graduates (as indicated on the initiation directory card) have been moved by the computer to the GRADUATE file. A listing of 2018 graduates for your chapter is also enclosed. If any of these are still on campus, we can move them back to your chapter roster as soon as we know who they are. If there are spelling or other errors on the Master List, please make corrections on that list, and attach it to your Preliminary Report.
Review chapter supplies carried over from last year (directory cards for new member, minutes forms, etc.). If you wish additional supplies in hardcopy, use a Supply Order Form and attach it to your Preliminary Report. However, all forms and supplies may be downloaded easily and quickly from the website, phi-sigma-tau.org.
Fill in the names of the current officers on the Preliminary Report and indicate when you anticipate holding your first meeting. Room has been left on the Report form for notes or questions. If you prefer, you may include minutes or a letter instead.
Please fill out and return the Preliminary Report as soon as possible, so that we may verify or update our national records for your chapter. Distribution lists for the next issues of Dialogue and PST Newsletter are taken from the updates in the Preliminary Report. Failure to file the report will result in the chapter's not being on distribution lists for the current academic year.
Meeting & Minutes
At your meeting with your advisor, try to arrange a tentative schedule of chapter activities (including ways to publicize these on campus). Remember that your fellow students cannot participate in activities unless they are informed of them.
The chapter secretary should prepare minutes after each meeting, and forward these to the National Office. You may use the Minutes Form provided, or a simple letter, or email. Do not let the minutes accumulate. The minutes are our primary information lifeline, the means by which the National Office and other chapters maintain contact with you.
Chapter Membership & Initiation
Some chapters hold initiations each semester or more often, others only once per year. Each prospective new member should completely fill out a directory card. This card is sent to the National Office with initiation fees (currently $25.00 per member). The cards will be returned to your advisor with membership certificates and other materials for the new members, and these cards should be retained for your chapter files. If you wish to have the certificates for distribution at initiation, please send cards and fees at least 15 days in advance; an early note to the Executive Secretary asking for this is appreciated. Otherwise, the materials may be sent following initiation; the certificates and cards will be sent to the advisor for distribution at the next chapter meeting.
The initiation fee of $25.00 entitles members to certificates, membership card, all current issues of Dialogue until graduation, and the PST Newsletter (sent to the chapter advisor for distribution to members), as well as a one-year membership in the National Alumni Chapter (NAC) after graduation. Benefits of NAC membership are explained in a letter accompanying each certificate, together with a card for registering in the National Alumni Chapter when the member graduates.
Membership fees collected by the Society are returned to chapters in supplies and publications or retained for future work or publications of the Society; the National Office has no salaried staff. Chapters may also assess local dues in accordance with their By-Laws. The National Constitution, By-Laws, and all other chapter forms are contained in the PST MANUAL, one copy of which should be part of your chapter records.
PST Graduation Regalia
Several items are available for our members. However, we do not keep or sell any merchandise at the National Office. Please see the Regalia link on the Manual page for information on ordering. The suppliers can provide stoles, keys, honor cords, and a few other items. However, members will need to contact the companies directly.
Dialogue is published twice annually: in October and April. The PST Newsletter is published at least three times annually as chapter reports & minutes are received. These publications, together with all other communications for the chapter, are sent to your chapter advisor for distribution to all chapter members. The PST Newsletter and NAC Bulletin are also available as disk publications, and current issues are included in the PST Manual.
Arranging chapter activities to make philosophy a living experience on your campus is the principal obligation of officers and advisor, but communicating with the National Office is of equal importance. Without your minutes and letters, we lose touch with you, and you lose touch with other chapters which may benefit from knowing about your activities and projects. I look forward to hearing from each of you, and to receiving your preliminary reports. The National Office exists solely to assist you. Please write us concerning plans, projects, problems, or questions.