Don’t let a handful of votes dictate the future direction of NCECA… If you are a member of NCECA, I urge you to exercise your rights and vote!
A vote to amend NCECA’s by-laws ends this Thursday. This bylaw amendment asks the membership to change the Secretary and Treasurer positions on the board from a membership elected to board appointed positions. A few short years ago, a bylaw amendment was passed by the membership to provide opportunities for all members to participate in the voting process whether or not they attend the annual membership conference. As a result critical issues and decisions can come before us via e-ballot.
Unfortunately, rather than increasing voter participation, the online election process has led to a reduction in the number of members who exercise their right to vote. Subsequently, fewer voting members have played their roles in determining the future direction of the organization. Unless we decide to shift this trend by Friday, a handful of votes will again make a critical decision for NCECA.
There have been eloquent arguments in support and against this by-law amendment. Everyone who has weighed in on this bylaw amendment cares deeply about NCECA. All of them respect and celebrate our organization’s commitment to the essential role of members’ self-governance. This is something we all should be proud of, as it is a reflection of what is great about our organization.
Robust voter participation is fundamental to a healthy NCECA and is not only a right but also a responsibility we all bear. The notion that “my vote doesn’t matter”, “I’m too busy”, or “it really makes no difference” fragments our organization. Member apathy has long-term implications that can eventually become detrimental. I understand that we are all busy, but one of the most influential ways we as members can engage our organization is to become well informed and vote.
NCECA has gone to great lengths to expand voting opportunities for members. Perhaps, low participation is a sign that the board needs to find multiple ways to make voting even more accessible. It is also incumbent upon all of us members to find the time to participate in the voting process and be heard. This is one ballot where your vote may truly decide the outcome and the future of NCECA.
On a side note, in the time it took to read this op-ed piece you would have been able to vote on this bylaw amendment.
For more info on the by-law amendment:
Shoji Satake is an Associate Professor and Ceramics Area Coordinator at West Virginia University. He is also a former Director-at-Large, Parliamentarian, and a Special Presidential Appointee to the Board of Directors of NCECA.
The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece do not necessarily reflect the views of NCECA or the NCECA Board of Directors