Please note the following document contains use of the term “Goddard College” but is being edited so as not to assert any perceived claim of a violation of copyright over the use of the term “Goddard College.” Goddard Alumni Association is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit, distinct from Goddard College.
The Alumni Council of Goddard Alumni Association Charter
The Alumni Council of Goddard Alumni Association (College).
The Alumni Council (Council) of Goddard College (College) is a democratically elected, representative body of Goddard College alumni whose main purpose is to be the voice of the Alumni Association (Association) within the College. The Council exists to build and maintain channels of communication between the College and the Association and advocate for the interests and priorities of alumni within the Goddard community. The Council will act as a liaison between the administration, faculty, staff, and students for the alumni. Council members will actively equip the Association with information about areas of interest, concern, and decision-making within the school.
III. Structure of the Council
a. Gaining Membership: Members of the Council will be elected at the annual Alumni Weekend. One seat on Alumni Council will be reserved for a Regional Chapter Chair, who will be elected to the Council by a majority vote of all other Regional Chapter Chairs. Members of the Council must be a matriculated alumni of Goddard College, meaning that they have graduated with a degree from the College. Members also cannot have a Conflict of Interest as noted in III.a.i below.
i. The Council defines a Conflict of Interest as having current ties to any Goddard College entity that may have divergent interests from the Council (e.g., Board of Trustees, current students, current employees).
b. Format of Council: There will be a maximum of 15 members of the Council at any given time. These members will be recruited from a diverse range of graduation year, regional location, degree program, and cultural identity.
c. Length of Term and Term Limits: Members of the Council will commit to a two year term. Members can serve two terms in a row, though they must be elected into their second term in the same way that new members are elected. After two terms, members will take at least one year off from the Council before running for election again. After that year, a member can begin again with a new term, able to serve two terms in a row again before taking another year off. However, if there are vacant spots within the Council’s membership at the time a member is supposed to take their year off, then the Council may choose to elect that member to a third term beginning immediately after their second. This third term resets them as if they had taken the otherwise required year off.
d. Committees: Members of the Council, once elected, will select Council committees to join based on their talents, interests, and availability. All members must participate in at least one committee.
Alumni Council’s Relationship to the Alumni Association
The Alumni Association (Association) is a community within the College of which any and all alumni can be part. Alumni is defined as anyone who has completed one semester of coursework at the College and is not currently enrolled. The Association meets annually as a body at the Alumni Weekend, organized by the Alumni Council, and in regional groups throughout the year at alumni events organized by Regional Chapter Chairs.
The Alumni Council is an elected body which represents the Association and advocates for the interests and priorities of the Association within the College. The interests and priorities of the Association are determined annually at Alumni Weekend and through surveys conducted throughout the year. Members of the Association can approach members of the Council with questions, concerns, or ideas for the College; the Council will help Association members address their needs. Any alumni in the Association can be part of a Task Force (defined in Section V), which will be facilitated and led by the Council.
IV. Membership Responsibilities, Expectations, and Goals
- Participate in a majority of Alumni Council meetings
- Serve on at least one committee
- Make at least one annual gift to the College’s Annual Fund
- Over the course of a year’s service, volunteer an average of 1-2 hours per week of work towards the Council; this will come to a total of 52-104 hours of work at the end of the year.
- Attend at least one regional or college wide event per year
- Be an active participant in College surveys, communications, etc.
- Recruit alums to Stay Connected, Get Involved, and Sustain Goddard. Goddard’s administration asks that each Council member consider asking 5 alumni per year to update their contact information, write a class note, participate in a survey, attend an event and/or donate to the Annual Fund.
- Participate in Goddard’s social media
- Make Goddard College prominent in your own autobiographical CV/Resume, bios, blogs, etc.
Removal from the Council
Should a Council member not fulfill these duties, they can be removed from the Council before their term is complete by a majority vote of the other Council members. They will be given at least two months notice before such an action is taken. However, upon receiving this notice, they are expected to either step up to fulfill their duties or step down from their position. If they do neither over the course of those two months, then the Council has the right to remove them.
V. Meeting Procedures
General Council Meetings
General meetings occur once per month. All meetings are virtual, except for the annual Alumni Weekend gathering. Meetings will be scheduled by the Alumni Council Organizer. At least one week’s notice will be given before a meeting. All members of the Council are invited to these general meetings. General Meetings will last for no longer than 90 minutes.
Meeting agendas will be set on the day of the meeting. Committees should report any agenda items to the Organizer before the day of the meeting. All committees will report monthly at the meeting to share information necessary for the whole Council’s attention. Members of the Council who want to propose additional agenda items should contact the Organizer before the day of the meeting. The Organizer will send out an invitation to the meeting with a link to the video conference call and a copy of the agenda at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
The meeting will be facilitated by the Facilitator. They will keep the meeting on track by ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak who would like to, keeping the meeting on a time schedule, and keeping conversations on topic. The meeting will run through the agenda, in order of agenda items. At the end of the meeting, action items will be summarized.
