State & Regional Affiliates
The Governing Council of Mu Alpha Theta is interested in promoting growth of regional and state Mu Alpha Theta affiliate organizations. The exchange of ideas between chapters, the expansion of a student’s mathematical horizon while listening to talks by college mathematicians, the challenge found in talks by other students, all of these serve to generate enthusiasm and interest in mathematics and in the local chapters of Mu Alpha Theta.
The first regional meeting of Mu Alpha Theta was held in 1958 on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, and was organized by Josephine Andree. A regional meeting was considered to be one at which three or more chapters gathered to talk about mathematics; such meetings might involve students from several states or from only a section of one state.
In 1961, the chapters in the state of Louisiana formed the first state organization of Mu Alpha Theta. Since that time other states have added a state organization, including Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The structure of the state organization should emphasize student involvement in program planning and arrangements for meetings.
(Click here to view a a model constitution for a state organization.)
Schools wishing to start a state or regional Mu Alpha Theta organization should contact the National Office for approval of the state constitution and for permission to use “Mu Alpha Theta” in the title of that organization’s name. Rules for affiliates, are included in the National Constitution, which should also be reviewed. Governing Council approval is required by any group before “Mu Alpha Theta” may be used. State organizations are responsible for keeping the National Office updated, at least once a year, on their activities, officers, and any changes to their organizational or financial structure. Mu Alpha Theta does not provide financial oversight to state organizations and is not legally responsible for activities or liabilities incurred by state organizations. State organizations that collect dues are responsible for the proper use of all money collected to benefit their member schools, should have their own tax identification number from the IRS and file a yearly 990 tax form, when appropriate. Organizers are responsible for checking state and federal laws regarding educational organizations in their home state before beginning operation.
In order to help those planning regional or state meetings, the following list of suggestions has been prepared. Note in Item 8 that the National Office offers some financial assistance for such meetings.
(1) The date of the meeting, the site, and the sponsoring chapter (or chapters) should be established a year in advance. It is recommended that there be a letter from an appropriate school official confirming that the facilities are available. (Some colleges and universities will provide facilities without charge for such meetings. Most do charge, however.)
(2) A preliminary announcement should be sent to all chapters in the state or region and to the National Office. Current active chapters can be found by clicking on Find a Chapter. Schools without active chapters of Mu Alpha Theta may also be invited to attend, but you will have to rely on local or regional sources for mailing addresses.
This preliminary announcement should include:
- The date and site of the meeting
- An approximate time outline of events occurring during the meeting
- Announcement concerning preparation of student papers, if such papers are to be a part of the program
- Announcement concerning math competitions, if there will be some
- Information about housing, meals, and registration fees
(3) Please notify the National Office once the site and date of the meeting have been determined. Reimbursement of some expenses are available upon submission of information to the National Office. See (10) below.
(4) Advertise the meeting through state departments of education and through teacher groups such as those affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and our own newsletters. Press releases to area newspapers are also appropriate.
(5) After the date and site have been determined, details of the program should be completed, and there may be staff members in neighboring colleges and universities who will help with this. The program should feature talks by professional mathematicians and by students; usually speakers will not ask for honorariums, but travel reimbursement may be appropriate. There should also be mathematics competitions and social activities; Math competitions have become an especially popular feature of such programs. The following program format is offered as a typical one for a meeting that begins on Friday e vening and runs through Saturday.
Activities for Friday Evening
- General Session (This could include official greetings, a major mathematical talk, the introduction of state (or regional) officers, and introduction of candidates for office.)
- Topic Tests
- Social Event (Dance, mixer, etc.)
Activities for Saturday
- General Session (Mathematical talks)
- Math Bowl (or other types of competition such as a single examination)
- Chalk Talks by students on mathematical topics of interest
- Speaker Sessions (At these sessions, several scheduled at the same time, student papers, as well as talks by professional mathematicians, should be featured.)
- Luncheon (perhaps with a luncheon speaker)
- Business meeting, including election and installation of new officers, both adult and student
- Presentation of any awards or trophies At some time during the meeting, it should be arranged for sponsors (possibly together with one student from each chapter) to get together to discuss the present convention, the state (and regional) organization, and plans for future meetings.
(6) Copies of the final program should be mailed to all those who were sent preliminary announcements. Again request information on anticipated attendance (to help in planning) and it may be appropriate to set some deadlines for return of this information.
(7) If possible arrangements should be made for a display of mathematical models, puzzles, and books, including computer related materials. The National Office can supply (on consignment) pins, charms, buttons, patches, medallions, t-shirts and honor cords for sale at the convention.
(8) The National Office will provide financial support on the following basis: $50 total for the first three chapters in attendance, with an additional $10 for each additional chapter, up to a maximum of $150. As an illustration, if 18 chapters were represented at the convention, the meeting would qualify for the maximum $150. Payment will be forwarded upon receipt of information, after the event. (See Item 10 below.)
This financial support is intended for expenses such as postage, printing, speakers’ travel, etc., and not for entertainment, refreshments, etc., which should be covered by registration fees.
In addition, the National Office will reimburse travel expenses of up to $200 for a current member of the Governing Council to attend the meeting and make a presentation, when requested.
(9) Following the meeting, write thank-you notes to administration officials of the host school and to speakers and others who helped with the meeting.
(10) Send a report to the National Office in order to obtain the appropriate financial support. Include also a copy of the program for the meeting, the names and addresses of schools in attendance, the number of students from each school attending (if available), and a summary of how things went.