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Starting a Younger Member Group

Younger Member Groups offer their members opportunities to interact socially, establish professional contacts, and develop their careers. They also provide a bridge between the Student Chapter and the Section.

How to begin

Start with an enthusiastic Chairperson
Discuss with your Section or Branch that you would like to form a Younger Member Group and choose a chairperson who is enthusiastic, has time to devote to the organization, and, above all, follows through with commitments. You don't need to begin with a full roster of officers.   

Get a core group of people together - "volunteer" your friends & co-workers
Invite your friends and co-workers to a Younger Member-sponsored event. Give them some responsibility and they will feel more of a connection to the endeavor.

Start with social activities
One almost sure fire way to get a Younger Member Group off the ground is to start with social activities. Invite the group to a happy hour, ice cream social, wine tasting, ski trip or baseball game. The time involved to organize the event can be minimal or not, but it’s probably better to start small and work your way up.

Volunteer to take over a Section/Branch activity
Offer to chair a Section/Branch committee such as Student Affairs or host a Section/Branch meeting. This provides the Younger Member Group with a goal and establishes goodwill with the membership of the Section/Branch, who will be more apt to assist the group once the group has assisted them.

Find Speakers
Look for speakers who communicate effectively and can talk about topics of interest to Younger Members. Topics should interest Young Engineers, but they do not have to be technical. Sample topics include how to manage your finances, tax advantages of buying a house, how to update your resume, or how to get ahead in the company.

You do not need to start out with a full program of speakers for every meeting. Some Younger Member Groups focus on community service or social activities as many of their younger members already attend Section/Branch speaker meetings.

Draw on graduating student population
Contact your Student Chapter Practitioner Advisor for help in coordinating activities with students. Get a list of graduating seniors, and send an email congratulating them on their graduation and invite them to join the Younger Member Group.

Stake out the Fundamentals of Engineering examination and invite the test takers to a Younger Member event.

Take the next step
Almost everything concerning Younger Members is flexible (about the only thing cast in concrete is being 35 years of age or under for national awards). You can set up your own rules and be as formal (or informal) as you like. Although the Younger Member Group Handbook provides sample Bylaws, you don't need them to start a committee or name a chair. Once things are off the ground, your group should adopt its own Bylaws, but in the beginning, it is not necessary. 

Available Resources

CYM Geographic Representative and Corresponding Member
Several members and Corresponding Member(s) serve on the Committee on Younger Members (CYM). These individuals have been involved with Younger Member Groups and are an excellent resource.

Younger Member Group contacts (President/Chairperson)
Presidents/Chairpersons of other Younger Member Groups are also an excellent resource. These individuals have been in your shoes before and can provide you with ideas of what worked and what hasn't worked within their Younger Member Groups.

CYM Publications
Information published by ASCE to help guide the emerging Younger Member Group.