Questions about committees
What is a committee?
A committee is a subgroup within Caerus made by and for members with the aim of representing a specific field of interest to the association as well as to the wider world. This could be cooking, writing, socializing or organizing IntroWeek, and much more! Most committees hold regular events open for all Caerus members (and sometimes for the outside world too) in the form of dinners, parties, lectures, etc.
Do I need to be a Caerus member?
Yes, you do need to be a member of Caerus. The committees are all regulated by our Committee Affairs Officers, who sit on the Caerus Board. The Committees are sponsored and supported by Caerus, and make use of member-paid funding. This means it is only fair that the committees consist of Caerus members!
What does a committee look like?
The committees are made up of a board of 3 people, and usually 2-6 other members. The board includes a Chair, who is generally in charge and in contact with the Caerus Board. They set agenda meetings and try to guide the committees to the best of their efforts. The committee board also has a Secretary, who makes meeting minutes and takes care of communication and administration, generally speaking. Furthermore, a committee needs money to function and a person to manage this. This is the Treasurer, who takes care of committee finances and, for example, pricing to make sure the committee is financially healthy. However, it should be noted that the aim of a board is not to create hierarchy and a 'boss to answer to', but rather to create a sense of structure, with the more experienced and ambitious individuals spearheading the committee, and teaching and supporting the team.
How much time does a committee take?
A committee usually takes up around 3 hours a week. This includes 1 or 2 hours for a meeting, and you will usually get some tasks during the meeting which you need to fulfil during the week. However, this time is only an estimation, depending on the date, size and complicity of the event, this time can vary. But don’t worry about not having enough time to join a committee: luckily you are not alone, and people are usually understanding if you're busy every once in a while (everyone has exams!)
Why would I join a committee?
A committee will give you benefits in terms of skills you will learn or further develop! Think about organization, finances, communication, teamwork, promotion and much more. Besides that it looks great on your CV, and the skills you will gain, you will also be a part of a big group of friends (from different years). You will spend time together during events and meetings, and you might host dinners and parties together!
What if I decide I want to stop, or switch committees?
If you are really drowning in all your responsibilities, there is always a possibility to stop. However, this is also the responsibility of the whole committee. Make sure to keep close contact with your committee whether they can miss you (since they have to find new members as well), and remember: clearly communicating in advance is always better than suddenly dropping your committee. Switching between committees is unusual. People apply for a committee in the beginning of the year, followed by interviews. This also means that you should be relatively sure on what committee(s) you want to join.
How can I join a committee?
In the beginning of every academic year, committees promote themselves to find new members. You can then email the chair if you are interested. However, if you want to join later during the year, you can always ask them. Chances are much smaller, but it never hurts to ask if a committee is open for new members!
Can I grow within a committee?
Yes, you can! Especially if you have leadership or practical skills ambitions there are different positions to fulfil within a committee. If you want to learn first, you can be a regular member for the first year, but maybe be promoted to Chair the year after, or you get the responsibility over the entire committee's finances!
Can I join more than 1 committee?
Yes, you can join 2, if you would like. However, keep in mind if there a lot of applications, and others would like a spot as well. You might be suitable for 3 committees at once, but we need to make sure that everyone has a fair chance of joining a committee, and doing what suits them best.
Don't forget that joining a committee is not only very fun or a show of ambition, but also the perfect way to help you shape Caerus into your dream association!