American Sociological Association

How to Form a New Section

The proposal to form a new section must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 200 current Association members. Signing the petition implies that members will pay dues for the section for two years. The petition form should include the following statement: "Signing this petition is a commitment to join and pay dues to the section for at least two years."

The proposal and petition for creation of a new section will be referred to the Committee on Sections for its review. Prior to making a recommendation to the ASA Council, the Committee on Sections will review the proposal to ensure that the proposed section represents a sub-field that has intellectual merit and that the vision for the section will benefit the profession. If the Committee on Sections approves the proposal, it will recommend to ASA Council that it be granted the status of section-in-formation. Council has the authority to approve or reject the proposal.  If Council approves the section-in-formation, the organizers will have two years from the beginning of the following membership year to recruit at least 300 members.

A section-in-formation will propose a set of By-Laws that will be sent to the Executive Office. The By-Laws must conform to the Constitution, By-Laws and policies of the Association. The Committee on Sections will review the proposed By-Laws and recommend action to ASA Council.  If a section-in-formation reaches 300 members and the Committee on Sections and ASA Council approve their By-Laws, the section will have achieved full section status.

To permit ASA members an opportunity to respond to the proposed section, the Executive Office will announce in Footnotes the proposal for a new section after its approval as a section-in-formation by the Committee on Sections and ASA Council. The proposal will be made available on the ASA Website.

Sections-in-formation are entitled to one organizing session at the ASA Annual Meeting to elect acting officers and to create a set of proposed Bylaws. Sections-in-Formation may have receptions, provided they have the resources. For on site receptions, Sections-in- Formation may be granted reception space on a space available basis. This may not conflict with requests from established Sections.

Sections-in-Formation may not grant awards.

Sections-in-formation which end the membership year on September 30th with 300 or members will be enter the next year as a full Section, with all rights and benefits granted by section status. Should a section not achieve full status by that time, it may still attempt to do so between October 15th and December 31st. A section that achieves recognition before the next calendar year would be allocated two full sessions at the next Annual Meeting. Please note that a section attempting this would be doing so at the start of the next membership year, and would start this process with 0 members, not the September 30th count.

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