Alumni Council Affinity Groups Committee


1. About the Affinity Groups Committee

2. Checklists

3. Frequently Asked Questions

4. Templates

 


 

About the Affinity Groups Committee

Committee Charge

The Affinity Groups Committee of the University of Puget Sound Alumni Council provides volunteer leadership to help engage alumni and students in campus events and activities that are strategically important to the university. The Affinity Groups Committee works to reconnect with each other based on a shared experience while at Puget Sound. A representative from each affinity grouping will serve on the Alumni Council Affinity Groups Committee.  Service on the Affinity Groups Committee is a three-year commitment.

The Affinity Groups committee is organized into groups; campus organizations are chapters within affinity groups. Examples of these groups and chapters include:

Academic (Group)
Chapters:

Activity (Group)
Chapters:

Greek Life (Group)
Chapters:

Performing Arts (Group)
Chapters:

Economics

ASUPS

Alpha Phi

Adelphians

Geology

Black Student Union

Phi Delta Theta

Dorian Singers

German

Cross Currents

Pi Phi

String Ensemble

History

Hui O Hawaii

Sigma Chi

Underground Jazz

PacRim

Kids Can Do

Sigma Nu

Wind Ensemble

Ongoing Committee Duties

Members of the Affinity Groups Committee serve as ambassadors for the University of Puget Sound, by representing the university to alumni. In doing so, committee members:

  • Create a Puget Sound presence through the planning and implementation of programming that engages alumni based on a shared Puget Sound experience.
  • Help plan, market, and share news about University of Puget Sound events and programs, such as Reunion Program, Homecoming and Family Weekend, and other opportunities available through the Alumni Council and Alumni Association.
  • Collaborate with Alumni Council committees, especially the Class Programs Committee, to identify and facilitate connections among classmates; to coordinate and promote campus events and affinity-specific activities; and to share best practices.
  • Work closely with the university staff to plan and implement weekend programming that is fun, engaging, and reflects the social and intellectual spirit of the University of Puget Sound.

Specific Committee Duties

On a regular basis, committee leadership and committee members will:

  • Help find “lost alumni” and  update and report changes pertaining to contact information for alumni.
  • Provide support and review of affinity group communication, including collecting and distributing correspondence/updates among groups, creating and distributing electronic and print communications to complement university-sponsored marketing efforts, and creating and maintaining Web pages on LOGGER[net], Facebook, etc.
  • Identify and plan affinity-specific events and activities to be held during Reunion Weekend and between affinity gatherings.
  • Provide orientation and coaching for committee members and affinity chapter volunteers.

Affinity Group Structure

The Affinity Group Committee has four levels of committee membership:

The Affinity Groups Committee Chair provides oversight for all affinity groups, collaborating with various affinity group presidents, and representing all affinity groups to the Alumni Council. The Affinity Groups Committee chair also holds a position on the Alumni Council Executive Committee (ACEC). This position requires attendance at two (2) Alumni Council Meetings, one (1) ACEC meeting, and periodic ACEC conference calls.  Monthly commitment: 4-6 hours during pre-Reunion planning months; 8-10 hours during Reunion planning months.

Affinity Group Presidents coordinate information and events for one specific affinity group. (For example, an Affinity Group President leads the efforts for Performing Arts Groups, or the Greek Community, or Academic Groups). As presidents of a specific affinity group, these volunteers are in close contact with the affinity groups Committee chair to relay information and represent their affinity to the Alumni Council. The volunteer role attends two (2) Alumni Council meetings, as well as periodic meetings with the chair and chapter captains. Monthly commitment: 3-5 hours in pre-Reunion planning months; 7-9 hours during Reunion planning months.

Affinity Chapter Captains are charged with directing the efforts specific to groups within an affinity. (For example, captains would lead and represent the Gamma Phi Beta sorority within the Greek Community affinity group. Likewise, an affinity group captain may also coordinate a segment of years that are united by a commonality – years that a specific conductor worked with the Adelphians, or a span or year that a Pacific Rim program director travelled with students.)  This volunteer role attends two (2) Alumni Council meetings, and periodic conference calls with the affinity group president. Monthly commitment: 2-4 hours in pre-Reunion planning months; 5-7 hours during Reunion planning months.

