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MITNA General Meeting

Thu 04-Oct-200718:00-19:00


The annual MITNA General Meeting is held every fall to elect the new MITNA Officers and to discuss any new major events/additions/changes of the Pavilion.


  • Sailing Master update
  • Elections



MITNA Annual Meeting
Thursday, October 4th, 2007
beginning 6:20 after much pizza
Daniel Myers, vice commodore, acting commodore, presiding.
27 members in attendance.

1. Elections

Commodore: Daniel Myers nominated, seconded, accepted.  nominations closed.
white ballot.

Vice Commodore: Olivier Koch, seconded, accepted.  nominations closed.
white ballot.

Secretary: Gregory Marton, seconded, accepted.  nominations closed.
white ballot.

Treasurer: Federico Villalpando, seconded, reportedly accepted in absentia,
nominations closed.  white ballot.

Race Committee chair: John Pratt, seconded, accepted, nominations closed.
white ballot.

Members at Large (MaL)

   Education Committee chair: (qua MaL)
   Daniel: The Executive Committee proposes that one MaL be selected
     specifically to represent the on-the-river classes, with the
     responsibility to liaise between the dock staff and the classes.

   Melitta: it would be good to include blue-water under this member's
     responsibilities.  Back in the day, becoming a blue-water skipper
     included teaching classes on the river, among other similar ties.

   Henry: we've long had a race committee chairman, and having that
     advocate makes a sure good connection.  It seems to some of us that
     education is also a big part of the program, and would benefit from
     someone having a seat on the committee.

   Tom: will making this person be a member at large do what we want?

   Daniel: the next executive committee will have the option of creating a
     standing education committee, as there is a standing race committee.
     Until then, MaL is a good way to ensure that this person has voting
     privilege on the executive committee.

   Eric Gibber nominated, seconded, as this "education" member at large.

   Other successful nominations:
     Matt Wall, Melitta King, Dwight K. Brown, Alvar Saenz-Otero,
     Samantha Jane Scolamiero
   Failed nominations:
     Emanuela Giacometti -- did not accept

   Candidate statements:
     Eric -
          sailing here since 1983, ran many classes,
          education chair is a good idea
          classes running well, proud of everyone in the group
          make sure there's enough consistency
      covering all the things we want to cover?
      enough classes and types of classes?
     Matt Wall -
          interests in fast sailing, catamaran,
          blue water, nevermore,
          keen to set up a system for official coast guard certification
     Melitta -
       here since 1987
     classes have been working well:
       more volunteers in education than we have in the past
         interested in getting more volunteers to help with Wednesdays,
     getting a more advanced tech sailing class going,
       would like to try some intermediate classes
      would like to see the ratings come back, perhaps not in same form,
       but something useful.  some people are goal-driven and would like
       to be able to earn higher levels.  Would like to offer Fran a
      proposal to revise the ratings to bring them up-to-date.
     Dwight -
          sailing here since 1974, worked here since 1976
          not good at standing and giving speeches.
     Alvar - daniel on behalf, and eric, reading from emails.
          In discussion, some concern that Alvar may resign if elected -- at
          that point, Henry points out, the executive committee may appoint
          a new MaL. [2]
     Samantha - here since 1999
      learned in the Sunday morning classes
          looking forward to learning and contributing

   nominations closed.  There being six nominees for five positions, a
   secret, non-ranked ballot will be used as constitutionally prescribed,
   John Pratt and Daniel Myers counting.

   The new Members at Large include:
      Eric Gibber, Matt Wall, Melitta King, Alvar Saenz-Otero,
      Samantha Jane Scolamiero

2. Hatch Brown Service Award:
   Daniel: The executive committee nominates Alvar Saenz-Otero.

The Hatch Brown Service Award is a recognition from MITNA for exemplary
service to the pavilion.  This award should be regarded with awe! Those of
us who know and/or worked for Hatch Brown hold him in the highest regard. He
is someone who leads by example and a kind word.

He is a sailor, a teacher, a genuinely wonderful person who made the
Pavilion a place where people wanted to be and a place they wanted to be a
part of.  Hatch, by fine example, made people want to help others with their
sailing and learn more.

Hatch is now running race committee in Winthrop at Cottage Park. The year he
got a radio controlled boat - there were many sailors in Winthrop who went
out and got radio controlled boats as well. They wanted to have the chance
to race with and race against "The Hatch Brown".

This award is given (and it's NOT given every year) to someone who we think
gives to and loves the Pavilion as much as Hatch Brown.  This is a way to
show Alvar that we appreciate him as web master, his assistance with
moonlight sails, Rhodes 19 classes and as a nice person who we enjoy having
as a part of the Pavilion.

   nominations closed.  white ballot.

