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President's Message: Looking Forward to Change
2005, Q3 (February 21, 2008)
by Anjela Dukes, Chapter President

Anjela Dukes
Anjela Dukes

This year's annual Vision Day discussion focused on changes that are on the horizon for the Carolina chapter. These changes are in response to renovations that are occurring on the Society level resulting from the Transformation Initiative (http://www.stc.org/transformation). These changes include:
  • No more SIGs! — Well…not really. The term "local SIGs" will be used to describe our local chapter special interest groups. This change was made because it has been confusing to members when they renew their membership using the new Individual Membership Categories (http://www.stc.org/transformation/memberCategories.pdf) defined by the Society. This change will also eliminate confusion when information regarding SIG information is distributed from the Society.
  • Adding value to STC Carolina Membership — Currently all the services and activities provided by our community are open to members and non-members. So, why join STC? Why join our local chapter? We've identified our web site and our monthly membership meetings as areas where we can immediately demonstrate the value of STC Carolina membership.
    • Limited Web Access — In the future our web site will have at least three levels of access. Non-member, member, and administrative. Non-members will have limited or no access to certain areas of our web site. Access for Carolina Members is a possible fourth level. We have assembled a committee that is investigating which portions of the site to restrict.
    • RSS Feeds — STC Carolina is getting a newsfeed! The new RSS (Really Simple Syndication) newsfeed is a great way to stay current with all the events and reminders at STC Carolina without bogging down your e-mail inbox. The newsfeed will include reminders for meetings, web site updates, and other tidbits. Watch the next newsletter for a full description and steps to subscribe! The monthly announcements will continue to be sent via the announcements list.
    • Monthly Membership Meeting Charges In January we will begin charging non-members a fee of $10 to attend our monthly membership meetings and non-STC Carolina members will be charged $5.
  • Budget, Budget, Budget — Each year most of our community's income comes from the membership dues refund that we get from the Society. Last year our dues refund was drastically reduced and we had to make cuts based on the reduced funding. These cuts included:
    • Not paying for the fees and e-mailing expenses for winners of our local competitions to advance to the international competitions.
    • Reducing the amount set aside for local student chapter presidents to attend STC's annual conference.
    • Opting to e-mail chapter events bulletins each month rather than mailing them to members.

    These changes, and the success of the Tri-Doc 2005 conference, helped keep our chapter in the black last year! However, this year we were informed that there is no guarantee that we'll receive the same amount that we received last year. Taking this possibility into consideration, the Carolina administrative council decided not to make any additional cuts to the budget this year. Instead, we are gearing up and making changes in the way our community operates to prepare for the new way funds will be distributed from the Society.

    Beginning next year, communities will need to submit proposals to the Society in order to get funding to support local activities. The Society will distribute money based on the value provided to local members. We've made the following changes to how funds are brought in and distributed in preparation for this new model.
    • Budget Proposals — When a local SIG, or any other group within the Carolina Chapter, needs money for an event or for supplies, they will need to obtain and submit a budget proposal from our Treasurer. The proposal will be reviewed at the next administrative council meeting and funds will be distributed appropriately.
      Contact Melanie Drake (treasurer at stc-carolina dot org) to obtain a budget proposal application and more information about these guidelines.
    • Newsletter and Web Site Advertising — We hope to generate additional income for our chapter by placing ads in the Carolina newsletter and on the web site. An advertising committee is currently investigating format and pricing options for the ads and the logistics behind working with vendors and posting the ads.

I've described lots of changes that will take place this year and these changes are only the beginning. As we receive new information from the Society resulting from the changes brought about form the Transformation Initiative, the Carolina leaders will continue to investigate options that are in the best interest of our members.

As a reminder, the Carolina Chapter Administrative Council holds board meetings on the first Tuesday of each month. Let me know if you have a topic that you would like to bring before the board by sending an email to president at stc-carolina dot org and I'll make sure that you're added to the agenda. End of article.

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