If you are new to Alumni Chapters or are interested in joining one, it's natural to have questions before volunteering. Check out the answers to some of these frequently asked questions:
Alumni Chapter Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much time does it take?
It depends on what role and level of responsibilities you choose to commit to. There are many different volunteer opportunities within each chapter for you to explore. At the highly involved level, a chapter president can expect to spend about 5 hours a week making phone calls and managing the work of other volunteers. At the basic level, a general board member can expect to spend just a few hours every other month attending a meeting or event, mentoring a student or sharing their talent and expertise with others. To help in your "assessment," most chapter leadership positions have job descriptions you can review to determine the specific responsibilities attached at each level, which can be found here, www.csun.edu/alumni/volunteer.
Q. Does each chapter have a budget?
Yes. A portion of the membership dues paid annually by each member are directed to the chapter account for use by chapter leaders in support of programs and initiatives determined by each individual chapter board. In addition, the general Alumni Association has funding set aside to help enhance chapter programming and to assist new chapters who do not yet have members paying dues. In addition, the Alumni Association pays outright for many of the administrative services and costs associated with chapter management.
Q. Does belonging to a chapter automatically make me a member of the general CSUN Alumni Association?
Yes, members of an alumni chapter are also members of the general Alumni Association and receive a host of benefits and services afforded to all members. More details on membership and membership benefits can be found here, https://www.csun.edu/alumni/membership.
Q. Is there university staff support to help with the chapter?
Yes. CSUN Alumni employs an Alumni Chapters Associate, a dedicated point of contact for chapter leaders available to help chapters organize and charter, market and plan events and train volunteers. Along with the Alumni Chapters Associate, CSUN Alumni has a myriad of experts in growing membership, volunteer development and professional development available to chapters. Click here for a full of list CSUN Alumni staff. https://www.csun.edu/alumni/meet-the-staff
Q. Can people who never attended (or never graduated) from the university join a chapter?
Yes. CSUN is part of a vibrant community and many spouses, neighbors, business partners and parents feel a tremendous amount of loyalty toward the university even though they are not alumni themselves. Former students who never got around to completing the final coursework toward a diploma can still call themselves alumni and join our ranks. Any individual who is interested in connecting and supporting the mission of the university is welcome to join our Matador family.
Q. What do chapters do?
Although the answer to this question varies by the type and mission of each individual chapter, our most successful chapters split their programming into three main areas of focus:
1. Professional Development
- Provide continuing education courses for professionals in the field
- Providing career enhancement and networking opportunities and activities
- Advocating for policy and legislation affecting your profession
- Honoring graduates
2. Student or department support
- Mentoring students
- Providing internships and hiring students
- Recruiting prospective students to consider attending the University.
- Fundraising or providing scholarships for current students
- Providing advice on department curriculum or accreditation
2. Social and fun
- Planning social outings to local sports and entertainment venues
- Planning reunion activities
- Supporting CSUN athletics and the arts
We also recommend that chapters think about “piggy-backing” on already scheduled activities. Investigate whether there is a department/area/college event the chapter could co-sponsor, a community event alumni might want to attend as a group, or a campus activity your chapter may want to support as a group.
Q. Do you have additional resources for volunteers?
Yes. As a chapter leader you have access to resources to help with event logistics, membership, and volunteer development. A full list of resources available to chapter leaders can be found here.
Q. What are the expectations for alumni chapter volunteers?
Here are the basic expectations for all volunteers.
Q. Can I start a new chapter?
Yes! If you do not see a chapter that fits your interest, we invite you to start a new chapter. Please check out this page for detailed instructions on how to start the process of creating a new alumni chapter.