05 June 2011

The 2011 Stars And Stripes Malta Survey Results

The survey we mailed out to each and every member in March and April was an important occasion for SASM. Everyone who registers with us receives an email in which he or she is told that SASM is an organization by members for members. The survey asked you to voice your opinion on matters that we feel you should be involved in and response was very encouraging.

My first duty is to share with you the results of the 4 multiple choice compulsory questions and the optional comment listed as Question 5. The first 4 questions were of the multiple choice type while the 5th was an open ended comment box into which one could write whatever they wanted. Besides giving out the results, I have taken the liberty of adding my own thoughts at the end of each result.

Question 1: Should the annual SASM dinner be moved to the summer months rather than be held in winter?

Yes –  85.3%, No – 14.7%

Many of you recall that in Malta, winter peaked last February, specifically on the day when we were going to hold our first annual get-together event. It was so windy that ferry service between the islands was suspended. To make matters worse, half the committee members were in bed with the flu. Summer is the time when we enjoy nice weather, calm seas, long hours of daylight and the flu viruses are normally dormant, probably they are planning how to make us sick the following winter. Besides, the 4th of July take comes in summer and we can therefore combine SASM anniversary with this great day. Summer is also the time when our members who live abroad are more likely to visit their country of origin or country of their ancestors. This means that we stand a better chance of their meeting these people and getting to know them better.

Question 2: Would you attend SASM’s annual dinner if the event is held in:

Malta:  Yes – 41%, No – 22%, Don’t Know – 37%
Gozo: Yes – 41%, No – 15%, Don’t Know – 44%

The members of our association are split between Malta, Gozo and abroad. The result of this poll clearly indicates that almost half of SASM members will attend and event irrespective of which island the event is held on. Up to now all events organized by SASM have been located on the island of Gozo but, based on this information, we need to also include Malta in one of our annual meetings.

Question 3: Do you think SASM should include news items that originate from Maltese communities other than the USA?

Yes –  77.9%, No – 22.1%

Since March 2010 we have regularly included information about electronic publications by Maltese communities other than the USA. Up till now this has been unstructured and was never organized in a manner that ensures that you are consistently informed when a new issue comes out. Likewise, we normally did not carry news originating from communities outside the USA. Your input will change all of that. Over the next few weeks we will be implementing the necessary mechanisms to ensure that you remain up to date on all that is happening away from our shores.

Question 4: Should SASM’s statute be changed to officially include people of Maltese descent who do not live in the USA?

Yes –  30.9%, No – 69.1%

The majority of those who entered a voluntary comment under question 5 directed their comment at this point.

Question 5: Other comments / suggestions

The absolute majority of comments were directed to the fact that SASM is an organization with US roots and that this should remain status quo. More than one comment pointed out that Stars And Stripes refers to the US flag and not the flag of any other country.

Other comments complimented SASM’s committee for their hard work and dedication. We appreciate your kind comments.

If I could select a star comment it would be the following: “By knowing about activities taking place in Maltese communities outside the US, we can help our members to take up such initiatives if they are non-existent in the US-Maltese community. Furthermore, if such activities exist then they can liaison together to share knowledge or organize joint events.”  In my opinion it summarizes what SASM is all about.

Now it’s the committee’s time to act.

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