Institutional members – NOT

Proposed Article IV Membership and Dues

Section 1. Composition. Any individual or institution who supports the purpose and mission of AAUW may become a member of AAUW. The provisions set forth in this section are the sole requirement for admissibility to membership.

I’d delete the “or institution”. We’ve gone a long way to keeping it simple. Let’s do that!

I’d add a separate article that says that institutions may affiliate with AAUW (as “partners”? some other word?) and give the board the authority to define the terms of such an affiliation. [Businesses as well as educational institutions, etc.] But I’d remove institutions from any notion of “membership” except, perhaps, to say that a requirement of the affiliation is that the primary contact must be a member (in the ordinary, people, sense).

I’ve seen conflating institutions and people get us into hairy issues with how the data is stored on members. In my experience, C/U representatives¬† (the people) are the ones who can provide real benefit to the organization — through the branches, through their other contacts on campus, etc. — and we need to connect with them as people, not just through their institutional affiliation. For instance, it needs to be clear that C/U representatives can join branches — this gets less clear if it is “Mega State University” instead of “Professor Jane Doe” who is called the “member”.

8/18 update: Other open discussions are occurring on the web. No need to keep this “private”.

2 thoughts on “Institutional members – NOT

  1. Is this discussed anywhere else in the AAUW Universe?

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    Alone the reflection that we need to distinguish between a person who is a representative of an institutions communicating ‘as institution’ or merely airs her own personal opinion. And then if it is not clear how do we make it clear?

    And when it comes to decisions and the institutions representative votes with two voices, one as her institution and one with her own opinion?

    Or do we need a member to resign from her membership when she represents her institution?

    I also like your idea, giving the BOD authority to work on affiliates/partern policies and not have anything in the bylaws except “AAUW is for people. And only people can vote, decide”.

    It not an umbrella organization for various other Women’s organizations. The strength of AAUW are its people, will never be institutions.

    “People are the ends, no the means.”

  2. On your first question – I’m sure there are some state boards that are having lively discussions. The Indiana AAUW Facebook group has a thread, but no posts — so I didn’t see much point in creating a group for the discussions. The encouraged view of the “conversation” seems to go from the individuals through the form to the bylaws committee. [Ah, well.]

    But to the topic at hand, AAUW’s “tradition” is that delegates go to Convention “informed, but not instructed.” Carrying that over to the new model, as a voter on the floor of a meeting, I’d expect someone who is a member by way of having his/her dues paid by an institution and being named their rep, to vote first as an individual member. S/he may have all kinds of information, opinions, and constraints based on her employment – but I can’t see that her vote would have any additional weight. The institution can, of course, sign up 100 (1000?) members and amplify its voice. Is that bad?

    Is that along the lines of what you were thinking?

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