Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the March meeting of the American Mensa Committee (AMC) was changed to a teleconference. Because I am writing this before the meeting, I do not have the results of the motions yet, but there were seven motions before the AMC. These include:
A. To remove ASIE 7, Item N (equity restoration) in its entirety. The original purpose of this ASIE was to pay back the equity that was spent on a lawsuit over a decade ago, but since this has had to be modified every year, it has not had the intended effect. Rather than continue to adjust the ASIE every year, it is being removed and any net asset increases will be moved to equity.
B. To appoint an Auditor. This is an annual motion that takes place during the March meeting together with the adoption of the annual budget.
C. To adopt the 2020-2021 budget. This is also an annual action.
D. To adopt the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. This is an action taken every five years. The new plan focuses on Outreach (for membership growth), Value (for member retention), and Diversification of Revenue Streams (to hold down dues).
E. Clarification of Official Local Group Meetings. Members have asked for more control of attendance at the meetings they host. While official meetings must be open to all members, the definition of an “official” meeting has been debated. This motion excludes Social events from the category of official meetings, even if included on the local group calendar or paid for, in part or in whole, by the Local Group.
F. Continuous Membership Lapse Repayments. This is the motion I wrote about in my column last month, and as expected, members have been vocal on both sides about this motion, along with disagreements about features within the motion (such as the charge for repayment of lapsed periods or the period of time allowed to be reclaimed).
G. Unabridged newsletters. This motion is to clarify what a local group is required to provide to the national office for their retention policies. In most cases it is not an issue, but some local groups have provided the national office with the minimum requirements while providing the members with significant differences between their print and electronic newsletters. This clarifies that the national office needs to be able to track what a local group communicates to its members for posterity and for future officers (such as my successor, whoever that may be).
The mini-minutes will be posted to https://www.us.mensa.org/lead/amc/meeting-reports/ within a few days after the meeting. Please let me know if you have any questions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all of our lives, including our social lives and the events we provide for our membership. Several local groups have canceled their March events and expect to cancel April’s events as well. Several Regional Gatherings (RGs) around the country have also been canceled or postponed. While decisions for events further out such as the Tampa Bay RG over Memorial Day weekend or the Annual Gathering in Kansas City in July have not been reached, the organizers are keeping informed with the health and safety of our members as a key focus. If there is an event you are interested in attending, it is advisable to contact the host to ensure that it is still happening to avoid disappointment on both sides.
Until next month (or until I see you online),
Thomas George Thomas