Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
The purpose of this document is to detail the procedures and policies of the ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. This document is intended as a supplement to the bylaws. Changes to the section’s bylaws must be discussed at an annual meeting, approved by a majority of the SREM Council, approved by the Committee on Sections and ASA Council, and approved by a majority of those voting in a vote submitted to all section members. Much of the section’s operations does not need this level of approval, and so this document is intended to establish practices to facilitate the section’s operations and transition of leadership.
This document may be changed by the SREM Chair and should be approved by a majority of the SREM Council. This document should be publicly available and posted on the section’s website.
SREM Leadership Positions and Responsibilities
The SREM leadership consists of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. All positions begin immediately after the annual meeting in August.
The Chair position is a 3 year commitment, with the first year as Chair-Elect, the second year as Chair, and the third year as Past-Chair. During all 3 of these years, the individual must be a member in good standing (i.e. dues paid) of ASA and the SREM Section and must commit to attending the annual meeting. The primary responsibilities of the SREM Chair are:
- being the primary representative and liaison of the SREM section to ASA;
- presiding at the SREM Council Meetings and at the SREM Business Meeting;
- chairing the Program Committee which develops sessions on racial and ethnic minorities at each annual ASA meeting, including a section reception;
- appointing one member to each award committee, as well as members or chairs of internal SREM Council committees when necessary;
- ensuring, at the beginning of their term, that non-elected positions are filled (newsletter editor(s), website administrator, social media administrator, and public engagement liaison);
- communicates with the Council throughout the year as needed by organizing conference calls or votes on issues arising;
- approving reimbursement requests, award checks or invoice payments, along with the Secretary/Treasurer.
The Chair-Elect will serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee (see below).
The Past-Chair will serve as Chair of the Mentoring Committee (see below). The Past-Chair will also complete the section’s Annual Report for ASA, typically in mid-November. This report focuses on the year of they served as Chair and provides information to ASA and section members on section governance, award winners, previous year finances, and reflections for the Committee on Sections and future section officers. The Past-Chair should be available to answer questions and provide guidance to the current Chair.
The Secretary-Treasurer position is a 3 year commitment. During all 3 of these years, the individual must be a member in good standing (i.e. dues paid) of ASA and the SREM Section and must commit to attending the annual meeting. The main tasks of the Secretary-Treasurer are to:
- prepare the annual section budget (in the Spring, send a copy of the SREM budget to the SRE journal editors and ask for any requests for adjustments. Finalize the budget and distribute to section leadership and Council before the SREM Business Meeting at the ASA annual meeting. The budget needs to be voted on and approved by Council);
- reconcile section financial records with ASA records, monthly upon receipt of the financial report from ASA;
- approve reimbursements to members for purchases on behalf of section, along with the chair, as needed;
- purchase award plaques for distribution at ASA business meeting, generally in July;
- make a report to the SREM Council, and to membership at SREM Business meeting, at the annual meeting in August;
- take minutes at the SREM Council Meeting at the annual meeting in August and distribute these to the section leadership;
- submit the SRE journal budget to the SREM Council for approval, upon receipt from the journal editors, and send the SRE journal budget, once approved by Council, to the ASA Director of Publications.
The Council Member position is a 2 year commitment. During both of these years, the individual must be a member in good standing (i.e. dues paid) of ASA and the SREM Section and must commit to attending the annual meeting. The main tasks of the Council Member are to: serve on at least one SREM committee per year, usually as Chair of that committee (see committee assignments below); be available to communicate with the section leadership and Council throughout the year, by email, conference calls, and to vote on any issues arising; attend the SREM Council Meeting at the ASA annual meeting. As matters arise, the Council may form subcommittees to address particular issues, and Council Members should be reasonably willing to serve on those committees or assist with other section issues that develop.
The Student Representative position is a 1 year commitment. During this term, the individual must be a member in good standing (i.e. dues paid) of ASA and the SREM Section and must commit to attending the annual meeting. The main responsibilities of the Student Representative are to: provide the SREM Council with guidance or insight on relevant issues for graduate students in the section; distribute the section announcements to the section members; be available to communicate with the section leadership and Council throughout the year, by email, conference calls, and to vote on any issues arising; and serve on one of the section’s committees (see below).
Committee assignments will be systematized to facilitate the composition of committees and to help people know what their commitments would be as they are considering running for an elected position in the section.
The Section Chair will serve as Chair of the Program Committee for the annual meeting that occurs within their term. They will suggest at least three other section members to serve on the committee, with an eye toward representing the diversity of the section membership. The Council will approve the committee’s membership.
The Chair-Elect will serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee. They will suggest at least two other section members to serve on the committee, with an eye toward representing the diversity of the section membership. The Council will approve the committee’s membership. In the following year when the Chair-Elect becomes the Section Chair, they will serve as a member of the Nominations Committee (but not Chairperson), providing continuity of membership from the previous year.
