strathspey Archive: Committee Meetings

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Committee Meetings

Message 17825 · Jan Wilson · 30 Jun 1999 05:13:01 · Top

How often do Branch committees meet? When do they meet? How long do
meetings usually take? Are sub-committees always present at meetings? Do
teachers have much input and/or voting rights?

For some years the Sydney Branch have been holding meetings every six weeks
and usually on a Sunday afternoon - from about 1.30 to 6.00 p.m. It is
difficult to get people to nominate for the committee as the majority feel
that they are not prepared to give up their weekends on a regular basis. I
am interested to know how other Branches operate and would also be
interested to know the average age of other committees.

If you think this is not relevant to Strathspey then reply directly to me.

Jan Wilson
Alexandria, Sydney
Australia

Committee Meetings

Message 17828 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 30 Jun 1999 07:27:36 · Top

>How often do Branch committees meet? When do they meet? How long do
>meetings usually take? Are sub-committees always present at meetings? Do
>teachers have much input and/or voting rights?

1. Our committee of management (CM) and our teachers' committee (TC) are
separate committees that meet on independent schedules. On average the CM
meets about every 6 weeks, but not on a specific schedule. The TC meets
about every 6 to 8 weeks and hardly at all over the Summer. Meetings times
and places are scheduled according to the preferences of the members.

2. The TC selects its own chairman who is also the Teachers' Representative
(TR) on the CM. The TR does not have a vote on the CM, because s/he is not
elected by the general membership. However, the TC is usually a
well-respected member of the Branch and his/her opinion carries a lot of
weight. Moreover, decisions in the CM are based on concensus building.
Voting to resolve a controversial issue is generally considered a failure
of the committee--a failure to find mutual understanding and to resolve the
controversy. It takes a skilled chairperson to guide the committee to
concensus, and so far we have been pretty lucky in our chairpersons. So,
not having a vote is really no handicap to the TR. Sometimes the CM will
ask the TC for a recommendation, and sometimes the TC will give the CM
unsolicited recommendations. It is rare for the CM not to follow a TC
recommendation. Usually one or two of the voting members of the CM are
teachers.

3. The voting members of the CM are a chairman, secretary, treasurer and
one representative each from 7 of the 9 classes. The CM works the best when
it focusses on communication, decision-making and on who is to do what.
Most committee time is spent hearing reports and getting everybody on the
same page. Real work is not done in the committee--it is assigned to
individuals to do outside of the committee. Each event is the
responsibility of an event coordinator who pulls together the resources to
plan and execute the event. The event coordinator is often a committee
member, but not necessarily.

4. The TC focusses on things relating pretty directly to teaching and how
to make classes run well. The TC composes a balanced annual program of
about 50 dances from which monthly and ball programs are derived; this
selection is done at our June meeting and usually takes about 2 hours with
the help of a smart Excell spreadsheet to tally the program balance. The TC
also composes the monthly and Ball programs--each program is assigned to an
individual and when it is ready, it is reviewed with the TR against our
written programming guidelines. The TC also produces a book of cribs for
the annual program dances. Often 1 or 2 of the 3 hours is spent workshoping
dances, formations, steps or teaching practices. Anything else required to
operate the Branch is handled by the CM.

Branch membership is about 100. System works pretty well at this size.
Don't know how it would scale for bigger groups. Probably no change if
class sizes were larger but the number of classes the same.

Hope something here helps.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Committee Meetings

Message 17829 · Bruce & Elizabeth Miller · 30 Jun 1999 08:44:27 · Top

We meet every 5 to 6 weeks and usually on a Sunday afternoon, mostly
from 2 - 4 pm. We try very hard to keep the meeting to 2 hours. We
have an executive committee, chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer;
we have teacher-coordinator and class representatives.
These are voting members. The various sub-committee chairs are drawn
from the general population of the branch, they usually attend the
meeting if they will be directly involved in an upcoming branch event.
Otherwise they send a written report with the Secretary. They do not
have a vote, unless they are also on the e.c. Meetings are mostly about
organizing branch events, managing branch funds and arranging the
calendar. Officers, class representatives and committee chairs make
reports and try to keep everyone up to date. (It should be added that
our committee chairs are the real workhorses of the branch.)

There don't seem to be many alternatives to the organization of
committee meetings; we usually try to have snacks half way and try to
keep everything fairly light-hearted, sometimes we even have fun...!!...
a sense of humour is invaluable of course.

Elizabeth Miller
Chairperson, Seattle Branch

Committee Meetings

Message 17844 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 30 Jun 1999 19:34:58 · Top

The Twin Cities group (we call it a board) meets once a month, usually on
a Tuesday evening, but occasionally on a Sunday afternoon.
Sundays are usually a last resort when we can't find a week night
that everyone is available. Meetings are usually 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

A separate, teachers' committee meets about once a month (sometimes less
frequently). A member of the teachers' committee is chosen by the
teachers to be the teachers' committee representative on the board. This
person is a voting member of the board. I would say the teachers have a
great deal of input into branch activities.

