It’s election season and time to think about RCA officers for 2017. It’s also time for our members to think about nominating themselves for various positions on the Board. Next year is going to be a year for the record books: the eclipse is coming, the club will grow, RCA will be in the news more, will extend its outreach and take on different tasks than it has in the past, or at least find new ways to carry out traditional tasks. So why would anyone be crazy enough to consider volunteering themselves for an officer’s position? Well, let us count the reasons.
For one, it’s a good way to thank the club for the positive work we’ve done and continue to do that has benefitted both our members and the public we’ve worked with. It also helps insure that we continue to carry on our good work during what promises to be a very active year.
For another, it’s a great way to build one’s skill set, or to put one’s talents and experiences to good use. If you are good at organizing, leadership, record-keeping, building campaigns, teaching, negotiating contracts, or working with the public or other organizations, then there is room for you at the Board. Officers take on a wide variety of tasks, but the one thing that all officers do is help make decisions for the greater good of the club. What we are most looking for is commitment to offering sound advice, wisdom, and foresight.
Being an officer and coming to Board meetings does take time. No one is going to say “Oh you should be on the Board; you won’t have to do very much.” In fact, I’m going to say just the opposite: “Be on the Board make the impact of your time and energy count for the good of the whole.” It takes commitment and effort, but the Board is fairly large so no one gets stuck having to carry the full weight of the organization, like those horror stories we all have heard of or have experienced ourselves.
Because the club is in such a dynamic state right now, the Board is looking for creative ways to fill positions. In the history of RCA as I’ve known it over close to twenty years, we have never had a run-off between two people seeking the same position, and we probably will not again this year. Many of the officers currently serving are planning on serving again. If we do have someone who puts their name in for a position where there is another candidate, we plan on finding a way for those two people to work together. In particular, Outreach and Education, the Youth Program, the Treasurer’s position, Communications and Programs are already partially filled teams but don’t let that stop you from stepping forward. If someone comes forward for the SIG Coordinator, they may consider themselves on the President’s team. There’s room for more team members on the Board, so don’t be hesitant about offering your brand of enthusiasm to RCA. And heck, if it should come to that, we could make a little of our own history and have a real, live run-off election. I’d consider us fortunate for such an embarrassment of riches!
If you wish to look over the duties of our elected officers, all the Board position descriptions are linked from our website here. If you wish to nominate yourself, or have questions, contact our current Board Secretary, Duncan Kitchin at secretary@RoseCityAstronomers.org or Margaret McCrea at president@RoseCityAstronomers.org.