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Questions and Answers on Membership Issues, Activities and Events Management, Personal Privacy and Security

The standing policies of the Association, as illustrated in the below questions and answers, follow the "Articles of Association of 25 March 2001", the "Swiss Civil Code of 10 December 1907", the "Federal Law on Data Protection of 19 June 1992" and other relevant Swiss legislation.

What's the membership model of the Association?

It's very easy to understand and memorize: "You start your membership by applying, end your membership by resigning and fund your membership by paying dues."

Who can become a member of the Association?

Article 2, Section 1 of the Articles of Association state: "The Association shall be composed of Members. All graduates of the School in addition to current and former students and members of staff of the School can become Ordinary Members of the Association. Other persons may become Associate Members of the Association."

How can I become a member of the Association?

You join the Association by visiting its Web site, clicking on the red box labeled "Join" and following the instructions. Alternatively, you may file a white Membership Form.

When does my membership in the Association become effective?

You are a member of the Association from the date you successfully completed the Web-based 3-stage application process or from the date you postmarked your Membership Form. This follows Article 70, Section 1, of the Swiss Civil Code: "Members can be admitted at any time."

How do I resign as a member of the Association?

You give notice of your wish to resign as a member of the Association by writing to the e-mail address officers@slseaa.ch or to the postal address:
The Swiss LSE Alumni Association
CH-3000 Berne
Your resignation becomes effective at the end of the calendar year in which you give 6 months notice. The effective date of your resignation would be confirmed to you in writing. This follows Article 70, Section 2, of the Swiss Civil Code: "Resignations are lawfully permissible, if they are announced, observing a period of six months, at the end of a calendar year or, if an administrative period exists, at the end of such period."

Can I be expelled from the Association?

Yes, but only in very extreme situations. Article 2, Section 5, of the Articles of Association establishes: "No Member may be expelled from the Association except on refusal to pay debts owed to the Association." You only come into the crosshairs for explusions if you have a huge sum of unpaid dues. Members have resolved that a fellow member is deemed to have refused to pay debts owed to the Association if the balance of money owed as recorded in her/his membership dues account is above CHF 200 for more than 360 days. Please consult the "SLSEAA Expulsion Policy" for further information on the due process.

Why haven't I been receiving any notices from the Association for the last few months?

The Association dispatches all notices by e-mail, apart from the Membership Dues Account statements, which are sent by postal mail. If the e-mail address as recorded in the Membership Register becomes invalid, the Association will start to dispatch notices by postal mail. If postal mails are returned undeliverable, you will have cut yourself out of personal written communications from the Association. Hence, please keep your contact details current at all times and, when they change, update them for the Association immediately. You may also not receive e-mails from the Association if your e-mail gateway is wrongly configured and labels Association e-mails as spam. Please include our domain "slseaa.ch" in your White List to ensure that all e-mails from the Association are well received.

How much are the membership dues?

Article 2, Section 2, of the Articles of Association state: "Ordinary and Associate Members, but not Honorary Members, are required to pay annual dues of Swiss Franc 40." If you join the Association on or after 1 July, you pay SFr 20 for the first year of membership (SFr 20 is donated by all other members to you) and the regular dues of SFr 40 for subsequent years.

How do I pay my membership dues?

You settle your dues by making payments to our account with PostFinance. Please visit the Treasury for account details and further instructions.

Can membership dues be waived or cancelled by the Officers?

No, membership dues cannot be waived or cancelled as their payment is required by our Articles of Association.

Do I owe membership dues even if I claim to not have received any Membership Dues Account statements or our dues-related notices?

Yes, membership dues are owed as a statutory and legal obligation regardless of whether you have or have not received any specific communications.

How do I sign up for activities and events, and what needs to be observed if I do?

All activities and events sponsored by the Association require you to formally sign up if you want to participate or attend. You can do so over the Web or by calling the Lead Officer for the activity or event. Limited places are allocated on a "first come, first serve" basis respectively, whenever there is a charge, on a "first pay, first serve" basis. Any charges are payable by credit card in advance. Whether you finally do participate in an activity respectively do attend an event or not, if you signed up, you are under the obligation to pay any charges. There will be no refunds of charges by withdrawal. To benefit from the lower charges and the privileged access as a member of the Association, you have to be a member at the time of signing up for an activity or event.

Is the Swiss LSE Alumni Association (SLSEAA) a chapter of the worldwide LSE Alumni Association service based at the School?

No, the Swiss LSE Alumni Association (SLSEAA) is legally separate and independent from the School and its worldwide LSE Alumni Association service. The Swiss LSE Alumni Association (SLSEAA) is a national club incorporated under Swiss federal law in 1998 and is self-governed by its members.

