The organization OSA has currently spread into 17 regional Chapters, which operate as a social umbrella for different regions in USA and Canada. The chapters are local/regional Oriya groups consisting of OSA National members. The chapters arrange religious festivals, social get together, cultural events and participate in the cultural life of the local community as representatives of Oriya culture.
A particular chapter is delegated to host the convention of the year. The chapter chooses volunteers, leaders from its community to coordinate various tasks related to the convention. The chapters are administered by locally elected officials. The National Governing Body and the Presidents of the chapters from the OSA Executive Council, which acts as a policy-making body.
Chapter Formation Procedure
Chapter formation procedure is described in Article IX of OSA Constitution in following sections.
To form a new Local Chapter, at least fifteen (15) families in a particular geographical location, with each such family having at least one (1) OSA Life Member, Patron, or Benefactor, as defined in the Statement of Rights, must submit a written request to the Secretary for approval by the Governing Board. Such written request must be submitted at least two (2) months prior to the intended date of formation of the Local Chapter. The written request must accurately define the geographical territory to be represented by the Local Chapter.
A proposed Local Chapter’s territory may not overlap with that of an existing Local Chapter. OSA Members requesting formation of a new Local Chapter whose territory would overlap with that of an existing Local Chapter are encouraged to join the existing Local Chapter so that all OSA Members residing in that geographical territory may collectively pursue OSA’s underlying goals and benefit from OSA’s activities.
Should a proposed Local Chapter’s territory overlap with that of other existing Local Chapters, then those existing Local Chapters and the proposed Local Chapter must mutually agree to a redrawing of each Local Chapter’s respective geographical territory such that no overlap results after formation of the new Local Chapter.
The Governing Board’s decision on a written request to form a new Local Chapter shall be conveyed in writing no later than thirty (30) days from the date of receipt. Should a member of a Local Chapter permanently relocate to an address outside of that Local Chapter’s defined geographical territory for any reason, such member shall cease to be a member of that Local Chapter for purposes of meeting the requirements of this Section. If, at any time, a Local Chapter falls short of fifteen (15) families having at least one (1) OSA Life Member, Patron, or Benefactor, the Local Chapter shall be placed under probation by the Governing Board.
The Governing Board shall approve a model template of guidelines governing the local chapters’ operations, hereafter referred to as “Model Local Chapter Guidelines”. Upon formation, a Local Chapter shall have jurisdiction over all of its members. Each Local Chapter may have its own chapter guidelines. However, each Local Chapter’s guidelines shall in no way conflict with, or receive priority over, this Constitution and Bylaws or the Model Local Chapter Guidelines approved by the Governing Board.
As described in Article VI, Section 2 above, the President or other elected representative of each Local Chapter shall serve on the OSA Governing Board for a term of two years. It is the responsibility of the Local Chapter President to notify the OSA Secretary of the identity of the Governing Board representative from that Local Chapter within thirty (30) days after any election in that Local Chapter. As further set forth in Article VI, Section 2 above, the Local Chapter President is eligible to continue serving on the Governing Board for a second two-year term if re-elected by the Local Chapter, but may serve no more than two consecutive two-year terms on the Governing Board. In the event of re-election, it is the responsibility of the Local Chapter President to notify the OSA Secretary of such on or before the June 30th of the election year. Should a Local Chapter be placed under probation by the Governing Board, that Local Chapter’s President or other elected representative shall lose his or her seat on the Governing Board.
A single individual may not serve in the position of Local Chapter President for a total of more than four (4) years in a span of ten (10) years.
All Local Chapter officers, including the elected representative on the Governing Board, are subject to the same eligibility requirements as members of the OSA Executive Committee.
The Local Chapter President shall provide that Local Chapter’s current membership list to the Secretary of OSA by June 15th of each year. The Secretary of OSA shall periodically provide the Local Chapter President with the names of new Members who reside in the geographic area covered by the Local Chapter.