The board also consists of a president, vice-president, secretary,
treasurer, and two to four members at large. Besides the teachers
committee, most other committees are ad hoc rather than standing. They
meet separately, sometimes sending a member to the board meeting (if there
isn't a board member on that committee) if there is something to report.

Board members pretty well reflect the range of ages of our membership
(which consists of around 65 people). Right now board members range in
age from late twenties to early sixties.

--Lara Friedman~Shedlov
Minneapolis, MN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lara Friedman~Shedlov "Thwart not the librarian!"
laradf@mail.si.umich.edu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Wed, 30 Jun 1999, Jan Wilson wrote:

> How often do Branch committees meet? When do they meet? How long do
> meetings usually take? Are sub-committees always present at meetings? Do
> teachers have much input and/or voting rights?
>
> For some years the Sydney Branch have been holding meetings every six weeks
> and usually on a Sunday afternoon - from about 1.30 to 6.00 p.m. It is
> difficult to get people to nominate for the committee as the majority feel
> that they are not prepared to give up their weekends on a regular basis. I
> am interested to know how other Branches operate and would also be
> interested to know the average age of other committees.
>

Committee Meetings

Message 17845 · Norah Link · 30 Jun 1999 19:47:15 · Top

I think it might be of interest to several people involved in the operations of
their local organizations to hear what problems/solutions other groups have.

If people prefer to respond privately, Jan, would you be willing to post a summary
of your findings to the list?

Norah Link
Montreal

Committee Meetings

Message 17847 · Miriam L. Mueller · 30 Jun 1999 20:15:58 · Top

The San Francisco branch has a Branch Committee (BC) of 9 members elected
by the membership for 2-year terms, with about half up for election each
year. The BC chooses the officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, Recording
Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer. Standing committees
deal with publicity, scholarships, etc. If no standing committee member
is on the BC, they turn up at the meeting to report when necessary.
The BC's main responsibilities are finances and general oversight when
necessary. We meet 7-9 times a year as needed to conduct business. We
usually meet the afternoon before the monthly party near the party site -
we're spread out geographically and this reduces travel.
Classes are autonomous. Major events such as the Valentine Ball and the
Fall Weekend at Asilomar are planned and run by individual Event
committees. The Event Committee Chairs are chosen by the event committee,
but approved by the BC, as is the event budget. Event chairs are expected
to keep the BC informed, usually by reporting at the BC meeting.
BC meetings are open, and when conflicts arise dancers feel free to bring
concerns directly to the BC meeting - any guest issues are taken first.
There is an independent Teachers Committee with no specific BC
representation, but usually at least one BC member is a teacher; BC
members get Teachers' Committee minutes. Monthly parties are set and
organized by a Monthly Party Chair(s); a Teachers Committee subcommittee
sets most dance programs.
Probably more than you wanted to know! Contact me personally if you want
more info.
Miriam Mueller
San Francisco Branch

Committee Meetings

Message 17854 · Blaine L. Peet · 1 Jul 1999 01:36:39 · Top

The Washington DC Branch follows the philosophy that "less is more".
Branch COM meetings are held as deemed necessary, but never more
frequently than every other month, in order to:

- establish the dance calender for the following year so that a "chair"
can be found for each event, musicians arranged, and so the Teachers'
Committee can assign program devisors
- hear status reports for each upcoming event
- discuss details (themes, locations, finances) of upcoming events
- hear a post-event report for completed events
- discuss and review financial matters
- discuss publicity/recruitment/retention (an on-going issue)
- discuss Headquarters items

Our Branch COM is responsible for these activities, while the constituent
groups that make up the Branch each have their own COM to handle class
matters (schedules, locations, etc.) Representatives from the groups sit
on the Branch COM. The constituent group COMs meet as frequently - or
rarely - as they feel is necessary.

I experienced the US Navy's interesting philosophy of running short,
to-the-point!!! meetings, which is something you may flirt with - no one
sits down. Funny how people tend to rethink the importance of
ressurecting wornout issues and adding ad nauseum "me too" comments, when
there's a cost involved. For those interested in the meeting becoming
the social highlight of their week, they are always welcome to stick
around afterwards. Meetings are held on a weeknight. Refreshments are
provided while the meeting goes on.

Who was it who said "A task expands to fill the time available"?

Blaine Peet
Maryland, USA
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Committee Meetings

Message 17856 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 1 Jul 1999 03:09:50 · Top

Greetings, Jan.

> How often do Branch committees meet? When do they meet? How long do
> meetings usually take? Are sub-committees always present at meetings? Do
> teachers have much input and/or voting rights?

