Section XII: Student Chapters

A. Mission Statement

Graduate student chapters of the Society of American Archivists:

  1. Serve as a means of introducing new archivists into the profession.
  2. Enhance the educational function by providing an additional focus for the students to discuss archival issues, identify with the profession, and engage in professional activities.
  3. Promote communication among student members and with other members of the Society.
  4. Develop the leaders of tomorrow's archival profession.
  5. Attract new members into SAA.

B. Goals and Areas of Activity

Student chapters are encouraged to broaden their understanding of archival issues, archival education, and the archives profession by:

  1. Inviting guest archival educators and others with relevant knowledge, expertise, and experience from both within and outside the institution to discuss theoretical perspectives, practical experiences, and/or research initiatives.
  2. Organizing visits to area repositories.
  3. Eliciting reports from fellow students who have attended regional and national archives conferences or have participated in research initiatives.
  4. Encouraging professional activities among members.
  5. Developing and encouraging interaction with other student groups to promote mutual interests of allied professions.
  6. Acquainting members with SAA’s goals, policies, and programs.
  7. Promoting archival interests within their universities and academic departments by, for example,  planning colloquia or serving on curriculum committees.

C. Establishing a Student Chapter

  1. The SAA Council approves the establishment of new student chapters.
  2. Membership:
    1. All members of an SAA student chapter must also be individual members of SAA.
    2. The minimum number of members required to form and maintain a student chapter is five.
  3. A student chapter seeking recognition from SAA must submit the following information to the SAA office ( at least thirty days before the Council meeting at which the request will be considered:
    1. The organizing document (e.g., bylaws) that describes the proposed chapter’s purpose, goals, and areas of activity; specifies the requirement that all members must also be members of SAA; and describes the process for election of officers and appointments. Examples made available upon request.
    2. A list of SAA members, including contact information, enrolled as students at the institution who wish to form a student chapter and identification of the initial officers.
    3. A copy of the letter of recognition from the academic institution in which the chapter is located granting the student chapter official recognition as a student organization.
    4. A letter from the faculty advisor, who must be an individual member of SAA and either an archival educator or an archivist within the parent institution and who has indicated willingness to work with the student chapter.

D. Governance

  1. Organizing document: Student chapters may design an organizing document as best suits their own needs, but which in all cases meets the requirements of their own academic institution and the SAA guidelines for student chapters.
  2. Internal leadership:
    1. Once approved by the SAA Council, a student chapter must have an elected leadership to consist, at a minimum, of a chapter chief officer who acts as the liaison between the chapter and the SAA office.
    2. Chapter chief officer(s) will be elected and will take office as outlined in the organizing document of that student chapter. They will notify the SAA office within thirty days following the election.
    3. The faculty advisor, who is also an SAA individual member, will assist the chapter in electing leaders, drafting an organizing  document, in its relations with the SAA Council and office, and in planning local programs for the student chapter.
  3. An SAA staff member will serve as liaison to student chapters.

E. Annual Reporting Requirements

  1. Each student chapter must submit an annual report to the SAA office ( and include:
    1. The names of all members of the student chapter;
    2. The names and email addresses of the chief officer(s) and the faculty advisor; and
    3. A summary of chapter activities.
  2. Annual reports are due to the SAA office on one of two due dates to be chosen by each chapter: December 31 or May 31. Each chapter must submit a report at least once every twelve months.
  3. Failure to produce an annual report will initiate an inquiry, through the faculty advisor and the chapter chief officer(s), into dissolution of the student chapter.

F. Communications

  1. All student chapter members are encouraged to subscribe to SAA’s student electronic discussion list.  The chief officer(s) and the faculty advisor must subscribe to SAA's student discussion list as a means to ensure that important messages from the SAA office reach student chapter members.
  2. The chief officer of each chapter is expected to forward any messages from the SAA office to all members of the chapter. He or she also is encouraged to forward other messages of interest to chapter members.
  3. Student chapter chief officer(s) or other designated chapter officers are responsible for maintaining mailing lists, for the content and accuracy of mailings, and for distribution of all chapter communications.

G. Funding for Student Chapter Activities

  1. Student chapters may solicit resources (in cash or in kind) from sources within their academic institutions. SAA student chapters must follow all regulations of their own institutions regarding fundraising by student organizations.
  2. Although the SAA Council strongly encourages student chapters to find creative ways to fund their activities, there may be times when one chapter or a consortium of chapters may wish to propose a project that warrants consideration by the Council for SAA funding due to its potential benefits across the association.  In those circumstances, the Council may include in its annual budget an appropriation for this purpose. Funds allocated by SAA during one SAA fiscal year are not carried over to the next fiscal year. If an allocation must be deferred to the next fiscal year, a formal request must be made to provide funding in the next fiscal year.
  3. SAA's fiscal year extends from July 1 to June 30. Funding requests from student chapters must be submitted by January 1 of each year to be provisionally reviewed at the winter Council meeting before the budget meeting in June. The deadline will be strictly adhered to; budget requests received after the deadline will not be considered.
  4. Student chapter chief officers will be informed of SAA appropriations and will submit requests for reimbursement, together with receipts for all expenditures, to the SAA office.

H. Term of the Student Chapter

A student chapter whose membership falls below five individual members of SAA (whether at the student membership level or otherwise) or that fails to submit an annual report will be contacted by the staff liaison. The executive director will then make a recommendation to the Council regarding the continuation of the student chapter.

I. Use of SAA Name, Logo, and Auspices

The use of SAA’s name, logo, and auspices for publications, meetings, mailings, websites, social networks, electronic communications, and other activities is available only through specific provision of the Council and will conform to Uniform Guidelines for Use of the SAA Logo. Student chapters, although they are within the SAA structure, are not empowered to take action in the name of SAA, or request money in the name of SAA or the student chapter itself, without specific prior authorization of the Council. This firm rule is required to protect SAA and its members from potential legal complications.

Approved by Council: June 1993
Revised: February 2004, October 2010, July 2013