The version of the AAUW NC bylaws that complies with the changes voted at the 2009 AAUW ceonvention in St. Louis has been posted:
This version includes only the changes mandated by AAUW. If you’d like a redlined version to see the specific changes from the previous version, please contact email@example.com or call 866/525-2155 and leave voice mail with how to contact you.
Proposed amendment defining who may vote
You can find the current discussion of the delegate system in Article XII, Section 2, paragraph a (page 7) of the bylaws above. The executive committee has approved a proposal to replace that with language from the AAUW model state bylaws, Article XI, Section 4, Option 2:
Each voting member in good standing as of the official notice of the meeting may attend and be entitled to one vote at any annual or special meeting of members.
The changes approved by AAUW give the states much more flexibility in their structure and governance. However, only one change is under consideration for presentation to the convention at the AAUW NC convention in April in Charlotte: a change that drops the system of having credentialed delegates to the convention and replaces that with a system where every member in good standing has one vote at any AAUW NC meeting.
This change is modeled after the national change that says that every member of AAUW (not just those who attend convention, and not just those who are delegates) will have a vote on all matters that come before the membership. This implies a mail or electronic ballot that the AAUW NC executive committee deemed was not appropriate for our organization. They thus chose the middle ground — dropping the delegate system in favor of a broader based electorate, but keeping the tradition of all business being transacted in person at the annual meeting of the state.
For the past few conventions, there have been very few members who have attended who have not had a vote at the meeting. However, some branches that bring larger than average delegations do have to pick and choose which members may actually vote. On the other hand, a close vote is exceedingly rare, and there is little enforcement that only those with “credentials” speak up on a voice vote. Simplifying the credential system by using a list of all members as of a certain date saves work for both the convention organizing committee and the branch presidents who now need to appoint the delegates and report them to the state. Indeed, we hope the presidents use that time to convince more members to attend and see first hand the work of AAUW NC.
Related amendment on the definition of a quorum
This change, if approved, will have an effect on the definition of a quorum for a state meeting. As you can see in the document above (Article XII, Section 2, paragraph c), currently a quorum at an AAUW NC meeting is defined as:
If a majority of the branches are represented by their President or at least one (1) other branch delegate, the meeting shall have a quorum.
If we drop the delegate system, the wording of this needs to be changed (say from “other branch delegate” to “other branch member”). The model bylaws, however, suggest changing this to
The quorum shall be ____ percent of the membership
and suggestions have been to fill that in with 5% (as in the national bylaws). [Recently 80-100 members have attended convention. AAUW NC membership has hovered around 1000 branch members.]
The executive committee (with guidance from the bylaws committee) has not yet announced proposed language for the quorum. It is likely, however, that it will include either a fraction of the branches, a percentage of the members, or both. If you have comments on this, please contact the Bylaws Chair, Elizabeth Laney (see the contacts page).
The executive committee will address this and propose specific language for the change to meet the requirement that all bylaws changes must be announced at least 30 days before the meeting.
What you really need to know:
- The 2010 annual meeting will use the delegate system outlined in the 2009 bylaws
- The 2010 annual meeting will consider a bylaws amendment to move towards giving every member at the meeting a vote (which would be effective at all future meetings). Exact language will be announced in late March and may be amended at the meeting.
- You can always find the bylaws, policies and other important documents on the Documents page of this web site.