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Friday, April 20, 2018

When You Read the Proposed Amendments ... .

When you read the proposed amendments, read them with this thought in mind: What is important about this proposal? Why would anybody think this proposed change is worthy? Should we keep the old or adopt the new?

For example, let’s consider the proposal to change the name of this organization. I have heard some say that changing our name will diminish our history, and that, I, Annie Webb Blanton, named this organization for a reason. That’s right; I did. The reason was that, to get the Society for women educators established, we were compelled to conform to the times. Women were suspect if they convened for reasons that were not primarily social. We HAD to have a Greek name so that we could actually meet and not have our jobs threatened. I say cultural attitudes have advanced, and so should we. Sentimentality is not a good reason to impede a name change; nor is the attitude that the past must be preserved.

Another example is the consideration of proposals that will affect how we are perceived both within and outside of our membership. We HAD to appear to be sorority-like with a song, pin, invitation, and initiation to protect our potential members from ill-intended scrutiny. We HAD to have the trappings of a social sorority even though we wanted primarily to foster the personal and professional—especially professional—growth of women educators. We don’t need all those social club trappings now because we are no longer criticized and threatened for belonging to a women’s professional organization.

There is nothing wrong with a college sorority that fulfills needs of young women at that stage of their lives. There’s nothing wrong with a unifying song or emblem or voting for members—but there is something wrong when we hang on to something that does not advance the cause of women educators. Social needs are not the same as professional needs, and professional needs are not the same as social needs. I encourage you to accept and to make changes that continue the evolution of this professional organization for women educators.
As you approach the convention and the voting on proposed amendments, I urge you to consider WHY a proposal has been made and HOW your vote will affect the sustainability of the Society. Voting on proposed amendments is somewhat like cleaning out your closet; if something no longer fits, is outdated, or is no longer needed, dispose of it and replace it with something that serves you better.

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