Start a chapter

Coaches, athletic department staff members and UAF administrators pose by one of the newest planes in the Alaska Airlines fleet, a Bombardier Q400 turboprop, which features the Alaska Nanooks and UAF.

Frequently Asked Questions
How to Start an Alumni Chapter/Network at UAF

What’s the benefit of an alumni chapter at UAF?

A chapter or network of the UAF Alumni Association allows alum in a specific region or with a specific affinity to connect and engage more closely with each other than they might be able to through the larger organization. Current chapters, for example, include hockey, Southcentral and Fairbanks. Startups are under way for Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, Houston and San Francisco. Volleyball alum also would like to start up a chapter

What do chapters or networks do?

The short answer: whatever they want, so far as it’s legal, is consistent with UAFAA’s constitution and bylaws (both online at www.uaf.edu) and the goal is to connect and engage alumni! Chapters or networks are grassroots, member-driven organization. Chapters can raise funds, open their own bank accounts and hold their own assets and property. So long as their activity, meeting, program or event aligns with the purpose of UAFAA and is not otherwise prohibited by NCAA rules or other university rules and regulations, chapters/networks can chart their own course. Chapters/networks should be aware of UAFAA’s mission statement:

“The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association connects and supports UAF and its alumni. We encourage excellence in all aspects of the University and provide opportunities for alumni to engage in lifelong involvement with their university community.”

What’s the term “alumni engagement” mean?

This is entirely up to each chapter or network and, for that matter, alum. For some, alumni engagement is about getting together socially or for professional networking purposes. For others, it’s about mentoring current students, raising funds for scholarships or advocating for UAF before various

stakeholders, such as the Alaska Legislature. Some alumni groups enjoy being involved in the community. The Fairbanks chapter, for instance, voluntarily staffs the Alumni Hamburger Booth at the Tanana Valley State Fair, an annual event that raises money for the chapter but also provides opportunities to reconnect with fellow alum and community members.

What’s required to form a chapter or network?

A list of at least eight alumni must agree to be charter members, which requires they also be members of the UAFAA. Becoming a UAFAA member is easy. Graduates can go online and for as little as $35/year, become a member. Matrics, or those who have taken at least 9 credits from UAF, are also eligible for UAFAA membership and thus could be charter members of a chapter.

The letter should indicate who the charter members selected as their president, vice president and secretary/treasurer. The chapter must share written objectives that are consistent with the purpose and policies of the UAFAA, as set forth in the UAFAA constitution.

A sample letter that meets all the start-up guidelines.

Remember: chapters/networks are not required to create bylaws, conduct meetings by Roberts Rules of Order or hold elections if they don’t want to. They can be as informal as they would like to be!

What’s required of a chapter/network once it’s in place?

Once the UAFAA has recognized a chapter, the chapter/network president becomes an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the UAFAA Board of Directors (with the exception of the Fairbanks and Southcentral chapter, which are voting seats). The president is expected to give a chapter update at each board meeting (three meetings per year) or else submit a written report summarizing their latest activities. Chapters should notify the alumni office of plans, events, meetings, etc. , as far in advance as possible, both for awareness and in case any assistance is needed.

Chapters are fun, should not create stress or an undue burden on members, but there does need to be coordination between the alumni office and chapters, mainly so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing and vice versa.

What does the UAFAA give back to the chapter?

Alumni lists with contact information, degree, dates graduated, etc., pertinent to that chapter. In addition, assistance with communications and outreach (digital or printed newsletters, web updates, social media posts about events, activities, etc.) The alumni office can help produce flyers and sign-in sheets, and provide you with promotional materials. We’re happy to help promote chapter activities and highlight UAF!

What if the chapter becomes defunct. Does it remain on the books?

That depends. Probably not. An inactive chapter is one that goes without a meeting/event for two consecutive years or fails to meet the requirements of its bylaws or those of the UAFAA. If that’s the case, the UAFAA Board of Directors can withdraw chapter recognition. The intent of chapters/networks is that they be reasonably active (one event or meeting per year) and that they are aligned with the mission of the UAFAA.

Can chapters receive financial assistance from the UAFAA for events or other items?

Potentially. All requests for funding from the UAFAA require approval by either the executive director or the UAFAA Board of Directors, depending on the amount and its intended use. Some money is available for chapter events, but it must be coordinated and requested/approved well in advance of the event. Chapters must not financially obligate the UAFAA or UAF.

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