Should a vote need to occur at a monthly meeting, a quorum of ⅔ of all Council members must be present to conduct a vote. A simple majority is needed to pass a vote.
Amending the Charter
To amend this charter, a Council member must submit their proposed amendment(s) to the Policy and Communications Committee, who will take no more than two weeks to discuss the amendment. They will then notify the Council of the proposed change, along with their recommendation, giving at least one week before the proposal will be voted on. A quorum of at least ¾ of the Council members must be present in order to vote on an amendment to the charter. A ⅔ majority is needed to pass an amendment to the charter.
Fundraising Committee: Works with the Development Office to create fundraising initiatives and assist in executing and fulfilling those fundraising goals. Meets at least once every other month.
Alumni in Praxis Committee: Promoting and supporting alumni work in the world through initiatives like alumni spotlights, the alumni business directory, and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development. Meets at least once every other month.
Enrollment and Recruitment Committee: Works with the Admissions, Marketing, and Development offices of the College to assist in enrollment and recruitment of new students. Meets at least once every other month.
Policy and Communications Committee: Ensures that the Alumni Council Charter and Council onboarding documents are maintained, updated as necessary, and properly executed. Equips new members of the Council with these documents to prepare them for their role. Writes, plans, and coordinates communications from the Council to the Association. Meets at least once every other month.
Research and Data Committee: Designs, executes, and analyzes data collection efforts for the Council, Association, and Development Office. Meets at least every other month.
Alumni Weekend Committee: Planning and executing the annual Alumni Weekend.
The Council hopes to keep Association members engaged with the College through results-oriented work by forming specific, project-based Task Forces. Each project-based Task Force will remain intact until the project is complete, and then will be dismantled so that new Task Forces can be formed.
Task Forces will be formed at the discretion of the Council and/or Development Office. Any member of the Association can volunteer to be part of a specific Task Force. A member of the Council will act as the Task Force Steward for each Task Force, overseeing and organizing the project.
VI. Elected Member Roles and Responsibilities
The organizer’s main purpose is to manage the Alumni Council’s agenda and meeting functions, while serving as the liaison between the Council and the College’s academic departments, administrative branch, staff, outside community, and other College Councils (such as Student Council, Program Directors’ Council, Staff Council, Faculty Council, and Circle of Councils). The Organizer holds the primary responsibility for the Council’s organization and for holding members accountable to the structures, procedures, and bylaws outlined in this document.
- Schedule the Alumni Council meetings.
- Create the meeting agenda by consulting with Committee Chairs, the Advancement Office, and other members of the Council. The meeting agenda should be shared with the Council at least 30 minutes before the start of the meeting.
- Send out the link to the video conference call and the meeting minutes at least 30 minutes before each meeting.
- Keep track of attendance at each meeting on a spreadsheet or other document.
- Election of the Organizer occurs at the annual Alumni Weekend on campus.
- Stay abreast of important issues and events in all parts of the college, and communicate them to the Council in an appropriate and timely manner.
- Commit to fulfilling the Organizer duties for the full duration of the term.
- Should the Council decide that the Organizer is not fulfilling their role, the Council has an obligation to offer a proposal requiring the Organizer to step down and nominate another Council member to the position.
The facilitator’s main purpose is to facilitate General Council Meetings so that the Council moves through the agenda in a timely manner and remains on topic. They will also ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak on a topic, if they wish. Two facilitators, who are both already members of the Council, will be elected by the Council annually at the first General Alumni Council Meeting after the Alumni Weekend. They will rotate facilitation duties so that no one person is responsible for facilitating all meetings; the schedule of rotation will be determined by the facilitators themselves.
The Scribe’s responsibility is to type the meeting minutes during the call, making note of proposals passed, and the general procedure of the meeting. The Scribe will send these minutes to the entire Alumni Council after the conference call for review. During the next call, Council members will approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Two Scribes, who are already members of the Council, will be chosen annually at the Alumni Weekend. They will rotate scribing duties so that no one person is responsible for scribing all meetings; the schedule of rotation will be determined by the scribes themselves.
A Committee Chair will lead a Council Committee of which they are part. They will be responsible for ensuring all members of the committee are actively participating in the committee’s meetings and projects. They will ensure effective communication as necessary between their committee and other committees to develop and complete projects. They are responsible for guiding and supporting committee members as they complete tasks for the committee.
Task Force Manager
The primary responsibility of a Task Force Manager is to lead and organize a Task Force that has been created by the Council. Task Forces focus on specific projects and areas of interest that need alumni volunteers. Each project-based Task Force will remain intact until the project is complete and then can be dismantled. The Task Force Managers will recruit volunteers for the Task Force, maintain communication amongst volunteers, coordinate volunteers, and ensure that the project is completed to the satisfaction of the creating body. Task Force Managers will regularly update the Council on the project’s progress and when it has been completed.
The Alumni Council reserves the right to amend Sections II-VII of this document at will, following the procedure outlined in Section V or by combat (choose your own adventure). Rules of combat to be determined by Council members at the time of the challenge.