Last summer, after many talks of how best to incorporate alumni more actively into the work of MSCSA, a committee got together to begin shaping what an official MSCSA alumni association might look like. After completing all the boring stuff (meetings, drafts of bylaws, meetings, recommendations, meetings), the committee was geared up to present a promising structure for sustaining an active alumni base to support the work MSCSA.
This past June, the alumni association got together for the first time, hosting its inaugural meeting to elect a board of directors as well as begin exciting initiatives as a formal group. Some of you might remember, but this meeting also went hand-in-hand with The Great MSCSA Get Together, which was attended by 150 students, families, and alumni to celebrate MSCSA’s new facility. Not only was the event a great opportunity for current students and alumni to network with each other, but it also served as a catalyst for discussions about ways MSCSA and the alumni can collaborate in the future.
This weekend 150 students and their families gathered in celebration of our new facility, The Center for Student Leadership and Advocacy. Fun was had by all playing on the giant inflatables, challenging friends to yard games, listening to the band Stereo Confession, and reminiscing with old friends.
We had at least one alumni present from each year of the Association dating back to its creation. It was the perfect kick off to our Minnesota State College Alumni Association meeting on Sunday where we ratified bylaws and appointed a board who voted on a Chair and Vice Chair.
Congratulations to Heather Darby, Scott Formo, Joe Gould, Jacob Littler, Noel Lutsey, Nick Schneider (Vice Chair) and Darleen Tareeq. The whole group participated in a discussion about what the Association will look like moving forward and have a unified idea for the future. We are so excited to see what this group will accomplish in the coming year!
Remember the days of sitting in the crowd of an MSCSA conference and not having any idea what was going on? Remember the days of sitting in the crowd of an MSCSA Conference and thinking you can change the world… or at least advocate for students? Remember the days of sitting in the crowd of an MSCSA Conference and thinking, “Wow, I sure am going to miss this a lot when I graduate”? That’s the thoughts I had surging through my head as an MSCSA member.
To many, it is thought that the students keep MSCSA alive and thriving, which is completely true. It is also true that the former students, those who have graduated and moved on in life, have a spot for MSCSA still in their hearts. The alumni of MSCSA are not always present or thinking about the association but at just the right time, they can be exactly what the association needs. Great examples that have been deeply appreciated are when former presidents come back to conferences and give us a hand, when random donations come in when we are trying to reach a goal and they put us right over the top, when it’s a chilly fall day and they stop into the office just to say hello, and many, many more opportunities that I’m sure I didn’t list.
To better serve the Alumni of MSCSA, the Alumni Committee has been restarted. We dusted off the old Alumni Association bylaws and got into gear. There are many new and interesting things that are hopefully going to come out of this new Alumni Committee. One thing that we will be thinking about is what role do alumni want to play in MSCSA and what role can MSCSA play in the lives of alumni. As students, MSCSA is here to help us advocate for accessible, quality, and affordable higher education. During that same time, MSCSA is here to help make us the best we can be with leadership development.
Just because you have graduated does not mean that you don’t still care about students getting accessible, quality, and affordable higher educations, and it doesn’t mean that you are the best leader you can be or that you’re ready to stop learning. An idea that has been floating around is the idea of using “Regional Captains” as someone who will lead their region in efforts to reconnect and build the alumni base. The first meeting is in the process of being scheduled now with the hopes that the Bylaws will be approved at the Spring General Assembly and having a fully functioning committee by June 2013. Thinking ahead, as a student, think about what you want to contribute as alumni of MSCSA and, as alumni, think about what you would hope to see the Alumni Committee accomplish. MSCSA has helped shape some incredible leaders, so let’s find some initiative to make this successful!
The 6th Annual Leadership Scholarship Dinner and Silent Auction is coming up on January 11, 2013 which could be a great place to round up some friends and catch up about your old MSCSA memories, I know I’m looking forward to seeing some old faces! For more details about the Scholarship Dinner, check out the article in this issue or visit www.mscsa.org/scholarshipdinner.