Affinity Group Committee Members assist captains with reaching out to alumni who identify with a specific affinity group. Committee members notify friends and fellow alumni in the affinity group about upcoming reunions, events, and news that pertain to the affinity chapter through email, social media tools, and other personal outreach methods. This volunteer role attends two (2) Alumni Council meetings and periodic conference calls with chapter captains. Monthly commitment: 1-2 hours during pre-Reunion planning months; 2-4 hours during Reunion planning months.

As committees develop, additional roles to support the work of the committee may be helpful. Examples of these roles include:

  • A communications expert to manage e-mail, social media outreach, and webpages for affinity group chapters.
  • Event manager to provide support for affinity group gatherings and reunions.
  • A historian to note traditions related to the affinity group and relay traditions to the university.
  • Membership coordinator, to ensure that affinity group chapters have representation throughout the year on the Alumni Council.

To view the Affinity Groups Committee organizational chart, click here.

 


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Checklists

To help you in your volunteer role please refer to the appropriate checklist below. Checklists are intended to simplify tasks that the committee is charged with, and create a strong, robust and action-oriented committee.

 

All committee volunteers are expected to:

  • Sign a confidentiality agreement and return it to the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.
  • Register for LOGGER[net], Puget Sound’s online Alumni Community.
  • Ensure their addresses (email and mailing address) are up-to-date with the university.

Volunteer Roles: Affinity Groups Committee Chair

The Affinity Groups Committee chair provides oversight for all affinity groups, collaborating with various affinity group presidents, and representing all affinity groups to the Alumni Council. In collaboration with Alumni and Parent Relations staff, the Affinity Groups Committee chair :

  • Helps identify, recruit, and nominate  at least six affinity volunteers for affinity chapters
    • Regularly communicate via email with committee members
    • Leads a minimum of three (3) meetings with the Affinity Groups committee
    • Helps organize and provide guidance for reunion planning committees
  • Reviews and manages communication tools for the Affinity Groups committee:
    • Phone and/or email network.
    • a Facebook Group Page .
    • LOGGER[net] page (Affinity Pages).
  • Provides guidance and oversight of affinity-related programs
    • Reviews, provides feedback, and approves schedules, programming, and marketing
  • Maintains communication with Alumni Council Executive Committee Chairs
    • Participate in three (3) meetings of the Alumni Council per year .
    • Prepare annual updates for the Alumni Council Executive Committee.
    • Help the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations with the school sponsored events.
    • Help identify and plan Homecoming and Reunion signature events, provide feedback on marketing, and encourage attendance among alumni.
  • Maintain regular communication with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations (send updates about the group’s activities at least quarterly).

Volunteer Roles: Affinity Groups President

Affinity Group presidents coordinate information and events for one specific affinity group. (For example, an Affinity Group President leads the efforts for Performing Arts Groups, or the Greek Community, or Academic Groups). As presidents of a specific affinity group, these volunteers are in close contact with the Affinity Groups committee chair to relay information, and represent their affinity to the Alumni Council.  Presidents:

  • Identify and coach chapter captains to fulfill roles and responsibilities to support affinity program;. Suggested roles include chapter secretary/ correspondent, webmaster, historian, promotion/attendance, and events.
  • Communicate plans, goals, and progress on quarterly basis to Class Programs committee chair.
  • Maintain contact with Alumni and Parent Relations affinity groups liaison.
  • Collaborate with other class and affinity reunion officers to coordinate programming and promotion efforts.
  • Attend Class Reunion committee meetings (in person or via teleconference).
  • Attend university- and class-sponsored events.

