Osher Sigs                                      Revised 2014 03 18

A SIG (Special Interest Group)  is an informal community of Osher members with an interest in a specific area of knowledge, learning or technology. A SIG is a group of people who gather (either in person or electronically via a discussion group) in order to pursue and enjoy a shared interest. SIGs may be formed around a variety of activities including but not limited to those that have been formed to date. All members are encouraged to join an existing SIG, or to initiate the formation of a new SIG! 

Here are the official Osher SIG guidelines (as of 14Mar2014):

Establishing special interest groups (SIGs) was a recommendation of the 2012 Strategic Plan for Osher at RIT Steering Committee. Members began organizing SIGs in February 2013 in compliance with Osher bylaws Article II which states that we are a member-led organization whose primary focus is academic courses and programs.

A SIG is a group organized around a common interest, concern, experience, hobby or avocation shared by Osher members. The Osher Executive Committee and member council believe that SIGs provide the opportunity for Osher members to beneficially connect and collaborate with like-minded members to gain new knowledge, skills, and experiences.

1. The Osher Executive Committee and the Council encourage the formation of SIGs for the benefit of members.

2. All SIG members must be members of Osher.

3. There is no limit to the number of SIGs that can be formed. Council reserves the right to review and terminate a SIG whose content is inconsistent with Osherʼs goals.

4. SIGs are totally independent of Osher courses and programs. They are self directed and administered by SIG members. Osher members who form SIGs must assume full responsibility for directing and running the group.

5. SIGs cannot conflict with Osherʼs academic program and schedule and cannot meet while other Osher events are being held.

6. The meeting location will be determined by the SIG members and may be on or off the Osher campus.

7. There will be a SIG coordinator, designated by the Participation Chair, who will maintain the SIGs website <sites.google.com/site/oshersigs>, submit all articles to News and Events (the monthly newsletter), interact with the individual SIG contact person(s), and manage all Osher communications. Each SIG will designate a contact person(s) who will schedule SIG meetings being held at Osher, interact with the SIG coordinator, and communicate their SIGs activities to their members.

8. No Osher staff support will be provided for SIG activities other than to perform functions that cannot be done by a regular Osher member.

9. Osher will provide a SIG bulletin board for the display of SIG information which will be maintained by its members.

10. All meetings to be held at Osher will be scheduled in advance with Osher staff by the SIG contact person to ensure room availability and avoid conflicts.

11. CHANGE: If any travel is involved, an Osher travel release form is required for each trip.

12. A SIG will remain active as long as its members deem appropriate. 

Additional guidelines and procedures:

  • Creating a SIG: anyone who wants to create a SIG and is willing to serve as the SIG contact [at least initially] needs only to email jtosher@jt-mj.net (SIG coordinator) with the name of the SIG and a short description. This will be sufficient to register the SIG. Once that is done, it can be publicized so that interested members can get in touch with the SIG contact, who will then be able to set up an initial meeting.
  • Registered SIGs will have access to the monthly newsletter, and to the SIG bulletin board (located in the kitchen on the east wall). Please keep postings down to a reasonable size; 4x6 or 5.5x8.5 is suggested. Newsletter items will be collected and coordinated by the SIG coordinator (JT); the deadline is about a week before the end of each month.  There is usually one eBlast per week; I will consolidate submissions and initiate the eBlast 
  • SIG contacts are encouraged to set up a google or yahoo group mailing list for the members.
  • Note that if a SIG attracts more than around 40 members, room scheduling may get difficult unless meetings will be offsite. This is where a mailing list really becomes helpful, because SIG discussions can be conducted online, and everyone with internet access will be able to participate.
  • The SIG coordinator (JT) will  provide assistance as needed for SIG contacts who wish to set up a google group for SIG communications or submit meeting notices or other items for Osher communications.

If you are interested in an existing SIG, get in touch with its contact who will add you to the list for the SIG announcements.

If you want to form a SIG, please contact Julian Thomas - jtosher@jt-mj.net with a brief description and your contact information.

Being a SIG contact does not involve a lot of work. It will involve calling an initial meeting to agree on how the SIG will operate (meeting location and frequency; possible use of a google group for the SIG) and collecting the email addresses of interested members. Brief SIG meeting announcements can be included in the weekly announcements. I will maintain an email list of SIG contacts.

We invite your submissions! Please email them to jtosher@jt-mj.net

If you are interested in a particular topic, but unable to act as a SIG contact, please post a small note on the SIG bulletin board stating your interest and seeking someone who can act as the contact; ALSO email me - jtosher@jt-mj.net.