Any donation in the name of OSA and/or any OSA membership dues collected by a Local Chapter shall be forwarded to the Treasurer of OSA. A Local Chapter may solicit its own activity fees and other contributions for its activities and events.
All financial accounts owned by Local Chapters must reflect the OSA Employer Identification Number (EIN), and all funds raised by Local Chapters shall follow OSA’s rules as set forth in this Constitution and Bylaws, and IRS regulations. Each Local Chapter located in the United States shall submit a copy of its annual financial statement to the Treasurer of OSA by March 31st of each year. Failure to provide such financial statement in a timely manner may subject the Local Chapter to immediate probation.
Should a Local Chapter be placed under probation for any reason, the Governing Board shall provide in writing any terms and conditions necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiency and/or failures of the Local Chapter. Upon cure of such deficiency and/or failures, the Local Chapter shall be reinstated and the Local Chapter President, or other elected representative on the BOG, shall regain his or her seat on the Governing Board. For purposes of probation due to a member deficiency, the Local Chapter may be reinstated upon submission of a new written request meeting the requirements of Article IX, Section 1 above.
Chapter and OSA National Link
A Chapter President is a member of the OSA Board of Governors (BOG). Accordingly, the Chapter President participates in policy and decision making process of the organization. This is described in Article V of OSA constituion.
- OSA will have a Board of Governors (hereafter referred to as Board) to serve as the custodian of the Society. The Board will be responsible for making policy decisions to be implemented by the Executive Council (as defined below). The membership of the Board will consist of:
2. Vice President
5. Presidents/Coordinators of the various chapters formed with the approval of the Board.
6. Immediate Past President
- The President of OSA shall serve as the chairperson of the Board and the Secretary as the Secretary of the Board.
- The Board should meet at least twice every fiscal year. Each member of the Board must participate in at least one of the meetings.
- Fifty percent of the membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of its meetings.
- Approval by the board must carry at least a simple majority of votes of its membership, but at least a two thirds majority will be required to override the action of the Executive Council or dissolve the council.
- The Board will be responsible for the implementation of the policies in case of dissolution of the Executive Council.
- The tenure of continuous membership on the Board will be limited to a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms.
Under the same article under Section 7: Powers and functions of the Treasurer, it is stated that any amount over $500 on a single non-budgeted item must be approved by a majority of the Governing Board. The approval from the Governing Board will be sought through e-mail. In case of no response within two weeks from a Board member, it will be assumed that the particular member has approved the request. The same rule will apply for donations by various OSA members to charitable/educational/developmental organizations in Orissa.
Chapter Operation Procedure
When OSA was formed in 1969, four decades back and the chapters were formed within a few years of its existence, chapter formation procedure was very simple. There were no written rules, policy, agreement, signature and document requirement for the chapters. No endorsement of the President was recorded. Even if we are so many years of existence and many things are changed, chapters still operate by following their predecessors and sometimes many chapter presidents just do what they feel like doing. All chapters are encouraged to discuss with their members and come up with a chapter operation manual for their chapter. OSA BOG will also take the initiative to come up with a better chapter management program.
Chapter Membership versus OSA Membership
There are many confusions over chapter membership versus OSA National membership. While OSA National has its own fee structure and various membership categories, several chapters do have their own membership structure such as annual and life membership. OSA National membership is the eligibility of a person to be a chapter member. Although the same word “membership” creates confusion at times and thus there was a suggestion to use the word “chapter activity fee” instead of “chapter membership fee”, it should be fine to use “chapter membership fee”. It is up-to the chapters to decide how much and what type of membership fee they may charge. However, there should be some prudent way to distinguish a member of the chapter than a non-member. Only permanent members of OSA National and the respective chapter would be able to hold any positions in the chapter. However, the chapters may allow guests and decide on how they treat guests versus members for deciding event fee structure.
OSA Chapters in USA & Canada
There are 16 chapters in USA and 1 chapter in Canada.