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Special Interest Group Guidelines

Purpose

  1. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are small groups of people within the larger Rose City Astronomers organization that share a common interest in a particular area of astronomy and meet separately to pursue their specific subject more in depth.

  2. SIGs need to follow RCA’s club bylaws which also include the IRS requirements for a 501c3 organization.

  3. Examples of SIGs are (but not limited to): Astrophotography, Cosmology, Advanced Projects, Telescope Making and so forth.

  4. These guidelines outline SIG creation, maintenance, leadership duties, and dissolution.

Policies and procedures to establish a new SIG:

  1. Proposals for any new Special Interest Group are to be presented to the SIG Director. If tentatively approved, a formal proposal is then presented to the board.

  2. The board must give final approval to the SIG name, topics to be covered, and the SIG Leader.

  3. The SIG leader must be a current club member who agrees to uphold RCA policies and procedures.

  4. There must be at least 4 additional current RCA club members who want to participate in order to start a new SIG.

Policies and procedures to maintain an existing SIG:

  1. SIGs are supported by RCA Board.

  2. SIG’s are meant to operate as informal groups with little funding needs. Outside funding sources (such as fundraisers) need board approval.

  3. Regular meeting are to be held and open to all RCA members. Meeting times and places are to be advertised through the usual club news outlets, i.e. newsletter, general meeting announcements, or on line.

  4. Every effort will be made to keep a SIG going if it has good attendance.

  5. The club's official address is to be used for official correspondence with vendors, etc.

  6. Assets obtained by a SIG belong to the RCA and not the leader of the SIG or other individuals (as defined by the IRS requirements for a 501c3 organization).

  7. SIG leaders will report to the SIG director regularly on their status, accomplishments and future goals.

  8. Non RCA members may visit SIG functions as guests but are encouraged to join RCA for long-term participation.

Policies and procedures to terminate a SIG:

  1. The board may terminate a SIG at any time with or without cause.

  2. A SIG shall be terminated if a SIG leader resigns and no qualified replacement is found.

  3. Any left over funds and/or equipment belonging to the SIG shall be turned over to RCA in a timely manner (as required by the IRS to meet RCA’s 501c3 regulations).

  4. A final report on attendance and accomplishments will be reported by the SIG leader to the SIG director. The SIG director will then forward the report to the board.

SIG Director:

  1. Is an appointed position by the board and serves as a director on the RCA board.

  2. Helps RCA members launch SIGs by connecting interested participants with each other and assists with initial organization and meeting place.

  3. Coordinates with the board and other committees to see that SIG's are supported and their needs are being met to the extent possible.

  4. Sees that RCA and SIG policies and procedures are adhered to.

  5. Sees that the SIG leaders provide pertinent information about the SIGs to the newsletter and webmaster in a timely manner.

SIG Leaders:

  1. Coordinates their SIG activities and keep others informed.

  2. Conduct SIG meetings on a regular basis that are focused and meet the needs of the SIG participants.

  3. Are responsible for promoting attendance at SIG meetings.

  4. Implement SIG and RCA policies and procedures outlined here and above, etc.

  5. Arrange for a substitute leader if needed and inform the SIG Director in a timely manner.

  6. Make every reasonable effort to inform all interested parties, if a meeting must be cancelled or moved,

  7. Provide pertinent info about the SIGs to the SIG Director, newsletter editor and webmaster in a timely manner.

  8. Should provide an occasional article for the club's newsletter.

  9. Report to the board yearly on their status, attendance, accomplishments and future goals. This is to be done by July 1st of every year to satisfy IRS non-profit requirements. 

For further information contact the RCA President.

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