The goal of the Bylaws amendment passed by the HoD, a proposal from the Membership Communication and Coordination Committee, is to increase AAPG membership by encouraging all qualified geoscientists to join AAPG as described in our Strategic Plan.
The amendment came to the House as a result of a Resolution by the AAPG Executive Committee and was unanimously supported by the House of Delegates Leadership.
The amendment is straight-forward:
- Remove the term “Active” from “Active member.”
- Make “Emeritus” and “Honorary” member classes special designations of “Member” instead of separate classes.
There are no changes to dues policy, requirements or procedures for Honorary or Emeritus designations; they are simply now designations of the Member class instead of separate classes.
This is, in effect, an administrative change and has not diminished the status or prestige of “Honorary” or “Emeritus” designations.
The removing of “Active” from the class name minimizes any implication that the member is required to be an “active” participant in AAPG (serve on committees, chair sessions, volunteer at events, etc.)
Also, note that the Bylaws currently preclude Students and Associates from referring to themselves as members of AAPG (refer to Article 1 Sections 1 and 2 of the Bylaws).
The amendment’s Item 2 simplifies the AAPG classification scheme to three classes (Member, Student, Associate) from the current five classes (Active Member, Honorary, Emeritus, Student, Associate).
The amendment also brings additional benefits:
- It will allow the flexibility to include additional special designations of the Member class, such as “Certified” and “Young Professional,” if such recommendations are forthcoming in the future.
- It minimizes the perception that there is a hierarchy of member classes, which was an issue raised at the 2010 House meeting. Honorary, Emeritus and future designations are not inherently “better” or “lesser” than each other, and indeed an AAPG member might be the recipient of more than one such designation as they achieve certain distinctions.
The AAPG Membership Committee has brought forth several proposed changes over the past several years and the new Membership Simplification amendment is simply the next step in that ongoing process.
Previously the House of Delegates has approved Bylaws amendments establishing:
- Graduated dues.
- Change in the Active member experience requirement to one year.
- The “Student Bridge” option for reduced dues.
All of these changes have been aimed at achieving AAPG’s strategic goals and making the membership application process more welcoming and inclusive to qualified applicants.