Welcome to the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council (SEPTA YAC)! This is your “getting started” guide and should acquaint you with the membership process and how we function. If you have any questions, this should be your first stop as many questions can be answered in this guide.
What is the YAC?
The SEPTA Youth Advisory Council, commonly abbreviated as YAC, is the nation’s premiere transportation advocacy organization focused specifically on the 22-and-under demographic. Based in the Philadelphia area, the YAC was created by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in 2009 following a competitive regional search. Over the course of seven Operating Years, the YAC has greatly expanded its presence and role. It is in this capacity that the YAC focuses on achieving its dual mission of both advocating youth needs to SEPTA Leadership and representing those leaders to the youth community.
As of November 18, 2015, a transitionary period was established for prospective members. Individuals who submit an online application and meet basic qualifications will be invited to begin attending meetings as a qualifying individual.
At one’s first meeting, they are encouraged to observe our function and sit in on various subcommittees during team breakouts. Afterwards, the qualifying individual is encouraged to consider which area of the YAC would be the greatest fit for themselves.
At their second meeting, they are encouraged to sit in on a committee during team breakouts where they have the greatest interest in joining. Following attendance at their second meeting, the individual shall be permitted to register for a YAC slack account to begin working with YAC members on initiatives.
At the individual’s third meeting, they shall either continue on their previously selected subcommittee or they shall switch to a new subcommittee for a repeat of the second meeting for the purposes of the membership process. Following two consecutive prospective membership times sitting in on a subcommittee of one’s choosing, they can be considered for a transition to committee membership. Such a determination will be made following a review of the qualifying individual’s original application and an interview with at least one officer and the subcommittee team lead corresponding with the subcommittee the individual is interested in joining. Membership decisions will be made with regard to background, representation, demonstrated interest, apparent enthusiasm, membership qualifications, interview, application, and space considerations. Individuals may NOT identify themselves as YAC Members, in any capacity, prior to official confirmation.
The YAC’s Officers consist of an Executive Chair, Executive Vice-Chair, and a Secretary who are collectively responsible for the organization, administration, and strategy of the YAC. Various subcommittees exist to manage the YAC’s core initiatives and subcommittee team leads oversee the subcommittees.
Team leads meet weekly in a group with the Executive Chair to ensure alignment between and across day-to-day initiatives along with the YAC’s overall strategy.
Members on the YAC are officially dubbed “Committee Members” and comprise of the vast majority of individuals on the YAC. Individuals meeting the broad-scale YAC qualifications, but not yet confirmed as members, are known as “qualifying individuals.”
SEPTA also designates a liaison for the YAC to serve as a primary point-of-contact to inform the YAC of the appropriate individuals to bring YAC matters to SEPTA’s attention.
I need help!
- Check this document! — This guide is designed to answer many of the most common questions one might encounter regarding the YAC.
- Check the website! — Many answers to common questions, including meeting dates and locations, can be found on the YAC’s website (http://septayac.com).
- Check slack! — Recent updates and all YAC communication is handled through slack, not email. You can access slack at http://septayac.slack.com.
- Message Someone! — If you’ve looked in all of the above places and can’t find the information you need, send a message to your subcommittee team lead or a YAC officer.
- Call Jeff! — If you’ve exhausted all of the above options, including sending Jeff a private message in Slack, call Jeff using the contact info below.
Key People & Contact Info
NOTE: Email addresses are included here for reference should someone externally need an email address. Please do NOT email a YAC member as all communication should be handled through slack.
