Usually when we say there's a volunteer opportunity in Student Pugwash or the Rotblat Society, there are actually two such openings. We need people to volunteer to propose the projects and events that keep our organization vital—but the people who approve these events are themselves volunteers, all the way up to the Board that oversees the entire organization.
We've had staff in the past, and we may do so again in the future, but at this time we are choosing to experiment with an all-volunteer effort. We believe that an organization dedicated to student and young professional empowerment must leave as many positions as possible for young people to take real responsibility and power within the organization. Volunteer activity and leadership are necessary ingredients of Student Pugwash USA. Members of the Rotblat Society are invited to step forward to helm their own initiatives, but those projects by and for young people will always remain the heart of the organization.
Here's where leaders, and perhaps you personally, are needed:
- All of our projects and programs are run and overseen by committees, project teams, and working groups. When a project leader reports back on their status, it's usually to another committee that's been delegated oversight of that project by the Board. So not only do we need our membership to run programs, we need other members to develop the guidelines by which those programs will be called successful, and to work with many such programs to make them so.
- The grease that keeps the gears turning—and maintains our character as a vibrant decentralized organization—is our committee liaisons. Each committee working on a project has a Student Pugwash USA officer assigned to them—another volunteer—whose job it is to make sure that communications are maintained with other groups within the organization. If a committee is supposed to make a budget or progress report, the liaison reminds them. If a committee has internal political difficulties, the liaison is the person any committee member can turn to for support and help. And when it's time to network several committees together for some common goal, their liaisons coordinate the process.
- If some coordination is necessary beyond the committee structures, members are welcome to organize themselves into voting groups and quasigovernmental structures. We used to have a self-organized student government that ran programs in parallel with the Board. It's up to our students whether that happens again.
- We're required by law to have a "top" of the organization where the buck metaphorically stops, and that's the Board. There are various types of Board seats, depending upon your level of commitment. The way to join the Board, if you're interested: express that interest, preferably at such time as we know who you are because of something else you've done within or outside the organization. The Board elects its own members, and can make invitations to likely candidates—but you don't need to wait for that, if you're ready to take helm (and responsibility) for the organization as a whole. You're also welcome to nominate Pugwash colleagues who you think would be great for the job.
- There may be other opportunities for leadership roles in the Pugwash Movement outside of Student Pugwash USA—and that's up to them, not us. We'll keep you informed when those spots open up.