Thomas Thomas

     The American Mensa Committee (AMC) meeting will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Elk Grove, IL at the Sheraton Suites Chicago. Most of the agenda is boilerplate (acceptance of quarterly reports, approval of minutes, reports from the Treasurer and Executive Director, etc.). There is one motion on the agenda at this time which I suspect will generate substantial discussion, both among the AMC and the membership in general, and that is to put forth a bylaws referendum to change the AMC Terms of Office from two years to three years starting in 2021. The primary reason for this is to align our elections with those of Mensa International, which already changed the Constitution in the most recent election to hold their elections on a three-year cycle. There are several advantages to this proposal, not least of which is to reduce the expense of elections by keeping them synchronized. If the membership approves this referendum, there will be two elections every six years, but if it is not approved, there would be four election years (American Mensa in 2023, 2035 and 2027, and Mensa International in 2024 and 2027). The projected average annual savings would be $5,000.

     Of course, if this motion passes, it wouldn’t change the terms of office automatically, but would put it up for a vote by the membership of American Mensa during the next election in 2021. Expect to see more details about this referendum in upcoming months.

     You will be able to find the agenda at Select the dropdown for the 2019-12-07 meeting. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns that you would like me to bring before the AMC.


     The 2019-2020 Mensa Scholarship program is underway, and essays are rolling in. The Mensa Foundation awards more than $140,000 annually in scholarships, and volunteering to be a scholarship judge is one way members can contribute to the first of Mensa’s purposes (“to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity”). Starting in December, Local Group Scholarship Chairs will begin to gather information on the submissions, though applicants will have until January 15 to submit their essays. They will need judges to assist in reading and scoring the essays, so let the Scholarship Chair for your local group know if you would be willing to help.


     I would like to thank Lisa Blair for spearheading Tampa Bay Mensa’s participation in the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading in at USF Saint Petersburg in November. The local group was recognized as a Community Exhibitor, presenting information about Mensa For Kids’ and their Excellence in Reading program, which in cooperation with the Library of Congress provides reading lists for youth, along with opportunities to earn certificates and t-shirts for their accomplishments. The program is open to all youth under 18 years of age, whether or not they are a member of Mensa.


Until next month (or until I see you online),

Thomas George Thomas


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