Save USC Alumni Clubs!
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Last week, the University of Southern California quietly announced it was DISBANDING ALL 45 DOMESTIC REGIONAL ALUMNI GROUPS. In its place, the university has established a centralized model that dismantles the hard work of community building by hundreds of alumni volunteers. These volunteers are the driving force that makes the Trojan Network possible in locations around the world — they organize game watches, networking mixers, and other activities for the Trojan family.
The decision by the USC Alumni Association to dissolve these regional alumni groups was a gross display of poor judgment and we need your help to stop them. SIGN THIS PETITION to #SaveUSCAlumniClubs!
USCAA’s decision effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of alumni from their local Trojan communities by creating an untested model of alumni engagement for which Alumni Relations leadership still have not provided any evidence- and research-based justification. Our alumni groups were left out of the process entirely and were only informed when the new program was announced. Our feedback was never sought. This egregious lack of transparency showed tremendous disrespect to the hardworking alumni who carry Trojan spirit to every corner of the country.
USCAA’s actions have violated its very own mission of alumni engagement and threatened the very existence of the Trojan Family we know and love. The USC alumni network, ranked #1 in the world by Bloomberg this year, is engaged and powerful due in part to the activities of our regional alumni groups. The strength of the Trojan Family is one of the key reasons why students attend USC and why alumni donate. Are they willing to risk financial support for a model that USC alumni don’t support?
SIGN THIS PETITION to let the school know that these regional groups are invaluable to the Trojan post-graduate experience and provide an unparalleled local community for USC grads lifelong and worldwide! #SaveUSCAlumniClubs
The school’s new system dismantles the Trojan Family in the following ways:
- Many regions will be left without organized local boards to plan and organize social and professional networking events.
- Existing regional groups must hand over all social media account logins, discontinue email distribution lists, and freeze bank accounts. Anyone wishing to host an alumni event CANNOT use the USC Alumni branding/logo/affiliation.
- Alumni are encouraged to sign up for the new online portal in order to access the event calendar, find nearby Trojans etc. While data collection through the new portal for fundraising purposes is a worthwhile task, community building and alumni networking are inherently based in human-to-human interaction and cannot be fully replaced by technology.
- The university will only approve and provide support for events they deem worthy. Approved events will then ONLY be marketed via Facebook group or the new online portal. Access to the portal is only given to alumni (who know their alumni ID numbers) and excludes friends and family who have been welcomed into the regional alumni clubs over the past several decades.
During a town hall call with regional group leadership and other alumni on June 23rd that was not widely advertised or shared, USC officials claimed they went on a “listening tour” seeking feedback on the new model. This was an outrageous claim as THEY DID NOT CONSULT ANY OF THE CLUBS PRIOR TO REVEALING THEIR FINAL DECISION. Over the course of the two hour call with nearly 400 alumni, school officials did not respond to our legitimate questions about the decision-making, diminished our concerns with condescending remarks, and made tone-deaf comments that emphasized they were not open to constructive feedback. The university’s claim that disbanding alumni groups will somehow increase alumni engagement is ludicrous and disrespectful to the hard work alumni leaders have put into organizing meaningful gatherings for Trojans everywhere. While social mixers and professional networking events may not directly raise funds for USC, these activities strengthen each of our bonds to and pride for our University, which in turn leads to donations. Unfortunately, the USCAA does not value this type of engagement.
We need YOUR VOICE to let USC know that we, the alumni, will not be silenced! These diverse, welcoming regional alumni groups have been embedded in local communities for decades and for the university to disband them is a major blow to the Trojan Family alumni network. We urge USC and the USC Alumni Association to reverse their decision and allow the regional alumni groups to continue with full university endorsement.
Please sign and share with every Trojan you know!
Thank You and Fight On,
USC Regional Alumni Group Leadership
If you wish to take further action, email the following people and let them know your thoughts:
Dr. Carol Folt | University President
Tracey L. Vranich | Interim Senior Vice President for University Advancement
Patrick E. Auerbach | Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations
Danielle Harvey Stinson | Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations
Pasha Hawthorne | Director, Regional and Engagement Programs
Dominique Mendoza | Manager, Alumni Affinity Programs
Faithe Clary | Manager, Regional and Engagement Programs
USC Alumni Association
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