From the Secretary/Councilor, Resa Kelly, Spring 2013

Bylaw Changes  - They’re Back!
Once again we are revising the Division of Chemical Education’s bylaws, otherwise known as the rules that govern our Division. This is a fairly intense and lengthy process, and if I were really clever I would create a song and a cartoon like School House Rock’s “I’m just a bill” to explain it to you, but I’m not, so grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and read along as I provide my insight into the steps involved in changing our bylaws.

A common reason, although not the only reason, for a bylaw change begins when either five Division members or the members of the Executive Committee recognize that something is not quite right with an existing bylaw, thus inspiring them to make an official motion to amend the bylaw. The Executive Committee discusses the motion and votes on whether to approve it. If approved, the bylaw change goes to the secretary of the Division who makes the suggested edits then passes it right back to the Executive Committee for review. Assuming the changes are accepted, the bylaws then travel to the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Constitution and Bylaws where they are comprehensively examined. Their review takes about three months and the entire bylaw document is studied to make sure that all of the bylaws of the Division are consistent with those of the Society. The document is returned to the secretary with recommendations for changes, and the Executive Committee works to make the appropriate changes. This is where we currently are in the most recent request for bylaw changes. Once the Executive Committee reviews the bylaw changes during the ACS National meeting in New Orleans, and if there are no further changes, they will then be prepared for you (the members of the Division) to review during the fall election. You will be provided with an explanation of the bylaw amendments and asked to vote on whether you wish to accept or reject the amended bylaws. If you are curious, the existing bylaws may be viewed on the Division’s website via the following link (http://www.divched.org/content/bylaws).

Fall Election on the Horizon
If you are still awake after reading that last paragraph, you are doing well. In other news, there is preparation for the upcoming fall election. Nominations will be considered for the following positions: Chair-elect, secretary/councilor, member at large and councilor/alternate councilor.  You might be wondering, “How can I get nominated for a position?” A good place to start is by serving on one of the Division’s committees. If you are interested, try reviewing and selecting from the many committees that are outlined on the DivCHED website, then complete the nomination form available via the following link: (http://www.divched.org/content/nominations-ched-committees-elected-positions). 

Social Media
Administrative assistant, Heather Johnson, posts regular updates to the ACS Division of Chemical Education group on Facebook. This group page allows you to stay up on the latest happenings within the Division. I highly recommend that you friend/join this group. If blogs are more your style, and you are looking to keep up with youthful trendsetters, the Younger Chemistry Education Scholars (YCES) now have a blog that is updated twice per month with posts from members of the chemistry education community. The link for the blog can be found at http://www.divched.org/blogs/YCES, and YCES encourages you to share your comments, suggestions for blog posts, or questions about life (within the realm of Chemical Education Research) with them. Dr. Megan Grunert of Western Michigan University contributed a recent blog post that offers some excellent tips on networking.

Hope to see you soon in New Orleans, where I look forward to attending some great sessions, and when I’m not doing that I might just try to sneak some beignets away from Irv Levy at Café du Monde.

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