Knowing the Process: Affinity Group Leadership Council Recommendations, Applications and Selections

by Luke Massee

Ever have a prospect you thought would be amazing on one of the UGA Alumni Association’s affinity group leadership councils? Maybe you know an alumna that is super involved and looking for the next opportunity or an alumnus who has some great ideas on how to get his fellow graduates involved. Whatever the reason, you just know that this individual would be perfect for the Black Alumni Leadership Council, Women of UGA Leadership Council or Young Alumni Leadership Council. You want them to get involved, but you have questions:

When do councils accept new members?

Is there an application process?

How do potential applicants get more information?

What qualities do you look for in potential members?

I am here to lay out the process from beginning to end and hopefully answer the questions above and all the other ones you have! With that said, here’s all the information you need to steer that awesome graduate in the right direction!

The Black Alumni Leadership Council plans the annual Homecoming Tailgate for fellow Bulldogs to reunite with food, fellowship and Georgia spirit.

There are two often-asked questions before potential candidates fill out their application:

1. What qualities does the ideal applicant possess? The ideal applicant has a heart for both the University of Georgia and for service. The selection committee is looking for applicants that are seeking to further the mission of the University and not their own personal brand, business or agenda. Think of individuals that constantly are asking, “What can I do to help?” Those are the cream of the crop. It also helps if applicants have a familiarity with council programs, events and council initiatives. Applicants who have attended council events and can speak to those in their application truly stand out amongst their peers.

2. Once selected, what are the council member expectations? Taken directly from the affinity group leadership council handbook, council members are expected to:

  • Actively participate in at least one committee.
  • Help guide non-council volunteers on processes and practices of the council (support the committee chair).
  • Serve as a representative, ambassador, and extension of the UGA Alumni Association at all events.
  • Complete annual admissions representative and fundraising training.
  • Attend 3-4 council meetings each year.
  • Notify secretary in advance of program/event of attendance or absence.
  • Actively assist in the identification and recruitment of new council members.
  • Donate at least $300 annually to the UGA Foundation or other academic pursuits at UGA during term of service. Donations are due by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
  • Complete a two-year term.

The Women of UGA Leadership Council hosts Mentorship Mondays, a networking and professional development series.

Now you’re saying to yourself, “The individual I’m thinking about has a love for UGA, a record of helping people and other organizations, and can certainly handle the council expectations. What’s next?” The next step would be to inform the graduate about the process and encourage them to submit their application. Below is the recommendation, application and selection timeline:

  • Council applications for all affinity group leadership councils are released early to mid-October.
  • Staff members are encouraged to send the application to individuals they feel would be a good fit on one of the councils. Please send these names and a recommendation to the Alumni Association outreach team (Women of UGA & Young Alumni: Luke Massee, Black Alumni: Realenn Watters).
  • Applicants are asked to attend one of two information sessions held in mid-November (dates and locations can be found on council websites).
  • If an applicant cannot attend a session, he or she should set-up a phone call with Luke or Realenn depending on which affinity group they are considering.
  • Applications are due December 31.
  • Council applications are reviewed by selection committees. These committees consist of AA staff members, AA Board of Director members and Council Immediate Past Presidents.
  • In some circumstances, phone calls or in-person meetings are set up with potential applicants to help the selection committee make final decisions.
Late February–Early March
  • New council members are notified and announced to UGA community.
  • New member orientation meeting and the final council meetings of the term are held. New council members are invited to educate and transition into their new role before their term officially begins on July 1.
Hairy Dawg at UGA Rooftop Takeover

The Young Alumni Leadership Council’s Rooftop Takeover at Ponce City Market was a great day for Atlanta young alumni and their families.

Remember–only five to eight new members are chosen for each council every year. Given the limited space, there are always qualified and outstanding applicants who are not selected. We encourage those who are not selected to reapply the next year because the make-up of the councils and circumstances are ever-changing.

With the application process approaching, please send the Alumni Association’s outreach team the names and recommendations of any graduates in the Atlanta area you feel would make excellent affinity group leadership council members. We will reach out to those folks, but we also ask that you encourage those individuals to apply.

If you have any other questions about the new member selection process or councils in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ude.agu@eessaml.