York & N Humberside Branch holds committee meetings every 6 - 8 weeks
on Sunday evenings; we are fortunate to be able to hire a room in a
hotel for a very modest price. We all buy a drink at the bar when we
arrive about 7.15, and the branch pays for the coffee which is served
at about 8.30. . The hotel is in a small town equidistant from York
and Hull (the two main areas where the members of the committee live)
We have a committee of up to 10 members - committee members are
nominated and seconded by other branch members, and we
have yet to hold an election in more than 20 years of existance!
No member may be on the committee for more than 3 continuous years,
but can go back on after a year off. (Its amazing how even the most
dedicated member looks forward to having a year off as their 3 years
draw to a close!) The committee decides on the officers; Chairman,
Secretary and Treasurer, (and the jobs such as Minute secretary,
Day school organiser, etc.)
Our meetings are usually over by about 10pm, although the first
meeting after the AGM can last longer because we are bringing
the new members up to date, as well as sorting out who will do
what. We usually do not have sub-committees, and teachers can
be on the committee - not that this gives them any special
priveleges. We usually have a pretty intimidating agenda of about
20 items, but many of these are short - review of the dances etc
held since the last meeting (mainly to report on the financial
outcome, but also to see if we can learn anything from what
happened) for example. We also check the state of preparation of
future dances (hall booked? band booked? programme devised? etc)
We also include anything from HQ, such as the ideas about
children's membership and anything else which our Exec council
representative thinks ought to be discussed.


>
> For some years the Sydney Branch have been holding meetings every six weeks
> and usually on a Sunday afternoon - from about 1.30 to 6.00 p.m. It is
> difficult to get people to nominate for the committee as the majority feel
> that they are not prepared to give up their weekends on a regular basis. I
> am interested to know how other Branches operate and would also be
> interested to know the average age of other committees.

Why if the meetings are on Sunday afternoons do the members have to give
up their weekends? (And what on earth do people find to talk about
for 4 1/2 hours? - the advantage of an evening meeting, especially when
everyone present has about an hour's drive home, is that it cannot
finish too late!)

Most of the members of our current committee are either retired or
approaching retirement age - but then this reflects the membership
- to coin a phrase "Where have all the young ones gone?"

Malcolm


--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
|_| _|_| Connecting via NETCOM Internet Ltd
|_|

Committee Meetings

Message 17858 · Jan Wilson · 1 Jul 1999 13:08:38 · Top

At 09:00 30/6/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I think it might be of interest to several people involved in the
operations of
>their local organizations to hear what problems/solutions other groups have.
>
>If people prefer to respond privately, Jan, would you be willing to post a
summary
>of your findings to the list?

Yes, of course, although it may take me a little time as I have a few other
projects on the go at the moment and will be quite busy until the end of July.

Thank you to all those who have replied so far - I wasn't sure whether
there would be any replies at all! Does that ever happen on Strathspey??

Jan Wilson
Alexandria, Sydney
Australia

>
>Norah Link
>Montreal
>
>--
>Norah Link <norah@cae.ca>
>
>
>

Committee Meetings

Message 17863 · Norah Link · 1 Jul 1999 17:30:16 · Top

Received from Marilynn Knight, I think these questions were intended for the list
(I hope...)

Norah, Thank you for this suggestion. I would be deeply grateful for
guidance in some areas that come up from time to time in the class I
offer, and also those that come up only in my own thinking. How may we
be listed in The RSCDS Directory? We are very welcoming of visitors,
but how really are they to know of us if we don't have that additional
Official Advertising?

-----Original Message-----
From: Norah Link [mailto:norah@cae.ca] <mailto:[mailto:norah@cae.ca]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 11:47 AM
To: strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<mailto:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Subject: Committee Meetings -Reply

I think it might be of interest to several people involved in the
operations of their local organizations to hear what problems/solutions
other groups have.
If people prefer to respond privately, Jan, would you be willing to post
a summary of your findings to the list?
Norah Link
Montreal

--
Norah Link <norah@cae.ca <mailto:norah@cae.ca> >

Committee Meetings

Message 17873 · Ian Brockbank · 2 Jul 1999 12:47:28 · Top

Marilynn Knight wrote via Norah Link:

> [...] How may we be listed in The RSCDS Directory? We are very
> welcoming of visitors, but how really are they to know of us if we
> don't have that additional Official Advertising?

If you send me a bit of blurb about your group - when and where you
meet, who you cater for, etc, I'll add it to the appropriate
geographical section of my worldwide groups listing at
http://www.scottishdance.net/groups/ You don't have to be on the web
to be in this listing.

Cheers,

Ian
--
Ian Brockbank, Indigo Active Vision Systems, The Edinburgh Technopole,
Bush Loan, Edinburgh EH26 0PJ Tel: 0131-475-7234 Fax: 0131-475-7201
work: ian@indigo-avs.com personal: Ian.Brockbank@bigfoot.com
web: ScottishDance@bigfoot.com http://www.scottishdance.net/

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