Q1: What exactly is involved in the membership process?
Answer: The membership process can take up to 6 months to be complete.
1. The applicant must fill out the application, sign the code of ethics and send the application fee to the membership chair. The applicant must have 2 STCA members fill out the sponsorship form and send it to the membership chair.
2. All completed applications are published in the Bagpiper prior to being voted upon. The Bagpiper is quarterly with deadlines to the editor of 1/15, 4/15, 7/15 and 10/15.
3. Once the Bagpiper is in circulation (approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the deadline), the membership is given 8 weeks to provide information to the board regarding any applicant.
4. When the membership response period is over, the board votes on membership.
5. After the vote, the applicant will receive a letter from the corresponding secretary regarding membership.
Q2: Do I really need two STCA members to sponsor my application?
Answer: Yes. The STCA board can not personally know every applicant and the board relies on current STCA members to sponsor candidates worthy of membership.
Q3: What can I do if I do not know two STCA members to sponsor me?
Answer: There are many things that you can do to meet STCA members or be a part of a dog community if there are not STCA members close to you.
1. Attend functions sponsored by a regional STCA club. Contact information for regional clubs is on the STCA website. Becoming a member of a regional club will put you in the company of other Scotty owners and STCA members.
2. Attend functions sponsored by the STCA. The STCA sponsors two national shows a year with conformation, companion and performance events. You do not need to be a member to attend these functions.
3. Subscribe to the STCA quarterly publication "The Bagpiper". You do not need to be a member to subscribe to this magazine. It is a very good way to keep in touch with the Scotty world while you are waiting to become acquainted with STCA members. Subscription information is available on the STCA website.
4. Become a member of a local "all breed" dog club. This will put you in the company of other dog owners and allow you many opportunities to work with dog functions in your community such as club meetings, educational events, training classes and rescue work. You can find information on your local dog clubs by visiting the AKC website.
Q #4 When do I become eligible to receive a Bagpiper?
Answer: Your Bagpiper subscription comes with membership. You will receive the Bagpiper that is published after your acceptance to membership. If you are a subscriber to the Bagpiper prior to membership, the Bagpiper can be purchased by individual copies. Talk with the Bagpiper circulation manager about when to stop your subscription and purchase individual copies so that you do not get duplicate magazines. Contact information for the circulation manager can be found in the front of the Bagpiper or on the STCA website.
Q#5: What happens to my application if a sponsor should withdraw their sponsorship?
Answer: If a sponsor withdraws sponsorship, the applicant must obtain another sponsor in order to continue with the membership process. If the sponsor withdraws prior to the publication deadline (1/15, 4/15, 7/15 and 10/15), the applicant can still be published providing the new sponsor forms are to the membership chair prior to the deadline. If a sponsor withdraws after the deadline or when the Bagpiper is in circulation, then the application process stops. The applicant must obtain a second sponsor, be republished in the Bagpiper with the new sponsor, and the application process continues from that second publishing of applicant names.
Q# 6. What happens if my application receives negative input from the membership during the 8 week membership response time prior to the membership vote?
Answer: When an applicant has received negative feedback from an STCA member, the application is held for discussion and voting until the STCA board meets in person. All negative feedback must be in writing. The membership chair will inform the applicant of the nature of the complaint against their application and who is opposing their application. The applicant is allowed to respond to the complaint in writing to the STCA board. The applicant is allowed to have his/her sponsors and other STCA members write letters of support for the application to the board. Only written information will be considered. All letters of support, opposition and the applicant's application are read at the meeting. The board may choose to vote on membership after the review of the materials, or request further information and hold the vote until the next meeting. If an applicant is denied membership, the applicant must wait for one year to reapply. If an applicant is denied membership, the application fees are refunded.
Q# 7. I let my membership lapse! What do I do?
Answer: If your membership lapsed during the current dues cycle (Dues are due in December for the following year through Jan 31), you can do a reapplication process. This requires a reapplication form, code of ethics, 2 sponsor letters and only the dues for the current year. There is no application fee. There is no publishing time prior to the membership vote. Your completed reapplication is voted upon when the board votes on new member applicants. This must be completed before you miss a second dues cycle. If your membership has lapsed by more than one dues cycle, you need to start the membership process as a new member. All instructions are in the membership section on the STCA website.
FAQs from Members
Q# 1: Is there a limit to how many applicants I can sponsor in a year?
Answer: No limit.
Q # 2: My spouse / significant other / adult child in my home wants to join. What does it take to have a "family" membership?
Answer: Two adults living in the same home can be a "family" membership. However, if one adult is not a member, that adult cannot just be added onto the family membership at dues renewal. The second adult must apply for membership as a single member. Once accepted to membership, the membership can be converted to a "family" membership at the next dues cycle.
Q #3: How do I withdraw sponsorship of an applicant?
Answer: All communication regarding applicants must be in writing. If a situation has occurred and you no longer wish to sponsor an applicant, the membership chair must receive a letter from you anytime from the start of the application process to before the 8 week response time for members comes to an end. The board vote on membership is approximately 8 weeks after the Bagpiper is in general circulation. The applicant can only proceed with the application process if they obtain a second sponsor.
Q #4: How do I provide feedback on a membership applicant to the board?
Answer: All feedback to the board must be in writing. Negative feedback must show a violation of the code of ethics, denial of membership in an all breed club or regional club, or that the applicant is not in good standing with the AKC. Only those facts that can be substantiated will be considered. Feedback must be provided to the membership chair after the Bagpiper is in circulation and prior to the vote on membership. STCA members are allowed 8 weeks after the receipt of the Bagpiper to provide feedback on any published applicant. The applicant will be informed of the nature of any negative feedback and who provided that feedback. This will allow the applicant to provide a written response to the board if they desire. If an applicant has received negative feedback, the application will be held for review and voting at a board meeting.
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