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MIT Undergrads Now Able To Serve on MITFCU Board

By Beckett W. Sterner

EDITOR IN CHIEF

For the first time in the history of the MIT Federal Credit Union, undergraduates now qualify to be elected to the Board of Directors of the bank.

The MITFCU Board of Directors will hold an election for three of its nine members next spring, although applicants must contact the board by Dec. 23.

Anyone over the age of 18 who has been a member of the credit union for more than two years at the time of the election, is not delinquent in debts, is not an employee of the MITFCU or serving on the board of any other depository organization, and is able to serve the full three year term can be a candidate. Since undergraduates could first become members of the FCU in early winter 2003, this is the first election when they may qualify to run.

All graduate students were able to join the credit union starting in March 2000, and students now form 22 percent of the credit union’s membership, said Vice President of Marketing Kimberly A. Shooter.

The Union was founded in 1940 to provide financial services for MIT employees, and held total assets of $156 million as of Dec. 31, 2003, according to its 2003 financial statement.

Board takes active governance role

The MITFCU directors comprise a “very active board [that] meets a lot,” said Board Treasurer John L. Matarese.

The credit union has “progressed a lot in the last five or ten years,” he said. “That didn’t happen by itself. It happened with a lot of involvement and planning.”

He said that any board member must be able to commit eight hours per month, including evening board meetings and attending and reporting on at least one financial conference annually.

A new board member must complete a volunteer education program and pass a competency test as well, he said. Also, after sending in the application, the current board will decide whether to nominate each applicant to be on the ballot for the election.

The responsibilities of the board include approving the budget, meeting once a month, going over reports, and generally “whatever the president of the credit union brings forward,” Matarese said.

Recently, the credit union has held elections by mailing ballots to each member with biographies and pictures of each candidate and what they hope to achieve. The ballots are sent to an independent firm, which reports the results at the annual board meeting in April.

Matarese said that only three people ran for the three open positions last year, although there were five candidates the previous year.

For application materials, e-mail john@matarese.com.