Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association Kick-Off Conference Call Minutes

Last night, we held the first conference call for the newly-formed Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association. Not able to join? No problem! Meeting minutes are posted below.

Will you join us to help shape the new chapter of proud Chatham College for Women alumnae? Click here to volunteer for a committee assignment by Monday, June 9th. Committee chairs will be reaching out to volunteers next week with next steps. Questions? E-mail savechatham@gmail.com.

Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association

Conference Call Minutes / June 4th, 2014 / 8:00 pm

As we have stated on our blog post, the result of the vote to choose a name for our group is the Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association. The online handles (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and blog) will remain as Save Chatham for the time being.

The main intent of this group is to form an organized alternative to the Chatham University Alumnae Association for those alumnae who choose not to be involved with Chatham as a result of the coeducational vote. The group will serve as a network for relationships with Chatham sisters and will support women’s education at schools where it is still an honored tradition.

The Chatham University Alumnae Association will have no ties whatsoever to Chatham. It will never serve as a vehicle for recruitment or fundraising. We may pass information along to members from Chatham, but there will be absolutely no attempt to engage alumnae on Chatham’s behalf at this time.

As the group begins to formalize, we will be creating a committee structure to form workgroups. The following committees have been identified to date:

  • Mission, Values, and Goals (drafting of a mission statement and possibly more formal bylaws)
  • Business and Legal Organizational Options (research into the legal options the group may have for forming)
  • Communications and Outreach (this may initially include membership building)
  • Technology (Exploring the tools currently at our disposal and investigation of new ones that may be helpful)

Committees will be staffed by alumnae volunteers who commit to 2-3 hours of work per week (depending on how many people are helping with the committee and what the action items are for the committee). At this point, committees will be led by Save Chatham administrators, but those leaders will eventually transition out as committees get up and running.

The following Save Chatham administrators have agreed to chair each committee:

  • Mission, Values, and Goals – Alexa New ‘08
  • Business and Legal Organizational Options – Sarah Stulga ‘08
  • Communications and Outreach – Kelly McKown ‘02
  • Technology – Rachel Lunsford ‘07

Additional committees will be added as needed as this group evolves. For example, we have considered an alternative reunion committee and fundraising committee depending on the work of the initial committees.

Minutes from this call will be posted on the Save Chatham blog. We are asking volunteers to let us know by Monday the committee on which they would like to serve by Monday (June 9th). Committee chairs will follow-up next week to begin group communications for each committee. Committee chairs will be responsible for organizing volunteers and moving work forward. Each committee will outline action items moving forward. The CCIAA will regroup for a group call at the end of June to hear committee reports and discuss next steps.

We recognize that emotions are still running strong after the vote, and many alumnae are still very angry with Chatham. We have chosen as a group to exemplify the true meaning of our sisterhood. As such, it is important that the formal committee will be focused on positive, proactive work moving forward. Individual volunteers are still of course encouraged to participate in any activities they choose. However, in order to keep the mission of our formal group clear (especially as we consider a separate 501c3 status), the formal group will officially steer clear of any and all negative actions towards Chatham.

This weekend is reunion weekend, and as many alumnae have chosen not to participate in reunion, we will be hosting a virtual alternative. This weekend, look for a “Reclaim Reunion” theme on Facebook and Twitter, including a special profile picture alumnae can share and use. We will be asking people to post photos and memories while promoting our work moving forward. More ideas will be developed around this and will be announced soon.

Alumnae participants on the call also discussed additional opportunities to engage alumnae not engaged in social media. This topic will be explored in further detail with the communications committee. Additional discussion focused on opportunities to engage and support other women’s college alumnae associations and/or independent associations formed after a coeducational vote. This will be explored as the work of the group evolves.

Action Items/Next Steps: Information about signing up for a committee volunteer role will be posted on the Save Chatham Facebook/Twitter pages, blog and sent via the Save Chatham e-mail distribution list. Volunteers interested in serving on a committee can e-mail savechatham@gmail.com or message the Save Chatham administrators via the Facebook page.

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