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2021 Elections: Referendum Items

Converting Appointed, Non-Voting Board Positions into Elected Positions (as of 2022 annual elections)

Proposal and Rationale

In the last few years, the Society for Classical Studies has taken a number of steps to address diversity in the composition of the board and to promote equity across the organization. While the Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating a diverse slate of election candidates with respect to race, gender, geographical location, and institution type, the Board has added three new appointed, non-voting positions to the SCS Board itself. In 2020, Victoria Pagán was appointed as Board Equity Advisor, a three-year position running until January 2023. In 2021, Del Maticic and Chiara Sulprizio were appointed as graduate student member-at-large and contingent faculty member-at-large respectively, with two-year terms running until January 2023. 

While all three board members have made and continue to make very important contributions to SCS, the board strongly recommends that all three positions be converted to elected director positions with full voting rights as of January 2023. This requires a member referendum in summer 2021 in which members will be asked to vote on whether each of the three positions should be converted to elected positions with voting rights on the board. Contingent on member approval, the positions would then be added to the election slate in summer 2022 with service of new elected directors beginning in January 2023. 

The proposal would increase the number of elected directors from 16 to 19.

Why is a Referendum Needed?

Our current bylaws place some limits on Bylaws changes that the Board itself is able to make without taking a member vote: “…the Board, by the affirmative vote of the majority thereof, may at any regular meeting, or, upon notice, at any special meeting, alter or amend these By-Laws except with respect to the election and powers of the Directors” (Bylaws #32). Bylaws changes to the methods of election and powers of the Directors do require the approval of the membership via a vote. Currently the SCS directors are elected in the following manner. Officers – Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Financial Trustees – are elected in run-off elections. Directors-at-large are elected via ranked choice voting with two directors-at-large elected every year from a slate of five candidates. The proposed Bylaws changes would add three elected directors – a graduate student director-at-large, contingent faculty director-at-large, and director with special responsibility for equity.

Process

The contingent faculty director and director with special responsibility for equity would serve terms of three years. Initially, the contingent faculty director would serve for two years so that that election would not, on an ongoing basis, fall in the same year as the director with special responsibility for equity. The graduate student director would serve a term of two years. 

In order to preserve ranked choice voting of directors, annual elections would have races for each new director position involving three candidates standing for one position. In addition, two directors-at-large would continue to be elected each year via ranked choice voting from a slate of five candidates. It is hoped that this combination of election methods and an increased number of directors will help to maintain and expand representational diversity with respect to rank, institution type, geographical location, gender, race, and ethnicity.

Timing

Summer 2022: elections for new graduate student director, contingent faculty director, and director with special responsibility for equity, and usual elections for two at-large directors.

January 2023: Five new elected candidates begin service. Graduate student serves two years, contingent faculty member serves two years initially (until January 2025), and director with special responsibility for equity serves three years (until 2026). Two directors-at-large begin service. Board increases in size to 19 elected members.

Summer 2023: Election for two directors-at-large.

January 2024: Two new directors-at-large begin service.

Summer 2024: Election for new contingent faculty director-at-large and new graduate student director-at-large. Election for two new directors-at-large.

January 2025: New contingent faculty director-at-large begins service, with term of three years, serving until January 2028. New graduate student director-at-large begins service with a term of two years, serving until January 2027.

Summer 2025: election for director with special responsibility for equity and election for two new directors-at-large.

January 2026: new director with special responsibility for equity begins service with term of three years, serving until January 2029. Two new directors-at-large begin service.

Detailed Bylaws and Regulations Changes

Please note that while referendum votes for each of the three elected positions appear separately on the ballot, the proposed changes are written to show changes required should all three positions be approved as elected positions by the membership. Click here to see proposed Bylaws and Regulations revisions.

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