We are SO EXCITED to reconnect with you in Houston, in March of 2023! We received and are currently reviewing over 130 submissions! Today’s note relates to the work our team is finally bringing to a close – Constitution and By-Law Changes.

Since at least 2018, the SWAM Executive Committee has been dealing with operational issues as a result of outdated and/or incomplete Constitution and By-Laws documents. In fact, as can be seen in the email labeled “Past President Epstein”, you can read clearly that the Constitution was recreated/drafted from remnant documents/other means. In addition, a similar By-Laws draft, which included some elements of the Constitution, was created in 2015. Both documents are available for your review.

So, since 2018, members of the past and current boards have continually chased around the notion of editing and codifying the Constitution and By-Laws documents to better staff and position SWAM to move into the future. At this time, we are ready to propose finalize our amendments. We leave the majority of the review to your careful and caring eyes, but we highlight some departures we feel compelled to be entirely transparent about:

  • Removing the requirement to affiliate with FBD.
  • Adjusting the titles and duties of officer positions.
  • Adding “director” positions to allow for more individuals to be involved with SWAM.
  • Adding additional appointed positions to allow for more individuals to be involved with SWAM.
  • Adding a FINANCE committee.
  • Expanding the Executive Committee.
  • Creating ONE class of members, not two.
  • Explicitly addressing quorum for meetings/committees.

Overall, these changes should position SWAM to be more transparent, accountable, visible, marketable, and strategic moving forward.

And, in the spirit of sharing, we invite comments and suggestions – as our volunteers have surely overlooked something – for a period of roughly 14 days. Following this time, the Executive Committee will collect, examine, and potentially implement substantive comments or suggestions. Following this, the new draft documents will be posted and made available for approximately 30 days, with the opening of an electronic vote for SWAM members (i.e., your 2022-2023 membership dues are paid in full) about halfway through the 30 day window, and closing at the end.

To become a dues paying member, please reach out to the Treasurer: Emily Hammer at ehammer@wtamu.edu. Arrangements can be made for electronic payment using Zelle or account transfer. You must be a current member in order to participate in the voting process.

Timeline below:

COMMENT PERIOD November 4 – November 17

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REVIEWS AND EDITS AS NEEDED November 18 through November 23. We added an additional survey and are closing it November 28 to allow for editing on November 29.

VOTING OPENS: November 30th – December 30th

Per the current Constitution and By-Laws Documents, these documents may be voted on and changed simultaneously. Hence, the Constitutional changes may be accepted by 2/3 vote IF 25% of members in good standing vote.

By-laws changes may be accepted if MAJORITY votes, where votes include any and all members in good standing voting (no minimum number).

We look forward to engaging you in this process, and in ensuring our organization is ready and able to continue accomplishing our mission. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thank you,

Ethan Waples, SWAM President 2022-2023