The proposal to create a second class of membership failed by a whisker in the spring of 2017. The proposal to drop the degree requirement failed to win even a majority of those voting. As in years past, a very small per centage of members took the time to vote.
The spring 2017 ballot sent to all AAUW members includes three proposals related to the degree requirement for AAUW membership.
- Proposal 1 is a complex set of changes to add a new category of membership (called “advocate”) that would allow individuals without qualifying degrees to be part of AAUW but without the right to participate in the organization at the national level (voting, serving on the board or committees) or the right to serve either of the two required officers at the branch level. AAUW jettisoned what it used to call “associate members” in 1957.
- Proposal 2 is a simple statement that “An individual who pays annual dues to AAUW shall be eligible to be an individual Member” – doing away with any mention of a degree requirement.
- Proposal 3 is an edit to the placement and wording of the paragraph on appeals and refusal of membership to clarify that the final say on the approval of membership for both individual and college/university members rests with the AAUW board. This may seem unrelated, but we include it here to highlight that it is the barrier that would protect the organization from the “what if?” scenarios that were raised at the 2009 Convention when this issue was last debated. It is also related to the group’s decision to drop the “all who support our mission” language that was in the 2015 version of Proposal 2.
The Open Up AAUW group strongly supports passing Proposal 2 and Proposal 3.
- See www.aauw.org/resource/national-election/ for additional resources including the Voter Guide
- 2016 AAUW Bylaws
- Pages extracted from the Voter Guide dealing with Bylaws Proposals 1-3