January 18, 2011

Terminology Tuesday: Executive Council vs. Executive Board

As the leaders of your chapters, you carry many titles. A few of the most commonly used titles are Executive Council, Exec, E-Board, or Executive Board. But which one is the correct term to use?

One of Alpha Phi’s governing documents, the Policies and Procedures, outlines this terminology for our collegiate chapters. According to this document, the correct title for the President and Vice Presidents is… Executive Council!

Some of this confusion may result from the name of our governing body, the International Executive Board (IEB). To help clarify why the difference exists, let’s look at the definition of a board and a council:

Board: an official group of persons who direct or supervise some activity

Council: an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice

The role you play as officers is to guide the direction of the chapter, not provide absolute governance, so we use the term Executive Council.

Take the challenge to implement the correct Alpha Phi terminology in your chapter!

Heather Scheuer is the Program Manager of Collegiate Chapter Services at the Alpha Phi Executive Office. She can be reached at hscheuer@alphaphi.org.

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