The Ask OLLI blog is a resource for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute administrators to facilitate discussion on a variety of topics related to the creation and management of OLLI institutes nationwide.

Entries to the blog are called "posts" and can only be submitted by blog editors. Please contact Anne Cardale at the OLLI National Resource Center if you have an article suggestion for the AskOLLI editors.

Each post has a "comment" section where blog subscribers can submit their own remarks and responses to the post. A subscriber must be logged in to comment on a post. A login link is available at the bottom of the right-hand column, as well as at the end of each posting page.

Although the Ask OLLI blog is publicly viewable, commenting is closed to non-subscribers. For more information on Ask OLLI, or if you wish to create a subscriber account please contact Anne Cardale.

Does your OLLI have a guest policy?

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Terry Aaronson, OLLI at Florida State University, Asks OLLI:

Specifically, does your OLLI have a policy that allows a member to  bring a guest to any one function, class, or activity a year?

13 Responses to “Does your OLLI have a guest policy?”

  1. Hi Terry. This is our guest policy. Feel free to call if you have any questions.

    Bringing guests age 50 and over to Osher is a lovely way to introduce them to our community. Members are encouraged to bring guests to Lunch and Learn Lectures. These lectures offer an opportunity to experience the more academic side of Osher while also meeting some members. There is no guest charge. Guests are welcome to sample Special Events and Interest Groups on a space available basis. Call the office four days
    before the event to RSVP for your guest. To reserve a space prior to that your guest may purchase a membership. Please be considerate and limit your guests to one sample per term. To attend multiple events or activities in one term
    your guest may purchase a membership. Guests are not permitted in classes and other activities for which there is a tuition charge. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances only with prior approval of the director.

  2. Terri - we have no firm policy; however, we do allow members to bring a ‘guest” to our Holiday Luncheon. Also, when space becomes available on our trips, we invite “family and friends” - just to round out the numbers. On the very rare occasion,a member may ask to invite a “potential” new member to attend a workshop, and if there is space, we allow it. Other than that, members only.
    Best regards, Janet McLean, Stony Brook University

  3. Terry,

    We do have a policy but I would say it’s not something that our council ever voted on or anything. It’s never been on our agenda and I like that.

    We like guests. They might come to a Lunch & Learn lecture or sit in one or two classes. This is a one-time thing.


  4. We don’t have a guest policy per se. We have built in ways for non-members to try us out: a back to school mixer each fall and a couple of free programs each semester. And, with prior OK from the Osher office, members may bring out of town guests to a class and course leaders may invite guests.

  5. OLLI at UNM coordinates a monthly lecture (subject, instructor, time, day of the week varies) free for Osher members. We encourage members to bring a friend as an opportunity to introduce them to the value of OLLI membership. If the friend joins, we give the member who invited them a voucher for a free class. This has worked well for us with many non-members registering for membership on site once they appreciate all we have to offer for a very reasonable membership fee.

  6. UNF OLLI has a policy that is managed through the office.

    We welcome guests to experience one class on a space available basis. Guests are usually brought in by a member already taking that class.

    We ask the member hosting the guest to speak to the instructor a few minutes prior to the class alerting them to the presence of a guest or guests.

    Our instructors are made aware of the policy at their instructor orientation program. Since they are volunteers who share their passions with our members I would be very surprised if we ever had an instructor decline a request to allow one-time visitors.

    In addition, we have weekly lecture programs that are free and open to the general public. The member introducing the speaker always pitches OLLI under the rubric “if you enjoy this program, we offer many more like it…”

  7. Hi Terry,

    We do have a guest policy. We have a free two-day guest pass that we offer to anyone over 50. In fact, we promote it. If someone seems ambivalent about joining, we suggest they try us out for two days. Fortunately, we are not desperate for new members. Therefore we don’t mind if people decide to pass on joining. Further, we find that this policy creates good will among potential members, not to mention that we’d rather people sign up with full cognizance of what they are getting themselves into.

  8. Hi Terry,
    Here is our “Guest Policy”Guest Policy – “Bringing guests to an OLLI class is a great
    way to introduce others to our program, and you are encouraged to do so. OLLI members must obtain a guest voucher 72-hours prior to the start of class by contacting the OLLI office. Guest vouchers are good for one (1) course meeting.
    After the first visit, guests must register and pay the course fee to continue to attend.”

    Hope this helps you,

  9. Each semester we encourage every member to bring a guest to one lecture or the Welcome Reception. (Hopefully they’re not bringing the same guest semester after semester!)

  10. #10 by: Kathleen Dorn

    We welcome guests at the University of Arkansas. They can come to any type of Study Group, Dine/Discover, Out & About, and Course for the duration of the time. After this first time they have to become a member. But, as said by the Director at Temple - we have just about ran out of room! ha

  11. OLLI@UGA allows paying guests, on a space-available basis. It is an excellent way to introduce people to OLLI.

  12. It looks like we are the only ones who require nearly everyone to become a member of some sort. For guests, or for folks only in town for a day or two, we have weekly memberships for only $20. This allows us to actually have the students in our system and collects a bit of revenue. They have full member benefits and can take up to 5 classes during the week of their membership. On some very unusual occasions, I will quietly allow someone into a class without the weekly membership, but I try to get nearly everyone to pay something. This took a little time for our students to understand and to get used to, but I simply explain all students must be in the system and the program needs the revenue to continue to opperate. And, lots of $20 memberships actually does add up to a significant part of our overall revenue that we used to not get. We encourage people to purchase all registrations in advance so the students are already listed on our class rosters which are checked carefully for each class meeting. We used to have a significant issue with people sneaking into classes, but not anymore.

  13. Our policy is aimed at attracting new members. Members can bring a guest to a lecture with permission of the instructor but only once for the same guest. Our new policy, intended to also raise money, is that the member pay for the guest ($15 - the same fee as for our 2 hour, stand alone lecture series) as “gift” to the guest. Too early to see how this is working, but there have been no complaints.

Leave a Reply…

You must be logged in to post a comment.