Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

This is my last article as your Delegates’ Voice editor for the 2013-14 House of Delegate’s “season,” and I appreciate the support I received from the entire delegates’ community. I especially would like to thank my committee, Chris Swezey, Sarah Stanley and Don Clarke. Also, I’d like to thank both Regina Gill and Susie Moore of AAPG staff for their help throughout the year. Of course, I want to thank both Larry Wickstrom and David Dolph for their leadership throughout the year. Lastly, I offer my support to incoming Secretary/ Editor of the HoD, Thomas Anderson. Thanks for stepping up and taking over the reins.

Dan A. Billman, Secretary-Editory 2013-14, House of Delegates
Dan A. Billman, Secretary-Editory 2013-14, House of Delegates

I bet you thought this article was going to be about the sponsorship issue. Nope, something much less controversial, I am assuming. There has been a suggestion by some to provide a remote system for attendance and voting at the annual HoD meetings. In essence, delegates would not need to physically attend the meeting, but could enjoy the meeting from their office or home. The more I think about this, the more it seems like a solution in search of a problem.

Can this be done? Certainly. But just because we can, does it mean we should? The technology exists. So, why not do it?

First, we tend to have pretty good attendance at the HoD meetings. The 2013 meeting in Pittsburgh was one of the lighter attended HoD meetings with 76 percent of the delegates attending. The Pittsburgh HoD meeting “suffered” from a less controversial agenda and a location that some didn’t think was “oilfield” enough. (Although I would argue that Pittsburgh is a key location in the “new” oilfield.) The 2014 meeting was very well attended, had the “advantage” of a hotly contended issue and it was in Houston. Attendance was 92 percent. Even at the more lightly attended meeting, we had approximately 25 percent over the needed quorum. This tells me two things: 1) The delegates take their jobs seriously and attend the HoD meetings. 2) The alternate system works.

Attendance of AAPG meetings is important. It is monetarily important to AAPG and the local societies sponsoring the meetings. More so, attendance by delegates is important so as to set the example of attending meetings … in person. As delegates, we are ambassadors. We are there to bring more members into the AAPG fold, to network with our junior, senior and contemporary colleagues. Networking is good for everyone’s development and the betterment of the society as a whole.

Lastly, as this seems to be a solution in search of a problem, it is a place where AAPG and the HoD just doesn’t need to spend the time and expense of setting up such a system.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

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