NOTE: While the below is an excellent reference, it can be hard for a written document to actively reflect how a club as dynamic as SUOC is governed. If you have any questions about how exactly things are run, please feel free to talk to the officers and other senior club figures for a more complete and up-to-date picture.
For more information on Equipment Room and gear policies, please click here.
- The Trips Process
- General Membership Policies
- Offices and Duties
- Elections & Appointments
- Executive Council & Patch Council
1. The Trips Process
The fundamental and most important element of the club is the trips we take out. A trip can be a small and unorganized afternoon mountain biking trip, or it can be a large collaborative effort such as our spring break trip that we start preparing for five to six months prior to departure. Most of our trips, however, are the one or two day trips that our trip leaders take out every weekend.
All trips are announced by trip leaders at the meeting on Tuesday nights. The president publicly records the details each trip as it is announced, while the secretary fills out each trip’s sign-up sheet. Following the end of the meeting, the secretary spreads the sheets out in the meeting area, and members are then welcome to sign up for whichever trips they are interested in.
At some point within the next day or two, the trip leader contacts all the members who are able to come on the trip and gives them any information necessary for that trip. Should the trip require it, the members and trip leader will meet at the Eroom to get outfitted with gear for the trip.
The rest is pretty self-explanatory: the trip goes out on the day announced, does the activity announced, and has a great time. Once the trip comes back, gear is returned and drivers given gas money, and everyone parts ways. Everyone on the trip helps tell the trip story at the next meeting, and the process begins again!
2. General Membership Policies:
Membership in the Syracuse University Outing Club is open to all registered students, faculty, alumni, staff and friends of Syracuse University. It is open to anybody regardless of nationality, religious faith, race, sex, sexual preference, and/or disability status.
To become a member of SUOC, one only has to sign up on the roster and pay the annual membership fee, currently set at $15/$10 a year/semester for undergraduate students and $20/$15 for all others. After a person is a member of SUOC for 4 years he/she is granted a lifetime membership, in which all subsequent membership fees are waived. Outgoing SUOC presidents are also considered lifetime members, regardless of years of membership.
Members in SUOC are entitled to go on SUOC sponsored trips and use club gear. On SUOC sponsored trips, any gear they need from the Equipment Room for the trip is given to them free of charge. Members have a responsibility for that gear as if it they owned it, and they are responsible for any loss or damage to that gear subject to the judgment of the Equipment Room Chairman. For personal trips, upon constraints set by the Eroom Chair, some of the club gear can be rented for personal trips.
SUOC members may join Patch Council by showing more than nominal involvement in club activities. By going on three trips of different activities, at least one of which is an overnight trip, and performing a “club service” (frequently service work performed at the Eroom), the member can earn the right to vote at Patch Council meetings, the legislative body of SUOC.
3. Offices & Duties
The president shall preside at all meetings of the club, appoint committee chairmen whose appointment is not otherwise provided for, direct committees in their duties, shall direct and assist other officers in the fulfillment of their duties, appoint all other appointed positions and shall act as or appoint a member to act as the official representative of the club at all University and inter-club functions.
The SUOC Vice President will be a general assistant to the President in the performance of his duties, serving in roles ranging from executor to advisor. The VP will have the full title, powers, and responsibilities of the President in the event that the President no longer is qualified or capable of performing his duties. Other major duties include slide shows for the spring break trip interest meeting, the general interest meeting, and the organization of the SUOC Spring Break trip to West Virginia.
It is the responsibility of the secretary to attend every meeting and take minutes, record announcements and trips going out for the week, post Trip Sign Up sheets following each meeting, perform any other duties assigned by the president especially dealing with records and correspondence, and to be involved with matters and decisions of the executive council. If there is a question about past trips/ announcements or past meetings the secretary has a written record kept for at least the duration of his/her term in that office.
The treasurer is responsible for collecting membership dues following the weekly meetings, maintaining the membership roster, collecting money for the annual spring break trip to West Virginia, and then refunding gas money afterward. The treasurer also keeps permanent records of all income and cash disbursements, keeps financial records organized, and must present a financial report whenever requested by the president. If the treasurer is away for the summer, he/she will appoint an acting treasurer for that time period until his/her return in the fall.
The budget chair of the outing club is responsible for dealing with money allocated to us from the University. He/she presents a budget request in the spring for the following year’s budget. Included in this presentation is an explanation of what we spend money on and what we need to buy in the next year, broken down by activities. The budget chair gives a presentation, often including a narrated slide show, and gives the booklet with lists of what the outing club wants to buy and how much that will cost to the University. Then, with the allocated money, the budget chair purchases the needed gear and supplies by submitting gear request forms to the University for approval. The budget chair then orders the gear, picks it up and delivers it to the equipment room.
First Aid Chairperson
The club has a large number of activity-specific first aid kits, which are signed out by club leaders for trips. The kits and a stock of bulk first-aid supplies for restocking them are kept in the Equipment Room. The first aid chairperson is responsible for making sure that the kits are adequately stocked, which requires inventorying them at least once a semester to replace used or expired items. The first aid chair is also responsible for allocating money from the first aid budget to purchase new items.
