TRSTY Elections

Everything TRSTY elections

What do I need to know about being on TRSTY Board?

TRSTY Board is a group of elected officers who commit to dedicating their time, energies, and talents to lead TRSTY, the Temple Rodef Shalom Youth Group. Serving on the Board is an honor, a responsibility, and a special opportunity to learn and practice leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. Board members serve as role models for general TRSTY members, Jr. TRSTY, TRSTY 56, Lil TRSTY members, Temple Rodef Shalom, and the greater Jewish community. For all these reasons, Board members pledge to work both independently and together in constructive, respectful, and creative ways to help make TRSTY a success for every member, including themselves.

What are the positions I can run for?

TRSTY Board is broken into two categories: Executive Board and the Cabinet.

  • TRSTY Executive Board (in gavel order): President, Junior Youth Group Vice President, Programming Vice President, Social Action Vice President, Religious and Cultural Vice President, Communications Vice President, and Membership Vice President.
  • TRSTY Cabinet (in gavel order): Junior Youth Group Chair, Programming Chair, Religious and Cultural Chair, 12th Grade Representative, 11th Grade Representative, 10th Grade Representative, and 9th Grade Representative.

What’s the difference between Executive Board and Cabinet?

Any TRSTY member who is entering 10th-12th grades may run for an Executive Board position. However, it is preferable that that Executive Board already have experience on TRSTY Board or in other leadership positions. Rising 9th graders may only run for Executive Board if no rising 10-12th graders are running for that position. Everyone is eligible to run for cabinet. Executive Board members are responsible for mentoring their Cabinet member(s) and being in frequent communication with them. In addition, being on Executive Board is a greater time commitment because Executive Board members generally take on more responsibilities.

What do I have to do as a Board Member?

  • Executive and Cabinet Board members are required to attend weekly meetings. These meetings will on Tuesdays from 7:20-8:30pm during the N’tivot program. During these meetings, we will conduct Board business, have group work time and learn various leadership skills.
  • All Board members are required to attend as many TRSTY events as possible. Any absence from an event is strongly discouraged and consistent absence at events is subject to a vote of no confidence.
  • All Board members are required to attend NFTY JELLO September 18-20, 2015 (a training weekend for all youth group boards in the area).
  • All Board members are required to attend at least one NFTY-MAR (North American Federation of Temple Youth-Mid Atlantic Region) Kallah each of his or her first two years on the Board. NFTY-MAR Kallot are an important part of leadership training and networking in our community as well as establishing a broader Jewish identity.
  • All Board members will participate in TRSTY Membership Initiatives. Reaching out to potential new members is an important part of every Board member’s job.
  • All Board members will be involved in the planning, development and execution of TRSTY events. Appropriate feedback from Board members is expected and encouraged.

What do I have to know about elections?

Elections are Sunday, May 31 from 9:30am until we have elected a 2015-2016 TRSTY Board. The length of time depends on how many candidates there are and how quickly we can get through speeches and voting. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Here are the steps to being on Board:

Before Election Day!

(1) You must submit a Letter of Intent and an Election Statement by Sunday, May 24 (1 week prior to elections). This is the first of many deadlines you will have as a Board member and the date is non-negotiable. You MUST turn in the letter and statement by May 24, no exceptions.

(a) Letter of Intent should detail the following: name, position for which you are running, any drop downs, qualifications, goals or ideas you have for the position, and previous experiences. Letters of intent will be made available to voters on the day of the elections, so make them creative and fun. You may include pictures, quotes and anything else that helps us get to know you. They may be up to 1 page in length.

(b) The Elections Statement is a form that lists the position you want to run for and up to two additional positions that you feel qualified to run for should you not be elected to your first choice position. This form must be signed by you and your parents. This also signifies that you’ve read the TRSTY

(2) Mark will contact you the week before elections to discuss your candidacy and offer help.

(3) Prepare a speech to deliver at elections. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to send a proof to Mark. Speeches for Executive Board candidates can be no longer than 5 minutes and speeches for Cabinet candidates can be no longer than 3 minutes. Dropdown speeches may be 1.5 minutes.

On Election Day!

(1) Show up on time. We have a lot to do! We’ll provide lunch.

(2) Position descriptions will be read before the candidates present their statements to voters.

(3) Candidates will read their speeches in gavel order starting with President. If there is more than one candidate for a position, candidates will give their speeches in alphabetical order by last name. When not giving their speech, the other candidates will be asked to leave the room.

a. In the event a candidate will not be available for elections, a formal excused request must be made in writing to Mark at least 7 days prior to the election. Mark must approve the request. The speech, which will include a reason for the absence from elections, will be read by the current TRSTY President.

(4) After all of the candidates for a position have given their speeches all candidates will go outside of the room and the voters (TRSTYites not running for that position) will vote by secret ballot. Mark and a graduating senior will count the ballots.

a. A simple majority of votes (50%) is needed to gain office; otherwise, a run-off election will be held. If no individual candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, then a run-off is held between the two candidates receiving the most votes. In a run-off election, the candidate with the most votes will win the election.

(5) Once the ballots are counted and a winner is determined, Mark will tell the candidates first and then the voters. The person who did not win the position may then drop down to another position, if they have listed drop downs on their Letter of Intent.

Can I campaign? What am I allowed to talk about before elections?

There is absolutely no campaigning. You may not give out stickers, candy or anything else that would give others the idea that you are “trading” their vote for some object. Campaigning also includes overt “advertising” such as writing notes on facebook walls. Any campaigning will make you ineligible to run for any Board position. If you have a question about if something may be considered campaigning, please contact Mark.

Election Day is your chance to share your ideas for TRSTY with the entire group. While it is okay to chat about these ideas with Mark or the Board member that currently holds the position you wish to run for, please do not widely share your ideas with TRSTYites before then. There will always be gossip and discussion of who is running for which position, but please try to avoid talking about this excessively and putting others down in the process. Hurtful gossip and rumor spreading is not the type of behavior that a leader should engage in. If any of this occurs, please talk to Mark immediately.

What is the Board Banquet?

The Board Banquet is a special dinner and evening of transition. It is an opportunity to welcome our new Board, honor our graduating Board members and look towards the future of TRSTY. This is a dress-up affair where we will take our official Board picture and everyone is encouraged to look their best. This event is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30-8:30pm.

What is the Board Retreat?

All Board members are required to participate in the annual TRSTY Board Retreat that will be held in spring of each year following elections. The date for this is still TBD. If an individual is absent from the retreat without prior notification, he or she may be subject to a vote of no confidence. This meeting is especially important for planning the 2015-2016 calendar and bonding as a Board. We are also looking for a location for this event. If you could volunteer your home, please let Mark know!

Dates at a Glance:

Sunday, May 24 ~ Letter of Intent and Election Statement due

Sunday, May 31 starting at 9:30am ~ Elections

Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30-8:30pm ~ Board Banquet

Still have questions? Contact Mark Gutman (Youth Director) at 703-532-2217 ext. 308 or