Shared Interest Groups
A Shared Interest Group (SIG) is a group of SOAR members who share a common interest and meet outside of the normal classroom environment to discuss and enjoy this pursuit. SIGs provide opportunities to expand lifelong learning, enhance social experiences, and form new friendships. They do not take the place of a formalized class but offer an informal environment in which to learn and share experiences.
Click on one of the links below to learn about existing SIGs at SOAR:
Other lifelong learning programs across the country offer Shared Interest Groups on a variety of subjects. Maybe you would like to organize or join one of these at SOAR:
- Apple Users Group
- Biking Group
- Bridge Players
- Chess Players
- Hiking Group
- Investment Discussion Analyst Group
- Ipad Users Group
- Lunch Bunch
- Mah Jongg Players
- Musician's Jam Session
- New Yorker Magazine Discussion Group
- PC Users Group
- Pinochle Players
- Play-Reading Club
- Poker Players
- Potluck Supper Club
- Spanish Conversation Group
- Stitch and Chat Club
- Solo Seniors
- Time Magazine Discussion Group
Forming New SIGs
New Shared Interest Groups form when a SOAR member volunteers to organize a group and several people express an interest in participating.
Click here for a copy of the New SIG Proposal Form.
Click here for a list of frequently-asked questions about SIGs.
Joining a SIG
A SOAR member can join as many SIGS as he or she chooses. To become a SIG member and be notified of scheduled meetings and activities, ask to be put on the SIG Coordinator’s mailing list. If a SIG has reached its membership limit, the coordinator will maintain a waiting list and will notify interested members when space is available. Newly forming SIGs will be announced in the “News” section of the SOAR homepage.
Launching a SIG
Approved SIGs will be announced on the SOAR website to assist the applicant in recruiting new members. The applicant is not obligated to be a SIG coordinator. Rather, he or she can call for a volunteer among prospective members. Once a viable number of people have expressed interest in forming a group, the SIG Chairperson will assist the applicant in organizing an initial meeting. The purpose of the initial meeting is to select a coordinator (if one has not volunteered) and decide upon the content and expected activities of the group. Once an initial meeting is held and the coordinator is selected, the group will be considered operational.
Click here for a Worksheet for Approved SIGs.
Click here for Guidelines for Approved SIGs.
Characteristics of a SIG
- Each SIG has a designated coordinator who is the liaison with the SOAR SIG Chairperson. The SIG Coordinator assumes specific responsibilities related to organizing and managing the group.
- SIGs are self-functioning and self-directed with members deciding where, when and how often they wish to meet as well as how they will function.
- SIGs do not have fees, except for incurred costs upon which group members agree.
- SIG membership depends upon an individual being a SOAR member in good standing. A SOAR member in good standing is defined as one who has attended classes during at least one of the two SOAR class terms in a year, or who has enrolled in one or both winter programs.