Additionally, every club leader is required to have current First aid and CPR certification. The first aid chair is responsible for setting up sessions so leaders and other members can become certified.
It is up to the chairperson to organize in an efficient manner all publicity events for the club. The publicity chair must be an outgoing person who can communicate well with the public, is well organized, and has the ability to coordinate with other officers as well as with the members at large.
The historian’s job is to capture the present as it becomes the past. Any articles or other publications are filed away in scrapbooks. The historian is in charge of the organization of the old club journals and the continuation of this tradition. Any questions that arise about the past are channeled through this position. In addition to these duties the historian is the correspondent with any club alumni that may contact us. Sometimes the historian educates the general meeting on different traditions and events that have happened since the club began in 1935.
For more info on the general leadership process or specific requirements for different activities, see the Leadership page.
The leadership chairperson has a key role in the successful continuation of our outing club. What makes our club run is its leaders. What makes our club run well is competent, motivated leaders. The job of leadership chair is to ensure that current leaders adhere to their duties and to help other members to become leaders.
Current leaders are supposed to lead trips following some basic guidelines, and leadership chairs are supposed to keep tabs on the leaders to make sure these basic guidelines are met. Some leader guidelines are as follows: keeping the group safe (whether by acknowledging trail signs, taking weather and daylight into consideration, knowing the ability of the group and not pushing the group beyond that threshold, etc.) , as a leader knowing your own limits, and keeping basic first aid and CPR certifications up to date. There are many other variable and unwritten leader guidelines that vary in each activity. To the best of their ability, the leadership chair helps leaders maintain the level of competence under which they first became leaders. The concrete leader guidelines, such as being currently certified in First Aid and CPR and proceeding according to the SUOC constitution, also provide check points for evaluating the abilities of a leader.
In regard to up and coming leaders, the leadership chair serves as a sort of advisor to those interested in obtaining leadership. The leadership chair must pay attention to numbers of leaders in each activity, along with those leaders’ class (freshman-graduate) so they know when it is important to recruit more leaders to certain activities. The leadership chair also maintains open communication with leaders about the progress of leaders in training to see what further the leaders in training must do to complete their leadership.
While most offices are elected positions, the E-Room Chair is appointed by Executive Council.
It is the job of the e-room chair to see that e-room policies are followed. The bulk of the job is making sure that the gear is signed out properly, returned in good condition and on time, and is safe for the next person to use. All new gear purchased is inventoried immediately. Periodical reviews of the inventory are done to insure that the inventory is accurate and up to date. All retired gear is destroyed in a proper manner and so noted in the inventory. Spent carbide is to be collected and stored properly in a sealed container. When the container is full SU health and safety is to be contacted for removal. All hazardous chemicals (such as white gas) are to be stored in metal locking cabinets.
All official SUOC activities and corresponding leaderships are grouped into the following Activity Committees: Backpacking; Biking; Caving; Climbing; Paddling; Skiing. Each committee is lead by an Activity Chair who is selected each year from among, and by, that activity’s current leaders. Their responsibilities include maintaining and encouraging a high standard of leadership; spending funds allotted to the activity; maintaining and inventorying equipment; keeping their respective sections of the E-Room organized; and collaborating with, delegating duties to, and providing general leadership to the other leaders within that activity.
4. Elections & Appointments
At the first meeting following spring break officers are nominated by members at the general meeting. Self nominations as well as absentee nominations are accepted. Once a member has been nominated another member at the meeting must second the nomination for it to be official.
Nominees for President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary MUST be current undergraduate students at the time of the election.Members can hold an officer position beyond graduation as long as the office was taken as an undergraduate. All other offices can be held by any any club member.
Elections are held during the general meeting one week after the nominees have been chosen. All current members are eligible to vote. SUOC members not present may submit an absentee ballot to the president. The president shall not have a vote during elections unless there is a tie vote. In this case the president may add his or her vote to the final tally to sway the decision in one candidate. The president shall have the right to either a show of hands type vote or a silent ballet on slips of paper.
Once the president has been elected they are to receive a gift of some sort from the leaving president as a token of their appreciation for continuous student leadership of this student run organization (and don’t forget it). At this point the newly elected president immediately takes over all responsibilities as president including the election of the rest of the officers.
The order of elections is as follows:
First Aid Chair
The E-Room Chair is appointed by a vote of Executive Council.
Activity Chairs are selected each year from among, and by, that activity’s current leaders.
5. Executive Council & Patch Council
The executive council includes the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and E-room Chairperson. This council convenes when the president deems it necessary, usually when a decision about the club needs immediate attention. Examples include nominating a vacant position, addresses an important issue or giving people lifetime memberships. Executive council meets before the weekly meetings at 5pm on Tuesdays.
Patch Council forms the legislative body of SUOC, responsible for approving most new club policies and all club fiscal policy. Patch Council is made up of all members who have been given patches by the E-Room Chair, once they meet two requirements: first, having gone on three trips of different activities with the Outing Club, at least one of which is an overnight trip, and secondly performing club service. Patches are distributed at meetings at the sole discretion of the E-Room chair.
Patch council meetings are announced at least one week before they occur. They usually take place directly after a general meeting. All members are welcome to attend, but only patch council members may vote.