Procedures for Proposing a New Member
Members in good standing who wish to sponsor a candidate for membership should obtain a proposal form from the Membership Committee. The two members who will act as the candidate’s principal sponsors (the Proposer and the Second) should complete the form and submit it to the Committee, along with their own letters of recommendation and additional supporting letters from at least three other current members of the Club who are personally acquainted with the candidate. Members generally should not sponsor candidates unless they themselves (i.e., the would-be sponsors) have been members of the Club for at least three years. Moreover, no member should sponsor more than two candidates in any given year.
Candidates for membership must be acquainted with at least two members of the Membership Committee or the Club’s Board of Directors.
Only after the completed form and all letters are on file with the Membership Committee will a candidate be considered for membership. As a general rule, a new-member proposal must be completed and filed by September 30th in order to be considered before the following summer.
The Membership Committee will review all new member proposals as quickly as practicable. The Committee presents its recommendations to the Club’s Board of Directors at a meeting sometime during November, at which time the Board will make a preliminary determination of those who merit further consideration. These candidates will then be posted to the entire membership for comment, and the board will meet again sometime late February or early March for a final decision about new members to be elected for the coming season.
Please note that for so-called “legacy” candidates – those who participated formerly in Yacht Club activities as the sons or daughters of members, and who now are being proposed as regular members in their own right – no letters are required beyond those of the Proposer and Second. Nevertheless, sponsors of legacy candidates are encouraged to collect and submit seconding letters if they think the additional information provided by such letters would be helpful to the Membership Committee. Initiation fees are waived for legacy candidates who are elected prior to their 26th birthday; legacy candidates who are elected after they have turned 26, but before they are 30 pay ½ the standard initiation fee.
There are no specific eligibility criteria, nor any hard and fast rules about the number of openings in membership rolls. Nevertheless, because the Yacht Club is first and foremost a club whose activities are organized around sailing, a candidate for membership should be actively involved in the sport of sailing and/or related pursuits, and should have a keen interest in participating in the Club’s nautical activities. The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors can be expected to pay particular attention to the candidate’s sailing c.v. (i.e., sailing and/or racing experience, boat ownership, particular sailing accomplishments, etc.), as well as his or her character, reputation, social compatibility, involvement in the community, ties to current and former members, etc.
It is expected that sponsors will not propose candidates with whom they do not have close social relationships. Sponsors are asked to disclose any business relationships or connections they may have with their candidates, but acquaintance in a business context alone is regarded as insufficient to propose someone for membership.
Virtually all of the Yacht Club’s activities – all of its social events, regattas, regular series races, organizational needs, etc. – depend upon the willingness of members to volunteer their time and effort. In that connection, the Membership Committee encourages sponsors to provide information about the ways in which their candidates, if admitted, might be willing to volunteer (e.g., by assisting the Race Committee in running races, or the Rear Commodores with organizing social functions). That information will help new members get involved in Club activities, and will help the Club make use of those new members’ time and talents.
In view of all these factors, the Committee believes that sponsors have a responsibility to the Club and their fellow members to propose only persons whom they earnestly support and to whom they can give their unqualified endorsement. Before signing any proposal form and/or letter of recommendation, sponsors should satisfy themselves that the candidate and his or her family are qualified for membership and would be desirable members, and that admission would be in the best interests of the Club.
Any questions concerning the qualifications of a candidate for membership may be addressed to any member of the Membership Committee. Their names and contact information are set forth below. Questions concerning deadlines or procedures should be addressed to the Club’s membership chairman.
Samuel S. Mullin, Chairman
Susan J. Farrington
Timothy W. Fulham
John C. Kiley, III