|Person||Title||Primary Phone||Cell Phone||Slack Username||When to Contact|
|Jeff Kessler||YAC Executive Chair||(321) 300–5333||(609) 417–5804||chair @septayac.com||@jeff||Ideas, thoughts, concerns, administration, press, help, advice, other stuff, etc.|
|Will Herzog||YAC Executive Vice-Chair, Student Fare (SF) Discount Program Subcommittee Team Lead||(708) 586–9455||(267) 844–3991||vicechair @septayac.com||@wherzo||Student Fare Discount Program|
|Minhee “Angela” Kang||YAC Secretary||(267) 475–8788||mkang@mail .usciences.edu||@mkang||YAC Organization, Records|
|Jacqueline Slaby||Outreach Events & Resources (OE&R) Subcommittee Team Lead||(269) 589–7242||jslaby@design .upenn.edu||@jslaby||Outreach Event Scheduling, Ideas for Outreach Program, Resource Creation|
|Ben Leidy||Social Media & Publicly (S&P) Subcommittee Team Lead||(267) 218–4344||b.t.leidy@ gmail.com||@bleidy||Social Media Accounts, Media Articles, Press, Publicity|
|Haven Thompson||Ride, Evaluate, Innovate (REI) Subcommittee Team Lead||(215) 908–9562||havenas1020 @gmail.com||@haventhompson||Routings, Service Plans, Service Improvement, Construction, Capital Improvement|
SEPTA Headquarters and Access
Most YAC organizational functions occur at the SEPTA Headquarters (nicknamed “1234” and pronounced “twelve-thirty-four”) located at 1234 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia.
During regular working hours (7am–6pm), simply walk to the elevator bank to access the elevators. After-hours, you will need to sign-in or sign-out at the front security desk. The first set of elevators serves floors 1–11 and is the primary elevator bank for YAC functions.
Once you reach your floor, you’ll need to get in. Access to all floors is by swipe access only (limited to current SEPTA employees and the YAC’s Officers). If you aren’t with anyone with swipe access, go to the 10th Floor doors by conference room 10A and dial extension 3715 from the phone to reach Deb Wooten. Tell her you’re a YAC member and who you’re there to see; she’ll buzz you in.
SEPTA’s Customer Service & Advocacy Division (“CS&A”) is located on the South side of 1234’s 10th Floor. After exiting the elevators, you’ll find one side has a reception desk with chairs — the CS&A side is located through the other set of doors. Once you’re inside, you’ll find Conference Room 10A (where many meetings occur) directly ahead. Turn left and make your second right to reach the CS&A division. CiCi’s office is immediately on the right and Deb Wooten is ahead at the desk on your left.
The YAC Office is located on the 9th Floor of 1234. After exiting the elevators, look for the side with illuminated signs hanging on an otherwise blank wall. Turn right through the doors, make your first left, your first left again, and the YAC Office is located at the third door on your right. Keys to cabinets and drawers are held by officers and select subcommittee team leads (as applicable).
YAC Plenary meetings occur once a month and serve as the convening of all YAC Members. Meetings include a portion containing all members and a breakout into subcommittees. All members unable to attend are expected to post their inability to attend on Slack prior to the meeting. Individuals attending through hangouts are to message their subcommittee team lead in advance such that arrangements can be made for hangouts during subcommittee team breakouts.
YAC Plenary Meetings typically occur during the third week of a month during the evening. However, meetings are scheduled sometimes as early as one month in advance, meaning this is merely an approximation and subject to change. Individuals unable to attend a meeting are advised to send their schedule for the following month such that their schedule’s considerations may be included when scheduling the following month’s meeting.
YAC Subcommittee Team meetings are run by subcommittee team leads and are conducted according to team policies. Ask your subcommittee team lead for more details.
YAC Members and all members of the public are invited to attend CAC meetings which regularly feature SEPTA Speakers. CAC plenary meetings occur on the 7th Floor of 1234 during the third Tuesday of every month and begin at 5:45pm.
Slack is the YAC’s internal home. All communication occurs through slack which is a combination of a social networking site and an internal organization website. Prospective members can set up their slack account following attendance at their second plenary meeting. Choose a short username such as your first name and last initial or last name and first initial. You are highly encouraged to install the slack app on your phone such that you can get mobile notifications and updates. You can also set your quiet hours when you don’t want to be notified, too.
Channels are essentially groups organized by YAC Category. Make sure you join the ones relevant to your subcommittee role!
- YAC Website
- YAC Documents Page (Contains Reports, Agendas, Meeting Recordings, etc.)
- YAC Bylaws
- 2016 Annual Operating Plan
- YAC Transit Resources Page
- Submit a Veritas Report Online
- Log a “YAC Rides SEPTA” Ride
- YAC Facebook Page
- YAC Twitter Page
- SEPTA Real Time Info
- Live Suburban Station Departures
- Live System Map
This guide last updated on February 4, 2016.
YAC Bylaws last updated November 18, 2015.