Reforming the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association (SHSAA)

Effective May 2017, CSA is calling on all Stuyvesant alumni to withhold support from SHSAA, until further notice.

Our Mission

What We Seek to Achieve

In a word: Reform.

 

Until this year, 2017, we've only sought openness, transparency and accountability in the operations of the SHSAA. They are the IRS-designated organization that represents us, after all. 

35,000 of us. 


Now, after three years of gentle but persistent encouragement, we're calling for all Stuyvesant alumni to withhold support from SHSAA until meaningful changes are announced.

Our Concerns

SHSAA Operations are Problematic

  • Over one-third of the SHSAA budget — as far as can be gleaned from the meager reporting — goes to overhead rather than reaching students who need alumni support
  • The organization does not adhere to many of its own rules and procedures, and amends its governing By-Laws in a careless manner 
  • There is rarely open discussion at meetings of important issues facing the association, i.e. no Notice and Comment period was provided prior to the creation of the Endowment or the appointment of the Trustees 

Board Membership is a Closed Loop

  • New candidates for the Board are hand-picked by the current board
  • There are only as many candidates fielded as there are open seats, robbing alumni of a chance to have a meaningful election, and choice of representation
  • The broad base of Stuy alumni is denied an effective and efficient opportunity to participate on this self-perpetuating board

There is No Meaningful Transparency

  • The Board has ignored calls to provide alumni with regular information on the Association's finances; in 2015 and 2016 financial reports were not distributed to alumni attending the annual meeting
  • Directors seem to believe that providing a two year-old IRS document 990 fulfills their reporting obligation to their funders and their members; they  have consistently failed to make public audited financial statements
  • In general, the culture at SHSAA seems to value opacity over inclusion

The Atmosphere at SHSAA Precludes Positive Change

  • Board members who exercise their ‘duty of care’ responsibilities are bullied and cowed by the leadership 
  • Alumni — including donors, Class Wardens and even former Directors — who suggest improvements are treated as enemies rather than peers 
  • The Board has cultivated an atmosphere of mistrust whereby providing alumni with more information and more democracy is viewed as something to be avoided
  • The importance of quality reunion support is poorly understood, and reunions themselves are not treated as the organizational centers in the lives of many classes, old and young alike

What's Next?

Having politely and persistently suggested best practices to SHSAA, CSA has taken steps to inform the SHSAA's Board of the urgent need to implement a change in leadership.  During the Board's March 2017 public meeting, CSA notified members of its intention to announce a campaign to withhold and divert support should the appropriate confidence-building steps not be taken prior to the SHSAA's Annual General Meeting in May 2017.


As SHSAA has made no meaningful changes in its governance either before or since these events, CSA is now calling on all Stuyvesant alumni to withhold their support from SHSAA.


In recent communications with SHSAA's  Board of Directors, we have underscored our desire to avert such a move. We regret that, three years into the effort to seek meaningful improvements, the Board's failure to act leaves little alternative.

About Us

History of CSA

For three years a loose-knit group of Stuyvesant graduates has sought better governance from the organization that represents them. In particular, Concerned Stuyvesant Alumni (CSA) has pushed for more transparency and fair, representative and open elections to the Board. We have attended meetings, sent letters and emails, mounted petitions, and stood for office. We've spared no effort.  

Read more in Our History.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our FAQ page for additional details about CSA history’s and mission. If you have further questions, please contact us.

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Thank you, Concerned Stuyvesant Alumni