NASPA Expands Voting Rights to All Members

I have been extremely critical of NASPA’s disenfranchisement of graduate student members, especially since that effectively negated the membership’s desire to merge with ACPA. So I was very happy to receive the following message in an e-mail from NASPA:

After a month-long voting period, the NASPA voting delegates overwhelmingly approved a proposal to revise the voting structure of the association to allow associate affiliates, graduate student affiliates, and emeritus affiliates the opportunity to vote in elections for the chair of the NASPA Board of Directors (previously NASPA President) and Regional Directors (previously Regional Vice Presidents).

“As a result of member feedback, the Board of Directors voted unanimously in May to submit this Bylaw Amendment to NASPA’s Voting Delegates,” said NASPA President Patricia Telles-Irvin. “I feel strongly that this was the right thing to do at this point in time, and I am so gratified that the Voting Delegates agreed and voted so overwhelmingly in favor of the change.”

“Graduate students, in particular, have been increasingly active within NASPA and have been its fastest growing membership type over the past year,” said NASPA Executive Director Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy. “I am particularly pleased to see the governance structure adapted to better recognize the contributions our members along the full spectrum of the student affairs career trajectory.”

The expanded voting rights will go into effect immediately with January’s ballots.

That this was necessary and that the organization denied full voting rights for over a quarter of its membership will remain stains on NASPA’s history. But it’s wonderful that the voting delegates have voted to remedy this injustice as we move forward. Well done, NASPA!

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