What information is collected and stored automatically by the Association's Web server?

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the Web site, read pages or download information, the Web server will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. The server automatically collects and stores only the following information about your visit: The Internet domain or IP address from which you access the SLSEAA Web site, the type of browser and operating system used to access the SLSEAA site, the date and time you access the SLSEAA site, the pages you visit and, if you linked to the SLSEAA site from another Web site, the address of that Web site. The Association uses this information to help make its Web site more useful to visitors -- to learn about the number of visitors to the site and the types of technology visitors use.

What data on you does the Association collect?

The Association maintains several databases, holding - if you are a member, an alumna/us or a friend of the School living in or near Switzerland - salutation, first name, middle initial(s), last name, maiden name, gender, LSE degree, award and/or relationship information, e-mail address, street and supplementary address, postal code, city of residence, country of residence, phone number, professional affiliation, chosen privacy levels for specific data fields, "LSE Volunteer in Recruitment" and "Professional Mentorship Programme" information, membership status, member number, dates of joining, resigning and/or being expelled from the Association, information on the circumstances of resignations and expulsions, information on data maintenance actions, benefits subscription or use information, and the last modification date of your data record. In addition, the Association maintains for all current and former members an individual dues account within its financial accounts, holding information on the date, amount and accompanying description of dues charges, assessments and payments. Previously filed credit card information are stored in the archives of the Association.

Why does the Association collect data on you?

Your name, postal and e-mail addresses and phone number are collected for the purpose of getting in touch with you and for sending you invitations to events and other correspondence. Information on your LSE degrees, awards and/or relationship are used to establish your eligibility for ordinary membership in the Association. Announcing your professional affiliation welcomes alumni/ae and friends of the School also working within your organisation to get in touch with you. You instruct the Association, by choosing privacy levels for specific data fields, to keep specific data confidential and not to publish them. Your member number is useful for identifying you and your data record conclusively. Other data is collected to administer member services and benefits and to record important events during your membership.

What type of data can be kept confidential and, thus, not be published in any form whatsoever?

Both the paper-based membership forms and the Web-based membership facilities include for certain data fields a privacy level option. By selecting the option "Keep Confidential", you instruct the Association not to publish that data in any form whatsoever. No data is released to any third party. All credit card information is kept secret and only accessible to those Officers of the Association, who require such data to properly execute their duties.

Why isn't there an option to keep my name and LSE degree, award and/or relationship information confidential?

Your name and LSE degree, award and/or relationship information has already been and continues to be made public by the University, the School and other third parties in many forms. Even if the Association would itself keep this data confidential, it would still be publicly available.

How are my credit card details kept secret?

The Association does not receive, store or transmit any credit card details. When you pay by credit card within our Online Treasury, the credit card details are handled by Datatrans, the leading Swiss payment service provider. The data is transmitted in encrypted form from your computer to the Datatrans servers. In past years, the Association did receive credit card details, and these are now kept safe in lockable cabinets.

How can I instruct the Association to neither collect nor hold any data on me?

Of course, the Association will oblige readily to any such wish. Please put it in writing to the e-mail address officers@slseaa.ch or the postal address:
The Swiss LSE Alumni Association
CH-3000 Berne
You will receive a confirmation within 30 calendar days that data connected with you has been permanently deleted from our database. However, such instructions cannot be honored for data connected with current and former members of the Association or for data which, by law, has to be kept by the Association for a certain time period.

How can I be sure that data the Association holds on me is accurate?

The Association makes every reasonable effort to ensure that all data is accurate. You are entitled to request a transcript of your data record. The Association does not levy a charge for servicing such a request. The request, however, must be made in writing, enclosing a photocopy of a passport or other identification document, to the following address:
The Swiss LSE Alumni Association
CH-3000 Berne
A reply will follow within 30 calendar days.

Who has access to confidential data?

Only Officers of the Association have access to confidential data. Upon their election, Officers have obligated themselves not to divulge any such data to third persons, including Association members.

If I have a complaint or suggestion in regard to membership issues, activities and events management, personal privacy and security, whom do I address it to?

Please address your complaint or suggestion in writing to the e-mail address officers@slseaa.ch or the postal address:
Swiss LSE Alumni Association
CH-3000 Berne
A reply will follow within 30 calendar days.

The standing policies of the Association, as illustrated in these questions and answers, were adopted by the Officers of the Association on 24 July 1999, amended on 15 October 1999, 12 November 2000, 10 May 2001, 18 June 2001, 7 May 2014 and 21 May 2014 respectively amended by the General Meeting on 30 June 2013.

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