Volunteer Roles: Affinity Group Chapter Captain

Affinity Chapter captains are charged with directing the efforts specific to groups within an affinity. (For example, captains would lead and represent the Gamma Phi Beta sorority within the Greek Community affinity group. Likewise, an affinity group captain may also coordinate a segment of years that are united by a commonality – years that a specific conductor worked with the Adelphians, or a span or year that a Pacific Rim director travelled with students. ) Captains:

  • Attend committee meetings (in person or via teleconference).
  • Communicate with class officers/committee members about events and activities.
  • Assist in communication efforts to alumni in your area.
    • Work with the class webmaster to post information on LOGGER[net].
    • Post new information about class activities and connections on Facebook group wall to keep information fresh and build interest for alumni to check the page frequently.
    • Contact at least ten classmates per month to share plans, obtain feedback, and encourage participation.
  • Attend two (2) Alumni Council meetings each year.
    Meetings are held one day before Homecoming & Family Weekend (Fall) and one day before Reunion Weekend (late Spring).
  • Provide review and approval of planning documents, and communication pieces.
  • Send regular updates to the Alumni Council Executive Committee.
  • Be available by phone or email to answer questions from current and prospective volunteers.

Volunteer Roles: Affinity Group Committee member

Members assist captains with reaching out to alumni who identify with a specific affinity group. Committee members notify friends and fellow alumni in the affinity group about upcoming reunions, events, and news that pertain to the affinity chapter through email, social media tools, and other personal outreach methods. Members:

  • Regularly communicate with chapter captains to stay-up-to-date regarding information related to reunions and reaching out to alumni who share an affinity.
  • Attend (in person or via conference call) chapter meetings.
  • Use email, social media, and conversation to share with fellow affinity group members news about the Alumni Council, upcoming events, the university, and the Affinity Groups Committee.

Committee Tasks

  • Attend Class Programs Committee and Reunion Planning Committee meetings.
  • Host planning meetings for reunion events and facilitate communications among your group to promote identity.
  • Send updates to Office of Alumni and Parent Relations about reunion programs and events.
  • Solicit news and updates from members to share with the alumni community through tools such as Class Notes.
  • Plan Reunion Events and assist the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations in coordinating Reunion Events for your affinity.

 


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Helpful How-To's

Create Your Online Presence

LOGGER[net]
Each group is asked to create its own Logger Page to post information about the affinity,  committee contact information, and news about upcoming events. Affinity page should include:

  • Welcome paragraph describing the affinity, introducing the affinity reunion  planning committee, and a call for volunteers.
  • Contact information for the Affinity Groups committee and individual affinity reunion planning committee members, including email address links.
  • Information about upcoming events, including Homecoming and Family Weekend, Reunion Weekend, and any pre-reunion events.
  • Photographs of classmates and their families.
    For detailed instructions about maintaining your Logger Page, please refer to the LOGGER[net] section of this manual.
  • Letters or comments from fellow alumni who are unable to attend; listing of friends who are attending the affinity reunion.

Facebook

  • Create a group for your affinity. Please name your group University of Puget Sound Affinity Chapter [XXXX].
  • Post an “about us” paragraph to describe the group.
  • Link the group to your Logger Page.
  • Post upcoming event information and pictures.

Planning Reunion Events

Twelve months before the reunion

  • Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations to assist you  with your reunion planning:

                    Crissy Benage
                    Assistant Director of Alumni Relations  
                    1500 N. Warner Street , Tacoma, WA 98416-1078
                    253.879.3417   ·   cbenage@pugetsound.edu

  • Develop your affinity reunion committee and arrange your first meeting.
  • Coordinate the search for former classmates/group members (if you need assistance, please contact the Alumni Relations affinity groups liaison).
  • Sign alumni confidentiality form and obtain list of affinity group members.
  • Develop preliminary reunion plan
    • Estimate reunion attendance
    • Brainstorm listing of possible events for your group, including pricing and location (if off campus)

Nine months before the reunion

  • Plan and book the reunion’s main event.
  • Work with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations reunion liaison to locate possible venues (on and  off-campus).
  • Once the committee has decided, book the venue and arrange meeting with Alumni Relations affinity reunion liaison to discuss proper university policies/procedures on signing contracts/agreements.
  • Prepare the first announcement of reunion. Keep in mind that the university also will be sending marketing and promotion Reunion Weekend.
  • Work with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations to coordinate all email and mail messages regarding your reunion to your class reunion.

 

Six months before the reunion

  • Make updates to LOGGER[net] and Facebook pages; update affinity group lists; and launch telephone and email campaign.
  • Contact special guests or key attendees.
  • Begin preparing memory album (optional, for assistance, contact the Alumni Relations
  • office).
  • Work with Alumni Relations to coordinate schedule with university event spaces, catering, and other logistical needs.
  • Work with Alumni Relations to prepare announcement for Arches, LOGGER[net], university website, etc.

