The Open Up AAUW Network was formed by a group of AAUW members for the purpose of making AAUW’s focus on equity the basis of membership eligibility, i.e. dropping the requirement that members have an associate or equivalent or higher degree. We grew from an informal network that worked on the bylaws change in 2005 that allowed AAUW to welcome members who had an associate or equivalent, but not a bachelor’s degree.
The AAUW Long Valley (ID) branch is serving as the group’s fiscal agent.
In 2010 (after the defeat of the question at the 2009 convention) we said our goals were:
- Get the AAUW board to take a strong stand in favor of support of the mission as the only requirement for membership.
- Assemble a large group of members who support this change.
- Assist the board with grass roots efforts to sell the change to those who currently feel the degree requirement is essential to AAUW’s identity and its mission.
In 2014, seeing that the board was not going to take a leadership role and that without their help any thought of experimenting with the requirement was impossible, we switched to a simple strategy of proposing a bylaws change that would drop the degree requirement. We are still committed to goal #2 and will work on grass roots lobbying through the 2015 election.
Until 2015 we asked for a minimum donation to “join” the network. The nominal amount of $5 was a way for us to confirm a commitment to our efforts. In the past we have used individual donations to pay for buttons, flyers, organizing phone calls, and more. If the 2015 effort fails, we expect that we will need additional fundraising, but that any campaign will be tied to a specific goal with a defined budget. If the 2015 effort succeeds, any funds remaining in our treasury will be donated to an AAUW entity.