Affinity chapters help alumni continue the fun associations of BYU clubs, performing groups, and sports teams.
Do you miss tasting the cheese with the cheese club or cutting the rug with a dance group? For those who miss the friendships of their BYU clubs, performing groups, sports teams, or other student organizations, there is a new way to keep alive the spirit of the Y.
At a kickoff luncheon in April the BYU Alumni Association announced the alumni affinity chapter program. The purpose of affinity chapters is to perpetuate the BYU experience by connecting alumni of shared interests to the university and to each other.
“The key is shared interests,” says Shelli Thomas Sivert (BA ’99), alumni affinity chapter administrator. “Unlike the alumni chapters we’ve had up to this point, affinity chapters are not geographically based—they are worldwide and diversified.”
Since the program’s inception, affinity alumni chapters have been organized for the Young Ambassadors, the Sailing Club, Vocal Point, student officers, women’s track, and other groups. “Through the affinity chapter, we can strengthen the bonds we once had at BYU—friends of long ago can become friends again,” says Wendee Jensen Truman (BA ’84), of Goodlettsville, Tenn., cochair of the Young Ambassador affinity chapter.
“The uniqueness of many affinity chapters is the direct connection to BYU through their core groups,” says Sivert. “For example, the Vocal Point affinity chapter invites the current Vocal Point to do a concert at one of its events—this builds relationships.”
The criteria for establishing a chapter include the following:
• The organization’s objective is to support and serve BYU.
• It has at least three committee members.
• It sponsors two events per year.
• It has a tie to a sanctioning BYU campus department.
• It is formed from current or past groups associated with BYU.
• It operates as an arm of the Alumni Association.
• It submits a yearly report to the Alumni Association.
• It has a unique mission statement.
Affinity chapters have the resources of the Alumni Association at their disposal. Benefits include online registration for chapter events, networking opportunities, an annual free mailing designed and written by in-house staff, and access to an exclusive chapter member directory. An Alumni Association administrator is also accessible to provide ongoing training, support, and service. Communication tools such as mass e-mails, flyers, newsletters, and Web links are provided by the Alumni Association to help affinity chapter leaders keep in touch with their members.
“We want chapter members to think of themselves as investors in BYU,” says Sivert. The affinity chapter is built on camaraderie and communication. The chapters are also centered on service. An affinity chapter can undertake a day of service or cosponsor a core group’s activity. A mentoring program to match students with professionals is in the planning stages. Although not required, chapters can establish a replenishment grant fund.
“The potential of alumni affinity chapters is enormous,” says Sivert.
web: To see if your interest group
is represented, visit affinity.byu.edu.
info: Shelli Sivert, 801-422-2513 or firstname.lastname@example.org