Bylaws Amendment

The Pennsylvania Board of Directors has reviewed a bylaw change amendment to restructure the officer team.  The amendment is properly formatted and will be presented to the voting delegates during Friday Night’s business meeting.  

In the current election system PA-TSA has established, it is recognized that many qualified candidates often miss the chance of becoming a state office; in offices in which multiple people are running, only one of these candidates can be elected. We can recall this occurring during the Presidential race at the 2011 National Conference in Texas – four extremely qualified candidates ran for the particular position: Pratyusha Gupta, Chip Bollendonk, Jason Drezehner, and Phil Hayes. Although only one would win in a typical scenario, there were no candidates running for the Treasurer or Sergeant-at-Arms positions, which allowed two of these individuals to hold offices besides that of presidency. With the hope of maximizing on qualified candidates, this system proved beneficial. With that in mind, the proposed PA-TSA bylaw amendment revolves around this one benefit – the primary goal is to elect the most qualified state officers. Along with this, the amendment will succeed in eliminating all officer titles besides that of President. This addition was designed to debunk the fallacy that one officer position is more important that another. Below, you will find a chart detailing each specific change made by the proposed bylaw amendment and the reason behind establishing it. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me at the State Conference! I will be more than happy discuss the proposed bylaw amendment with you.

Current Rule Proposed Change Reasoning
Delegates vote for each office individually and the newly elected State Officer team appoints two officers. Delegates will vote for a President candidate among the Presidential candidates but will then vote for the rest of the officers among an officer pool.  The newly elected State Officers will still appoint two officers. The President clearly has a unique role on the officer team while the rest of the team performs similar duties.  The appointment of two additional officers allows the team to fill any needs (such as knowledge of parliamentary procedure, ability to take minutes, take pictures, etc.) that the team may have.
Delegates may abstain from voting for whichever office they choose. Delegates will still be able to abstain from the Presidential pool as normal, but the rules for abstaining from the Officer pool will be different.  Delegates must either vote for 5 candidates from the Officer pool or no candidates from the officer pool. Voting for less than 5 candidates but not completely abstaining could create an unfair advantage.  For example, delegates from a school may decide to only vote from candidates from that school, which would benefit those candidates while hurting everyone else.
Candidates require a majority of votes to win and if no candidate receives a majority, the lowest vote getter is dropped from the ballot. The Presidential candidates will still need a majority of votes to win and if no candidate receives a majority, the lowest vote getter is dropped from the ballot and placed into the officer pool.  Then, the five highest vote getters from the officer pool will be elected. The President should be supported by at least a majority of the delegates and because the Presidential candidates are limited to three, there will not be more than one runoff.  By allowing the five highest vote getters from the officer pool to be elected, this allows the process to work smoothly and efficiently.
A Nomination Committee reviews all applications for running for a State Office. A Nomination Committee will, in addition to reviewing all applications, carefully examine all candidates running for President.  The committee will then select no more than 3 candidates for the office of President (although the committee may choose less than 5) and all other candidates will be put in the officer pool. This prevents everyone from running for President since they will be funneled into the officer pool if they lose anyway.  This will prevent candidates from clogging up the Presidential pool and dragging out the election process.
Each officer has a predetermined title. There will only be the title of President and 7 other State Officers. The titles have a certain connotation of rank and thus eliminating titles will help to prevent quarrelling and animosity over choosing titles.
Officer duties and responsibilities are predetermined by title. Elected officers will meet together, preferably at the State Conference, before the Bucknell Leadership Conference to distribute the various duties and responsibilities.  The State Officer Team Advisor must approve this list. The duties and responsibilities must be divided up before the Bucknell Conference so that no time for planning for the State Conference is lost and it is better for each team to meet and divvy up the duties instead of them being assigned because different people will have different skill sets.

Attached is the amendment resolution and how the amendment would “look” if approved.    Please contact Chris Lu, parliamentarian [at] patsa.org.

Attachments: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon res_13_bylaws.pdf71.75 KB
PDF icon bylaws_13_amend.pdf199.79 KB