GUIDELINES FOR ESTABLISHING CHAPTERS
The Maritime College Alumni Association encourages and supports the establishment of MCAA Chapters nationwide and worldwide as a means of expanding the camaraderie among and mutual support of SUNY Maritime College graduates or eligible College attendees. The MCAA has two levels of chapters:
MCAA Chapters with MCAA Board of Director Voting Rights
The sections below outline the procedures for establishing both chapter levels.
The establishment of an MCAA chapter is predicated on defining a critical mass of graduates in a given geographic location interested in periodically meeting and or communicating for the purpose of expanding camaraderie and mutual support. The definition of a critical mass is dependent on the geographic location of a proposed chapter but is normally interpreted to be ten or more graduates or College attendees.
The process commences with a local self-appointed leader contacting the graduates in the geographic area and organizing a meeting. The self-appointed leader should ask the MCAA national office for a list of graduates in the geographic area identified. At the organizational meeting, the local self-appointed leader should ask if there are others in the group who would volunteer to assist with the establishment of the chapter. Additionally, the self-appointed leader should as the individuals present if they are interested in establishing a local chapter, and if the group would accept him/her as the Chapter President until a formal election is appropriate. The volunteers should further volunteer for chapter position such as Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. If the individuals present are in agreement that they would like to establish a new local chapter, the Chapter President needs to contact the MCAA national office and inform the MCAA Director of the proposed chapter membership, the name of the President, and other proposed chapter officers. All chapter officers need to be active dues-paying members of the MCAA.
At an appropriate time after the organizational meeting, the new chapter should hold elections for chapter officers and report the results to the MCAA national office. The Board considers the appropriate time for holding the first formal election to be approximately two years after the organizational meeting. Chapter officers should be elected on an annual basis. Note that there are no limits as to the number of times chapter officers can be reelected.
As a goal, chapters should plan to have a minimum of two events or meetings per year. It is additionally recommended, that as chapters mature, they define their own chapter goals, such as hosting cadets (possibly on ships who arrived at a local port), hosting future cadet events in conjunction with the College’s Admissions Office, reaching out to non-participating alumni, encouraging alumni to become dues-paying members of the MCAA, commencing SST scholarship drives, having joint meetings with other maritime institution alumni, etc.
To further the participation of MCAA chapters in the governance of the MCAA, the MCAA membership approved a change in the by-laws that qualifying Chapter Presidents may be made voting members of the MCAA Board of Directors. This action was taken as a means to give the chapters more say in the formulating the policies of the organization and its operation.
The establishment of ‘MCAA Chapters with MCAA Board of Director Voting Rights’ requires four elements to be met on an annual basis:
- The chapter has at least 25 active members who are members in good standing of the MCAA.
- The Chapter’s President is elected annually by a fair and democratic process by the members of the chapter who are in good standing of the MCAA. Note that there are no limits as to the number of times chapter officers can be reelected.
- The Chapter has at least two meetings and two scheduled events per year. Chapter events and meeting can be held in conjunction with each other; the meeting can precede or follow an event such as a social event.
- The Chapter President submits an annual report to the Board no later than January 15 of each calendar year, in a form specified by the board, certifying that the foregoing conditions have been met.
A key element of the approval process is the review of the Application for Chapter President MCAA Board Voting Rights Form by the Board, and for the re-approval process, it is the submission and acceptance of the Chapter Annual Report. These reviews will be done at the first Board meeting following the January 15 application submission.
After the Chapter is approved as qualifying to have the President become a members of the Board of Directors, the President will have the authority to serve on the Board for a period of one year following the approval. As a voting member of the Board, the President will have the right and duty to attend and vote at Board Meetings, either in person, by telephone or electronically, for one year or for the remainder of his or her term, whichever is shorter. If the incumbent president will assume the right of a voting member of the MCAA Board of Directors. Chapter Presidents with voting rights will have the same rights and will be held to the same standards as the nationally elected board members.
For more information, contact the MCAA Chapter Liaison:
Marianne Michaelsen Sanderson ’95
Maritime College Alumni Association Carolina’s Chapter President
Maritime College Alumni Association Chapter Liaison