by Jaynellen Jenkins, Phi Beta (East Stroudsburg U), International Vice President
Behind the scenes in AOII it seems there are always preparations underway for our International Convention. For AOII Executive Board members this begins with hearing member input from the field. Let’s take a walk through some examples of how this is actualized through the process of developing amendments to our AOII Constitution and Bylaws that will be considered at the International Convention (IC) in June, 2021.
Immediately following IC 2019 there were three task force committees formed which addressed the topics of alumnae engagement, the board nomination process and collegiate member suspensions. These task forces were formed as a result of resolutions passed by the AOII International Council that June. Executive Board members served as liaisons to these task force groups and that work was lifted off in the Fall 2019. After months of collaboration, these task force committees presented the board with a series of recommendations in Spring 2020. These recommendations were then considered for bylaw amendments which were submitted to AOII’s Constitution, Interpretation, and Review Committee (CIRC) in October 2020. CIRC and the Executive Board then collaborate on potential edits to these submissions in preparation for the proposed amendments to be released to members of AOII International Council in a document titled The Call to Convention.
Are there other ways that our members have input into proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws? Absolutely! The Executive Board’s Membership Connection Committee hosts roundtable sessions and Fireside Chats with various stakeholder groups as a part of our responsibilities aligned with the Carver, Policy Governance model. These opportunities to hear our members voices inspire our vision for the Fraternity and often that means the Executive Board may make recommendations for proposed amendments too! AND… our Council members are also able to directly submit amendment proposals to CIRC. These proposed amendments were also reviewed and prepared to be presented to Council.
So, The Call to Convention is released (by April 15, 2021), and then, what’s next? AOII International Council members receive The Call, and inside they find event information, Executive Board and Foundation Board candidate information and the proposed amendments to AOII’s Constitution and Bylaws. Council members such as collegiate and alumnae chapter presidents have the responsibility to represent the input of their chapter when casting their votes during the meeting of Council at IC. Alumnae and collegiate chapters share the content of The Call at meetings in the spring to arrive at chapter consensus so presidents are well prepared to vote in June. Alumnae advisers and network volunteers are also a great resource when a chapter needs guidance or has questions about preparing for our International Convention.
There always seems to be an AOII ground swell in the weeks just before IC. Well experienced sisters and mentors enjoy sharing tips and pointers to our first time attendees. Unique this year, is that we will all share the first time experience of a virtual International Convention. Something we have learned during our virtual AOII experiences this year is that the quality of our overall experience is enhanced by collaboration and sharing during education sessions and breakout groups. Your engagement is truly valued every step of the way and we can’t wait to share it with you in June!