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A Primer on the House of Delegates

Did you ever wonder what goes on Sunday mornings prior to the opening of every Annual Convention and Exhibition?

It is the annual meeting of AAPG’s House of Delegates.

OK, so what is the HOD?

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Did you ever wonder what goes on Sunday mornings prior to the opening of every Annual Convention and Exhibition?

It is the annual meeting of AAPG’s House of Delegates.

OK, so what is the HOD?

Is it some sort of clandestine group within the Association that holds exclusive “secret handshake” gatherings in the wee hours of a Sunday morning? Far from it! The HOD is made up of delegates from affiliated societies and international regions throughout the world who are selected by popular vote from within their respective areas. HOD delegates are the elected voice of the AAPG membership, and each delegate serves a three-year term. Alternates are also selected in the event that the elected delegates are unable to perform their duties. Delegates have two principal areas of responsibility to the Association: Association governance and issues involving membership.

The business for the annual meeting is open and freely available to all AAPG members, posted through dedicated emails to delegates and in the Delegates Voice. The DV is the official newsletter of the House and is published five to seven times per year. It contains critical information on issues that are pending for the annual meeting of the House. All members have access to the DV, and this year all members will again receive an email announcing new editions of the DV as they become available. I urge you to have a look at the most recent edition: aapg.org/publications/news/delegates-voice/current-issue

While elected delegates (or alternates) are the voting members of the House, any member can attend the annual meeting of the House as an observer. As a matter of fact, all Association members are encouraged to read the DV and attend the meeting so as to be better aware of the business of the House. We are all members of a scientific, professional organization and the documents that prescribe our governance are vital to the organization and health of the association.

I will be the first to admit that tending to issues of governance can be mind numbing. Like most public associations, however, we are guided by a Constitution and Bylaws and Rules and Procedures. For those interested these can be found at: aapg.to/HoDHandbook

As chair of the House I value that the various HOD committees, the Executive Committee and Advisory Council, as well as past AAPG leadership, regularly weigh-in with potential improvements to our guiding documents and principles.

As of this year, there will be a standing Membership Committee under the House that will address issues of member recruitment and retention. This is a fitting role for delegates, as they are the front-line contacts for our sections, regions and affiliated societies. This does not preclude, however, the participation of all members in these efforts. I encourage everyone to contact your delegates to this end, and to consider standing for a delegate position.

I encourage everyone to participate in two initiatives:

  • Ask Associate Members to advance their status to Member (the dues rates are the same), so they can become fully voting members of the Association.
  • Encourage your fellow Members to vote in Association elections. Currently we hover around 35-percent participation in elections. This number needs to increase for the Association to be truly inclusive and representative of our diversity.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the House leadership team with your perspectives:

We look forward to a productive year leading up to ACE in San Antonio!

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