Three months before the reunion

  • Make updates to affinity group list.
  • Work with Alumni Relations to prepare reunion online registration web page.
  • Arrange for all reunion volunteer responsibilities and set meeting with volunteers.
  • Make sure all reunion committee members are registered to attend the reunion.

One month before the reunion

  • Send reunion reminder notices to all reunion affinity group members.
  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to create a printed program.
  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to prepare the “program” for the main event (include all spoken program notes).
  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to prepare all reunion signage, collages, and special displays.
  • Edit alumni information for memory album or finalize giveaways (optional).
  • Develop a reunion day task list (provide each committee member and volunteer a list and inform everyone to bring with them the day your reunion begins).

Two-three weeks before the reunion

  • Work with Alumni Relations to verify attendance, obtain a list of paid reunion guests.
  • Verify attendance of special guests and make arrangements for special guests.
  • Proof and finalize memory album to prepare for printing (optional).
  • Work with Alumni Relations to mail all reunion confirmation letters and special notices.

One week before the reunion

  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to complete affinity-specific welcome materials.
  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to notify catering staff (on and off campus) final counts for the number of guests attending the reunion.
  • For off campus events, verify with banquet manager to confirm details about event. If your event is on campus, work with the Alumni Relations to make these contacts for you.

Reunion Weekend

  • Provide all volunteers with reunion day task list.
  • Have all volunteers accounted for and in designated roles/areas.
  • Distribute affinity-specific items to those who purchased and are in attendance (if applicable).
  • Work with Alumni and Parent Relations to retrieve all supplies at the end of the reunion.
  • Have fun!

After the Reunion

  • Host a post-event debrief with reunion planning committee and Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.
  • Send photos with alumni names and information to the Alumni and Parent Relations to be forwarded to Archives and Arches.
  • Send thank you notes to all affinity group members who attended.
  • Send out any affinity-specific items that were developed (memory albums, scrolls, or photos) to alumni who were unable to attend.

Keeping the ball rolling

  • After reunion weekend (no more than 10 days), send an email to those that attended:
    • Thank alumni for attending the event.
    • Include a link for alumni who attended to view pictures from the event.
    • Include information about the general timeframe for your next affinity reunion activity or event (example: Volunteer now to help plan our next affinity reunion!  - or - Look forward to a mini-affinity reunion during Homecoming and Family Weekend!).
  • Update information about the event on your Logger Page to reflect reunion weekend highlights,  pictures, and future plans.
  • Create schedule of regular communication with classmates to keep everyone informed and engaged until next reunion-planning cycle begins.

 


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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to volunteer, but I’m unsure about the three-year commitment. Does that mean I can’t volunteer?

Certainly not! We welcome your assistance with a specific reunion gathering, or for a longer period of time to build  a recurring reunion event program for your affinity group. We understand, as other volunteer roles, employment, and family demands change, your availability may change as well. Please keep the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations apprised of your availability. We strive to ensure that your volunteer experience is positive and manageable.

How can we make sure our Reunion Weekend is successful? To ensure success, we recommend:

  1. Your group create a page on LOGGER[net] and keep information up-to-date.
  2. The reunion planning committee reaches out to the widest possible age range of participants.
  3. The reunion planning officers maintain regular contact with the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and provide updates.
  4. Representatives from your committee attend Alumni Council committee meetings.
  5. The affinity group plan to host at least one event during Reunion Weekend.
  6. Following up to see if new volunteers express interest in helping plan the next reunion.


How can we stay connected between planned reunions?

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations encourages groups to stay connected with fellow alumni, volunteers, and their affinity group between planned reunions. To do so, you can:

  • Create monthly or quarterly updates about your affinity group.
  •  Post information on Facebook or other social media sites.
  • Post new information (or pictures!) on your LOGGER[net] webpage.


Templates

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations created templates to provide you with useful tools when communicating with fellow alumni and to make your work as a Puget Sound volunteer easy.

To view templates, please visit the Alumni Council Template section on the Puget Sound website.

 

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