3.  Annual report

            Eric and Melitta on Education
17 classes - one or two fewer than we've had in previous years
979 people took the class --- 200 more than in any previous year

thanks to all the volunteers!  incredible volunteers.
Thanks to everyone who helped this year:

  Our hard-core regulars:
    Karen Wepsic (most dependable - only missed one class!),
    Bashar Zeitoon (lecturer extraordinaire),
    Henry Hall (all those sign-in slips in addition to helping out with
            anything and everything),
    Dwight Brown,
    Ryan Cleary,
    Emi Giacometti,
    Alvar Saenz-Otero (especially for creating and maintaining our nifty
                     new web-site pages).

  New recruits: Mark Avara, Steve Martin, Brian Kardon, Lissa Riley.

  And all the Sunday Dock Staff - even Robbie who hates dealing with envelopes!

Thank you all.

Melitta: Thanks also to the many Wednesday volunteers!

Ted Young, Tim Shepard, Steve Slivan, Karen Wepsic, Samantha Jane
Scolamiero, Julie Marie, Lelia King. Finally for Bashar Zeitoon and
Federico Villalpando and the others who were drafted into helping out
a few Wednesdays - Thank you for offering your sailing knowledge to
the new sailors.

I'd also like to thank the dock staff, especially Dwight Brown who
gets the classes started each Wednesday. Sam, Sarah and Robbie were
each helpful to myself and the volunteers on Wednesdays.  Thanks so

Eric: We tried to get feedback: evaluation forms were almost
uniformly, "fantastic, it's a great class".

Tom: do you have stats on how many people who come actually graduate?
Eric: no, it's hard to follow up.

Henry: many students come in large groups that appear to be more social in
    nature than sailing-oriented.  Large class size can affect the quality
    of the teaching, so we have to look at more than numbers.

Eric: we've had lots of discussion about that...
Tom: wasn't that worked out by cutting people off at 40?

Henry: there are students from other institutions advertising our class on
    the web, even when they have their own pavilion.

Fran: those students were turned away in favor of mit students. [see followup]

Melitta: Wednesday classes also very successful.  Many thanks to the
volunteers on Wednesday nights too.

                           John Pratt on Racing

      huge participation
      187 people racing
      full subscription every tuesday.
      that means 30+ boats sailing every tuesday

      thursdays we started slow again, just two people the first time,
      but even so, averaging more than 16 per week.

      started a new regatta in May, no trophy or entry fee, just sailing.
      lots of fun

      more women qualifiers than any other year.

                               Ted Young on Nevermore

      Fran procured a tartan 37...
      Fran: donated by Ralph Reis ('59) of Westport, CT, who learned
        to sail here and remembered this as the most fun place to be
        at MIT.

      Nevermore is currently moored off Rhodes Wharf at the Boston Harbor
        Sailing Club between Aquarium and South Station on Atlantic Ave.
      Still lots of work to be done.
      There's a wiki:
      Matt: There's a mailing list that those interested should join:
            There will be a new section on the website with schedules

      Wiki is serving to document stuff on the boat, other reference,
      Has an introductory guide for new sailors, what to expect, etc.
      Most active skippers are myself (Ted), Matt, and Tom, Samantha, Amy,

      Organizational meeting here at pavilion next Tuesday: 6-6:45pm

      ?: can the people who were on aleida be subscribed.
      no. people on aleida got subscription instructions

      Karen: how to tell more undergrads about aleida?

      Only students can recruit students.  grad students can sometimes
      recruit undergrads, but alumni can actively hurt.  when recruiting,
      alumni should almost just disappear.

Fran has some exciting news, off the record.

meeting adjourned at 7:20pm

[1] Followup by Franny:

Henry brought up the concern that Harvard Business School students are still
using our facility. This problem was addressed prior to Spring 2007 by
refusing to allow anyone who buys a monthly or seasonal or weekly pass from
athletics to use the sailing program. It is published as such in all of the
athletic department literature.

I think that if they continue to advertise our facility on their web site
then people will waste a trip over here. Our staff has been consistent on
making certain that only members of the MIT community can have access to our
rec sailing program and ensuring that racing membership excludes rec
sailing. All sailing cards are issued after an ID is checked and the same
policy is in place for participants in the MITNA lessons.

Harvard students have been directed to the Harvard sailing facility and if
they don't like the lack of access then they need to complain to their own
athletic director.

[2] Comments on Alvar's reservations about being a Member At Large in
    the current scheme:

Alvar has reservations that election to MAL is a reward for service, rather
than a mandate to accomplish goals set out at the time of election.

The MALs have often been people who have been connected to the pavilion for
many years. They usually stand up and talk about their affiliation with the
Pavilion and what they've done. It's no coincidence that many people are
MAL's several years running as they are people who know and love the
pavilion, the boats and the people. They love helping out and being a part
of the place. Some may help in lots of different areas, some are more
specialized. The focus however, is on the Pavilion and it's programs;
keeping them going and making them better. Some years we have a great and
motivated Commodore who plans meetings - other years the MALs quietly
continue to volunteer and give without any direction or support - but they
do continue and the classes and programs do too.

However, the award that is given as a reward is the Hatch Brown Service


Questions about this event should be directed to the organizer(s): MITNA Exec

Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46
Updated: 2014/05/04 19:06:46