The organization OSA has currently spread into 16 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 form the OSA Executive Council, which acts as a policy-making body.
Chapter Formation Procedure
Chapter formation procedure is described in Article VIII of OSA Constitution in following sections.
- To form a new chapter, a minimum of 15 families, with signatures of at least 20 local OSA members residing in the local community, must submit a written request to the Board of Governors through the Executive Committee. The decision of the Board shall be conveyed in writing.
- All members of the chapter should have a contact address within the defined geographical territory.
- Every Chapter should have a geographical territory as defined during its formation as approved by OSA BOG. That definition cannot overlap another existing chapter’s territory.
A petition to form a chapter must be made to the Secretary of OSA for approval by the Board of Governors at least two months prior to the targeted date of its establishment.
- The President of a chapter or an elected representative shall become a member of the OSA Board for a term of two years. A notification to that effect shall be submitted to the Secretary of OSA by the respective Board Members on or before the June 30th of the OSA election year. The chapter President or his representative to OSA Board must be a life member or patron or benefactor member (i.e., permanent member) of OSA in good standing.
- The President/Coordinator of a Chapter is eligible to continue on the Board for a second two-year term if reelected by the chapter, but no more than two consecutive two-year terms. A notification to that effect shall be submitted to the Secretary of OSA on or before the June 30th of the OSA election year.
- The President of a chapter shall provide a membership list of the chapter to the Secretary of OSA by June 15th of each year.
- When members move to a different local address by virtue of their job-relocation or other reasons, permanently, they should cease to be the member of the chapter.
Any donation and membership dues collected by a chapter in the name of OSA shall be deposited with the Treasurer of the OSA. A chapter shall, however, be free to raise its own membership fees and other donations for local activities.
All financial accounts owned by Chapters must reflect OSA EIN and all funds raised by Chapters shall follow OSA rules and IRS regulations. Chapter shall submit a copy of its annual financial statement to the Treasurer at the end of each fiscal year. Failure to report such transactions in time is subjected to expulsion from Chapter status. CanOSA will be exempted from this rule, however, CanOSA must report annual chapter financial report upon Treasurer’s request.
At anytime if the chapter falls short of 15 local families of OSA National in the vicinity of the chapter’s operating area, the chapter will stay under probation and the so called chapter president will lose the seat in the BOG until the member requirement is satisfied. The chapter can be reinstated with a fresh application with the signatures of 20 individual members and consent of 15 OSA member families.
A single person must not serve in the position of chapter president for more than 4 years in total in a span of 10 years.
All Chapter officials must be OSA permanent members with good standing and are subjected to the same standards as National executives.
A chapter must maintain the minimum requirement to remain as a chapter in good standing. The minimum requirements will be described in the chapter’s standard document.
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 15 chapters in USA and 1 chapter in Canada. To know more about a particular chapter, please follow the respective link. You can also get their contact information from the page on OSA Leadership.
|Chapter Name||Chapter Serving Area||Formation Year||Election Year/Month|
|Grand Canyon||Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico||2009||Odd/November|
|Maryland – Virginia||Maryland, Virginia||1995||Even/April|
|New England||Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire||NA||Odd/June|
|New York/New Jersey||New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania||1970 as OSANY 2005 as OSANYNJ||Odd/October|
|Ozark (central)||Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri||NA||Odd/June|
|Pacific Northwest||Oregon, Washington, British Columbia & Neighboring States||2011||Odd/June|
|South East||North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia||NA||NA|
|Southern||Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi. Alabama, Kentucky||NA||Even/March|
|South-West||Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma||NA||Odd/June|
|Washington, DC||Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, West Virginia||1984||Odd/October|