What Are These Votes About?
Delegates, as the supreme governing body, vote on bylaws amendments and resolutions. The resolutions, varying in topic, will be available during the convention within the app and on paper at the EIJ19 Registration Desk after 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Proposed bylaws amendments
Memo: SPJ and SPJ Foundation bylaws amendments [PDF]
Proposed amendments [PDF]
Prior to the annual conference
Chapter leaders must notify the national office who will be serving as chapter delegates. This is done by completing the online Delegate Verification Form. Chapter leaders are sent a link to the form by national headquarters.
Once selected, delegates are expected to be proactive in educating themselves on any topics to be discussed during the upcoming Excellence in Journalism Conference. This information will be supplied to you via email by national headquarters. In some years, there may be very little business to conduct, such as resolutions only. In other years, there may be more business.
Some chapters give their delegates the autonomy to vote as they see fit. Other chapters prefer their delegates cast a vote that is decided upon by chapter leadership. It is the delegates responsibility to determine what the chapter prefers.
Delegates MUST register as a regular conference attendee prior to arriving at the event.
During the annual conference
Delegates should report to the registration desk during open hours. There, they will be able to pick up their delegate materials. More instruction will be provided at this time.
Opening Business Meeting
Delegates will be asked to vote on proposed resolutions during the closing business meeting. Therefore, Delegates are expected to obtain a copy of the proposed resolutions prior to that meeting. It will be announced when and where those are available during the Opening Business Meeting.
Closing Business Meeting
Delegates are expected to arrive having read all documentation that will be discussed during the meeting. This may include resolutions, by-laws amendments, memos, etc.
New Delegates should plan to participate in a training session immediately preceding the closing business meeting.
Delegates MUST have their voting card in hand in order to vote.
Delegates MUST sit in a designated area of the meeting space. Any Delegate sitting outside of the designated area will not be counted. Also, Delegates from the same chapter must sit together.
After the annual conference
Delegates should report back to their chapter, explaining how they voted, the outcome of each vote and offer ways to make the delegate experience better from a chapter standpoint.
Delegates should contact the national office with any comments or suggestions regarding the delegate experience/process.
When you arrive at convention, head to the EIJ19 Registration Desk in the J-Expo to pick up your registration materials. In your registration envelope, youll find a DELEGATE ribbon for your name badge and a Voting Card, which shows the number of votes you are casting on behalf of your chapter.
DO NOT come to the meeting without your Voting Card and convention name badge. You will not be admitted to the Delegate Area without both. If you lose or forget your voting card you will not be assigned another card and will not be able to vote.
You will also receive a copy of the Delegate Handbook, which includes the Standing Rules of Convention and information about a Delegate Training Session. You should read it.
As an Alternate Delegate, your process at registration is the same as a Delegate except the ribbon in your envelope will say ALTERNATE and you will not receive a voting card.
A timeline of places to be
Opening Business Meeting
The SPJ opening business meeting will held on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Your attendance is not required but highly suggested so you have an overall understanding of what will be happening at the convention. In this meeting, candidates have the opportunity to address the convention. There will be no votes taken at this meeting.
The SPJ Regional Meetings will be held on Friday, Sept. 6 from 8-9 a.m. Again, these meetings are not mandatory, but highly recommended. You will definitely want to be around to listen and participate in conversations about what is happening in your region and discuss resolutions or other Society business. Check the EIJ19 App for your meeting location.
Pick Up Resolutions
Resolutions, what youre voting on during the Closing Business Meeting, will be available via the EIJ19 App (Closing Business Meeting in the Schedule view) or on paper beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7. If you need a paper copy, head to the EIJ19 Registration Desk.
Read the resolutions. Discuss them with other members of your chapter. Make notes on the paper. Just be ready and prepared before the meeting so you have the ability to vote with all the information.
Closing Business Meeting
The SPJ closing business meeting will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 2-4 p.m. Show up early. Dont forget your Voting Card and convention name badge.
Delegates are required to sit in a designated area as a group, so please enter through the door designated DELEGATES ONLY. Take your seat in front of the stanchions and sit with other voting delegates from your chapter.
Listen carefully as the process for voting is explained. When it is time to take a vote, you will raise your Voting Card up for the counters to see. Please hold it as still as possible and in view of the counters. Do not lower your card until instructed to do so. You may choose to abstain from a vote, meaning you choose to not cast a vote. In that case, do not raise your voting card.
How the meetings operate
SPJ business meetings are run on the principles set forth in Roberts Rules of Order. [PDF] During the meeting there may be some terms and procedures used you are not familiar with.
Here are some frequently used examples:
To Speak/Ask a Question: You must be recognized by the chair before speaking and must be at a microphone. All remarks should be directed to the chair.
Call the Question: You may hear this term used after a long debate on a given resolution. When someone calls the question they are asking the chair to call for a vote. When a call for the question is made, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate.
Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: "I would like to ask the (speaker) a question."
Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made.
Friendly Amendment: When an amendment is being debated someone may offer a friendly amendment. The chair will repeat the amendment and ask if there is any objection to the amendment; if not, the amendment will be adopted.
Should you need to leave the meeting before it concludes, please see an SPJ Staffer. If there is an alternate delegate for your chapter in the room, they will be allowed to take your seat on the voting floor. Or, if your chapter has another delegate on the floor you can assign your vote to them.
Five things to know
Be respectful. Differing opinions help shape this Society, but were all rowing in the same direction.
Show up. Early is on-time and on-time is late.
Listen carefully. Meetings sometimes move quickly, so its important to pay attention to everyone in the room other delegates, the chair, etc.
Represent your chapter. Remember that you are here to act as the voice of your chapter. Do your best to speak and act on the beliefs of the group, not your own.
Be prepared. Do anything and everything you can to be educated before the meeting. Read up on Roberts Rules of Order, thoroughly review and discuss resolutions and ask questions, if possible, before arriving.