On Sept. 1, OUSA will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Laramie, WY, where we will conduct our annual vote for members of the Board of Directors. The Board plays an important role in ensuring that orienteering continues as a viable sport and enjoyable pastime for people in the U.S. Throughout the years, many people have stepped forward to donate their time as Board members, realizing that we are a sport run by volunteers and everyone’s efforts help make OUSA successful.
The role of a Board member is to help steer the direction of orienteering in the U.S. and to ensure we are taking all of the right steps in order to help us grow and be successful. In the past few years, this has included bringing our finances under control, making more funds available for investment in O’ projects, ongoing website redesign, offering mapping camps around the country, delivering a new option for no-fee NREs, continuing to provide a junior coach, and more.
I am excited for the upcoming years in orienteering. We are focusing on attracting more people into orienteering, especially kids, and it’s going to be a very creative time. I welcome everyone who would like to be part of the excitement!
The term of office for a Board member is three years. To be considered, you must have been a member of the Federation for at least one year, and must have been active in orienteering either by active involvement in a local club or by prominent Federation work such as committee membership, publications, etc. It is also expected that you will generally attend Board meetings, either in person or by teleconference. We schedule four Board meetings a year, always connected with a national event. If we have business to discuss between meetings, we arrange online meetings. We also communicate via email and BoardNet.
The duties of the Board of Directors are to set policy and provide guidance and strategic direction for the Federation. The Board also reviews and approves the strategic plan and annual operating plans, budgets, and other business plans. Other duties are to monitor the Federation’s compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and the performance of its responsibilities as the National Governing Body of orienteering in the United States.
The OUSA Nominating Committee, comprised of Peggy Dickison, Gavin Wyatt-Mair, Mary Jo Childs, and William Jameson, will announce the slate of candidates a few weeks before the AGM and will present the slate at the AGM. (Candidates can also be nominated from the floor at the AGM.) If you hear the clarion call to be an important member in determining the future of orienteering in the United States and you meet the qualifications, please contact William Jameson, Chairman of the Nominating Committee at email@example.com by July 15.
Not an OUSA member but interested since I reside in the US and therefore depend on OUSA and affiliated clubs for most of my orienteering opportunities. I see the circa 2014 bylaws are still current and it therefore continues to be the case that members at large can vote by proxy but members who declare a primary club cannot independently exercise their vote unless they attend the AGM in the flesh. Is everyone happy with this much less directly democratic than it could be situation? Admittedly, anyone who cares about exercising the vote that comes with their OUSA membership could simply choose to be a member at large so maybe this isn't a problem.
As I understand the sample ballot (distributed through ClubNet; I can post it on the OUSA website along with AGM agenda...check the Conventions page tomorrow), a club may split up votes as it deems fit, as long as it doesn't cast more votes than it has members for any one candidate. That means the club delegate/s can split votes among all nominees if it wants.
I read that as:
I'm the delegate, and if one or more of my club's members has given me specific directions as how to vote (in this year's case for directors), I will cast their vote as directed, and the remaining votes as I feel are in the best interests of my club (members not attending and not otherwise weighing in trust my judgment, in other words) if different from that club member's opinion.
My club has XX votes, and suppose a member has asked me to vote for nominees L,M,N,O but I plan to cast other votes for K.L,O,P. I can split the vote, reducing the votes for K&P by one in this example. This might get unwieldy for large clubs if they have a variety of opinions, but the credentials committee is prepared to do a complete vote tally as long as ballots are cast properly. The candidates receiving the four highest vote tallies will be seated as directors.
Reach out to your club's delegate. If you don't know who that is, email me (address in my profile) and I'll let you know. See the sample ballot for more.
Honoring specific voting directions from members being something clubs "may" do, i.e. optional - not quite the ironclad franchise that I would aspire to if I were a dues-paying OUSA member.
True, but the same can be said for any proxy vote. So the only way to be certain your vote is cast the way you want it to be is to attend the AGM and vote!
The policies of a club are up to the members of the club. To be honest, it's hard to imagine the delegates of a club telling a member that they won't honor his wishes.
As the policies of OUSA are up to the members of OUSA. If anyone has an idea on how to make voting more representative of every member, please put together a proposal and bring it to the Board. We are always open to ensuring our policies are as user-friendly as possible. It's something the Board can think of, as well. I know some ideas were tossed around after last year's AGM, but then other more pressing business took over the conversation.
Faithless proxies are obviously possible but not something I see any reason to believe is a significant problem. OTOH, my personal experience is of a club that makes no effort to inform the membership of how it intends to vote , nor to solicit member input. I don't know how it would react to a member requesting that their vote be cast a particar way - it may not have occurred in years AFAIK. I think this can largely be blamed on inertia going back to times when finding enough people to fill out the board was the issue rather than winnowing the candidates down to match the number of open seats - not much reason to consult the membership when OUSA board elections involved no suspense at all.
Anyway, I'd be happy if some club out there were willing to propose at the AGM that a vote by mail system or a functional equivalent using more modern technology be implemented, so the question could be put to a referendum (it's a bit mystifying that the bylaws provide for referendums on proposals introduced at the AGM but no similar mechanism for voting on everything known to be on the agenda in advance - any historian of OUSA out there care to explain the thinking behind that?). As a collateral benefit, mailed votes could be tallied before the AGM, which one hopes would make things a little less stressful for the vote counters and those interested in knowing the outcome promptly.
AFAIK, Jon's US club actively would *not* tell people who would be receiving votes in the last contested election, which seems very wrong to me. Maybe I'm not correct about that though.
I would think some kind of electronic voting might be possible for club members & At Large folks who would like to. Of course, that would require some creation of such a system, and I have no idea how difficult that is or if it is costly. So, perhaps just a good idea for the future ...