How to run for a SEDS USA Position

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Introduction

SEDS USA doesn't run itself! It takes a team of dedicated students around the country to ensure the mission of SEDS continues onward. Do you think you would like to become a part of the team and assist in all SEDS USA activities? Read below to learn how!

The point of the elections:
The point of the elections is quite simple; it is to pick the best candidates for the roles that are mentioned below. These leaders will lead and guide SEDS USA, so, naturally, the leaders who have proven leadership experience who can see projects from start to finish.

The Board
The board is comprised of the following roles:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Chair of the Council of Chapters (CoC)
  • Member at Large (2)

For more information about these roles, including a description of the roles and what the expectations of these roles, please see this detailed page about the board and staff of SEDS USA.It should go without saying that these roles can take up some of your time, so it is crucial that you're able to juggle the duties of the role (or roles) that you're interested in along with your schoolwork and any other obligations.

Elections: A How To Guide

Every year, elections are held at SEDS USA’s SpaceVision conference for the Board of Directors. Each of these positions have a 1 year term which begins and ends at SpaceVision when the new board is elected.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for a board position, you must be:

  • A student at a school, college or university in the United States or Puerto Rico
  • A student for at least 50% of your term. Seniors graduating in the spring are eligible to run
  • A member of SEDS USA, either as an individual or part of a registered chapter

You do not need to be physically present at SpaceVision to run for a position.

Timeline

Here's a tentative timeline of how elections are ran:

  • Early October - The election application is released to SEDS members. The application includes:
    • Basic personal information (name, email address, associated chapter if any)
    • Platform - Why you think you would be the best choice for the position and what ideas you want to implement while in office
    • Resume
  • SEDS USA will upload the platform and resumes of the candidates to our website. This will allow chapters who are not present at the conference to judge the candidates and make an informed vote.*# Day before elections (usually first day of SpaceVision - Applications will close to candidates
  • Day of Elections (usually second day of SpaceVision) - Elections will occur, normally during lunch. The structure of the election occurs as follows:
    • The Secretary will announce a position. They then read to the Chapters the platform of each of the applicants (also published on the SEDS website)
    • The applicants present at SpaceVision will each make a 2 minute speech, covering why they are applying, why they would be the best person for the position and what they want to accomplish whilst in office
    • The applicants will gather together and take 5 minutes of questions from the chapters
    • This repeats for each elected position
  • After Election - Chapters will vote on their first choice for each position. Voting will be live from the moment the election finishes until midnight the same day.
  • Day after Election - The applicants will be notified of the results of the election
  • SpaceVision Banquet (last day of SpaceVision) - The new Board of Directors will be publicly announced and presented to the rest of SEDS.

Voting

The voting body will consist of active SEDS USA chapters. In order for chapters to count as active, they must have signed up or renewed their chapter membership less than 12 months before elections. If you are unsure if your chapter is active, please reach out to the Council of Chapters Representative. Each active chapter counts as one vote. Voting for members of your own chapter is allowed. Voting will occur via an online form, where you can vote for any or all of the positions at once. Voting will be open from the moment the election finishes at SpaceVision until midnight the same day.

Why Run?

SEDS is an opportunity to join a larger network of students with a passion for space exploration, running for a position allows you to expand your contacts and refine your leadership skills. It is the chance to influence how the organization is run, make it better than the previous year, and impact thousands of other students as you strive to provide more opportunities, greater connections, and new ideas! Being on the board and staff is an incredible chance to give back to the space community and your fellow peers all while building your resume. It is a lot of work and the reward is in the service you give and relationships you build. So if you think you have what it takes to lead the world's largest student run non-profit, then give it a try and put your name on the ballot, because it can be a life changing experience!

Elections 2019

The 2019 Board of Directors Application form is out! Applications close on the 7th November. The application can be found here.

Conclusion

If anyone has any questions, or wants to learn how they can help the team with or without being on the board or staff, do not hesitate to contact any of the current board members that you are most interested in connecting with! We won't bite, I think.

Additional Information

  • Include examples of how to give a speech to people
  • Include projects that have been done during the tenure of people in those roles
  • Required meetings (at least 2) with the people in those current roles so the potential candidates can get an idea of what is expected of them
  • A created email list of those who have filled out the typeform so information can be sent by SEDS such as how to prepare, and a poll indicating if they’re planning on attending SV, so we’ll know ahead of time if they’ll be ‘remoting’ into the room
  • For voting, instead of a paper ballot, there is a Google Poll that is displayed to everyone in the room so they can vote that way as it is a)greener; b)makes the counting process 100% easier; and c)foolproof.


During the 2017 SpaceVision conference!

Point of Contact

Dan Hirst
dan.hirst@seds.org