Affinity Group Chartering Information

    Chartering Process Background

    On April 24, 2008, the Board of Governors of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, adopted a resolution approving the Constitution and By-laws of the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA). The Board of Governors’ approval was the culmination of the efforts undertaken in connection with the 2007 Report of the Task Force on Alumni Relations at Rutgers University, titled “Rutgers University Alumni Relations – The Imperative for Change,” and the March 2008 Report of the President’s Implementation Team for Transforming Alumni Relations at Rutgers University, titled “Advancing the Imperative for Change – the Rutgers University Alumni Association.”

    The Board of the RUAA, chaired by James Rhodes CCAS’94, convened for the first time on July 1, 2008, signaling a new era at Rutgers University. The RUAA, partnered with the Department of Alumni Relations, will grow to be a positive force for Rutgers—one which gives increased expression and importance to the 370,000 Rutgers alumni around the world.

    For the first time in history, Rutgers has a single alumni association that unifies the entire alumni population and represents the greatness of Rutgers. Each alumnus and alumna of Rutgers University is automatically a welcomed member of the RUAA. There are no dues to be paid. There are no individual membership applications to be completed.

    Rutgers alumni organizations that existed prior to the formation of the RUAA are an integral and significant part of the plan for alumni relations at Rutgers. The affinities that those organizations represent are strong and will be respected and nurtured by the RUAA. Newly formed groups—representing a range of interests to captivate alumni and provide different opportunities to engage alumni—are also essential to the growth and vitality of the RUAA. The RUAA encourages alumni with passions, interests, and ideas to form new alumni organizations.

    The RUAA will serve as the core association to which diverse affinity groups will affiliate by obtaining chartered status. At the August 12, 2008, meeting of the RUAA Board, the Board approved the “Affinity Group Chartering Information” document, available at The document delineates privileges and responsibilities of chartered affinity groups and outlines the process for becoming a charted affinity group.

    Chartered status does involve privileges and responsibilities and therefore, an affinity group application process is necessary. For your ease and convenience, the process for becoming a chartered affinity group has been streamlined. The process is initiated by completing the online application available at The RUAA and Alumni Relations will be available to assist affinity groups with the application process.

    Once the application is submitted, affinity groups seeking chartered status will be updated periodically regarding the status of their application, the anticipated date that the RUAA Board will vote to approve the application, and the result of the RUAA Board’s action on the application.

    The full rights and privileges of the RUAA will be extended to groups following their successful completion of the chartering process. In order to ensure no loss of services, existing groups will be viewed as chartered automatically until September 30, 2008, by which point their application must be submitted. Services will continue while applications for chartered status are pending.

    Among the many privileges of chartered status is the inclusion of chartered group leaders as members of the Alumni Leaders Council. The annual Alumni Leaders Council Conference promises to be an exciting event at which alumni leaders will congregate to share pride in Rutgers, receive information about Rutgers University, and network with other alumni leaders. The conference will also afford members the opportunity to interface with members of the university community and obtain training about growing and managing their chartered affinity group. Only members of this Alumni Leaders Council are eligible to vote on the slates for new RUAA officers and members.

    Chartered affinity groups will be financially self-supporting and will not be funded by the RUAA or the Department of Alumni Relations. Chartered affinity groups may not collect dues or engage in fundraising activities in lieu of dues. However, organizations may continue to create and fund scholarships through the Rutgers University Foundation. Chartered affinity groups are encouraged to fund activities through program fees charged to event participants. The Standing Committee on the Alumni Council will be working to produce a volunteer leaders guide, geared toward the needs of a self-reliant organization.

    Chartered affinity groups will be supported by the RUAA and the Department of Alumni Relations through training, templates, and sharing of best practices. Templates of by-laws and a constitution will be available upon request to assist groups in organizing. Additionally, the Rutgers Alumni Online Community will provide extensive tools to assist chartered affinity groups in managing and expanding their constituencies.

    The RUAA will strive to provide a myriad of programs, communications, and volunteer opportunities to engage alumni and to connect alumni to each other and to Rutgers University. The mission of the RUAA, “Advancing Rutgers University by Engaging All Alumni,” cannot be achieved without the commitment of all chartered affinity groups. Working together, in Rutgers spirit, we can advance Rutgers University. Please take the next step forward with the RUAA by completing the application for chartered affinity group status.

    Representatives from the RUAA Board and the Department of Alumni Relations are available to discuss the chartering privileges, responsibilities, and process.

    Questions, comments, or suggestions may be directed to Dana Shapiro, Assistant Director Volunteer Services, at 848-932-1968, or

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