Yale College Class Officers Toolkit

Introduction

Class affiliation is a meaningful connection for many Yale College alumni, and class leadership is critical to building that sense of identity, through communications, events, and programs for classmates. We've provided tools and resources here to support you in this work. Please contact your YAA staff liaison for more information.

Governance & Elections

Info Accordions

Class officers serve five-year terms that correspond to your class's reunion cycle. These guidelines outline the typical duties for class officers. In addition, each class may establish specific roles and responsibilities for class officers in its by-laws.

Class Officer Roles & Responsibilities

Secretary:

  • Appoint reunion chairs and assist chairs in planning reunion.

  • Write class notes six times per year for Yale Alumni Magazine or appoint a corresponding secretary.

Treasurer:

  • Manage the class treasury.

  • Solicit annual dues from classmates (usually two solicitation letters per year).

  • Thank classmates for dues contributions with monthly postcards.

  • Approve class financial transactions, including volunteer and officer reimbursements.

Secretary & Treasurer Shared Responsibilities:

  • Responsible overall for class activities and communications.

  • Engage classmate volunteers in service to the class and the university.

  • Recruit classmates to plan class activities between reunions.

  • Participate in strategic planning for the class with the alumni association.

  • Serve as liaisons between the class and the university.

  • Organize of a class council and/or executive committee.

  • Attend YAA Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation in New Haven on the weekend of the last home football game (Harvard or Princeton).

Forming a class council or executive committee is a way to broaden the leadership for the class. Your YAA staff liaison can work with you on finding an approach that works for your class.

Class councils may:

  1. Share the work of governing the class and its activities.

  2. Provide decision-making input to the class officers.

Every class has a constitution, as required by the university’s tax-exempt status and being recognized as a 501(c)3 organization.

Contact your YAA staff liaison for a copy of your class's constitution and by-laws (if applicable).

There are several mechanisms used by classes to elect new class officers:

  1. Conduct class-wide elections by mail/email.

  2. Select officers by vote of the class council or executive committee or nominating committee.

Regardless of the method used, new officers are typically announced at the class dinner during reunion and begin their service on July 1 for a five-year term.

For class-wide elections by mail/email:

  • Send a "call for nominations" for secretary and treasurer to the entire class. Self-nominations are encouraged.

  • Each nominee provides a statement of candidacy (maximum of 150 words). We recommend restricting campaigning to the election statements distributed to the class; in other words, candidates are banned from soliciting votes by any other method.

  • Your YAA staff liaison will coordinate in sending an email in the spring to all classmates with a link/code for a single-use ballot. Online elections are recommended. Classmates without email addresses are notified of the election via U.S. mail.

Communications

Info Accordions

The Online Alumni Directory provides contact information for individual classmates.

  • Lists of classmate contact information are available ONLY for class and university purposes. They may not be posted on the Internet without password protection and are not allowed to be stored in the Cloud.

  • Information must not be used for purposes of: politics, fundraising, research, or non-Yale publicity.

  • Please review the Confidentiality Policy for Volunteers in the Communications Toolkit section.

For more information and to request an electronic spreadsheet, contact your YAA staff liaison. Please plan on 5-7 business days for these requests.

The following policy language regarding conduct at alumni programs and events is provided as part of the YAA’s support for alumni organizations and has been approved by Yale’s Office of General Counsel.

The language can be adopted: (i) as a policy by the alumni group by acclimation or preferably upon motion made, seconded and approved and documented in minutes, or (ii) as an amendment to the group’s governing documents, such as bylaws or constitution.

If your group has a Facebook page or other social media channels, you may wish to review the “About” section of the Yale Alumni Association Facebook page and adopt the language as your group deems appropriate. For more on social media and social media policies, visit the Social Media section of the Communications toolkit.

Yale College Classes

“The Class of [insert year] is committed to promoting and maintaining a strong sense of community among the Class and in support of Yale. This Class and its officers and Class Council are therefore expected to sponsor programs and activities that are inclusive, protect confidential information regarding alumni and students, refrain from engaging in or promoting commercial ventures or political activities, and at all times adhere to Yale’s policies on non-discrimination and harassment.”