The Past-Chair will serve as Chair of the Mentoring Committee. They will suggest at least three other section members to serve on the committee, with an eye toward representing the diversity of the section membership. The Council will approve the committee’s membership.
The Graduate Student Representative will serve on the Joe Feagin Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award in odd-numbered years, when the award is offered. In even-numbered years, the Graduate Student Representative will serve on the Mentoring Committee.
Council Members will be assigned to a roster of committees based on where their surname falls alphabetically relative to the other Council Member elected in the same year. The Council Member whose surname comes first alphabetically will have the following committee assignments during their 3-year term on Council:
Year 1: Chair, James E. Blackwell Graduate Student Paper Award Committee
Year 2: Chair, Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award Committee
Year 3: Chair, Founder’s Award Committee
The Council Member whose surname comes second alphabetically will have the following committee assignments during their 3-year term on Council:
Year 1: Chair of either the Joe Feagin Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award Committee or the Distinguished Early Career Award Committee, whichever is offered that year
Year 2: Chair, Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award Committee
Year 3: Member, Founder’s Award Committee; and ex-officio member of the SREM Publications Committee.
The SREM Chair is responsible for appointing one member to each award committee. The Chair of the committee is responsible for assembling another 3-5 section members, representative of the membership base of SREM, to form the remainder of the committee.
See Figure 1 for the assignment of committees.
In any given year, if two Council Members find it mutually agreeable to swap committee assignments, they may do so with the permission of the Section Chair.
The book and article awards committees (Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award, James E. Blackwell Graduate Student Paper Award, and Joe Feagin Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award Committees) are generally organized by the committee chair so that submissions are reviewed in two rounds. In the first round, all submissions are assigned to be read and ranked by at least two committee members. For instance, committee members may rank their top 5 with a set of points (1st choice = 5 points, 2nd choice = 4 points, 3rd choice = 3 points, 4th choice = 2 points, 5th choice = 1 point). A set of finalists will be decided by the committee chair. For instance, the committee chair may choose to include all those assigned 5 points or more. The entire committee would then read all of the finalists, rank them, and have a discussion to decide on the winner.
The Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award, and Joe Feagin Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award Committees should select no more than two recipients: one winner and one honorable mention, or two co-winners.
Award winners will receive a plaque. Recipients of honorable mentions will receive a certificate.
Announcements for the section should be forwarded to SREMsociology@gmail.com. The SREM Chair should occasionally remind section members to send announcements to this address. They should also remind members that only job ads that are listed in the ASA Job Bank can be forwarded, so they should include the ASA Job Bank number with any job announcements.
The Graduate Student Representative will work with the Chair-Elect to organize postings for the listserv. They will organize the emails and prepare one email for the chair to send out weekly in September, and biweekly in October and going forward.
The Council should create guidelines for the section’s social media use, because it can be difficult for individuals to represent the entire section. These guidelines should consider the best practices established by other organizations or ASA sections with a strong social media presence.
Council Meeting at the Annual Meeting
The SREM Council will meet during the ASA annual meeting, preferably before the Business Meeting. During the SREM Council Meeting, the secretary/treasurer reports on the budget and the financial situation of the section; the Council hears reports from the Chair of the SREM Publications Committee, and from the editors of the section journal, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. The Council should also discuss and make suggestions for the following positions for the year:
- A newsletter editor who will edit Remarks;
- A website administrator, charged with editing and maintaining the SREM website
- A social media administrator, charged with editing and maintaining SREM’s social media sites including Facebook and twitter.
- A public engagement liaison, charged with working with the ASA Communications Department to provide information and advice about public-facing issues, and to expand contact between journalists, policy-makers and sociologists
- At least 3 members of a Program Committee
Following the meeting, the new SREM Chair (Chair-Elect at the meeting) should fill these positions, with the final approval of Council. The new SREM Chair should also appoint at least 3 section members to the Mentoring Committee.
Newly elected members of Council should attend the Council Meeting, even though their term does not officially begin until after the annual meeting. All Council Members, including members whose terms are coming to an end, should also attend the Council Meeting.
Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting
The SREM Business Meeting will take place during the ASA annual meeting and is open to all SREM members. The meeting is chaired by the current SREM Chair. During the SREM Business Meeting, the Secretary/treasurer reports on the budget and the financial situation of the section; the section hears updates from the Editor(s) of the section journal, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and the section’s awards are presented, typically by the Chairperson of the award committee or another member of the committee. If there are any proposed changes to the section bylaws, they should also be raised and discussed at the annual meeting. During the Business Meeting, the Chair typically also:
- Publicly thanks those members who are rotating off of Council or section positions, those who are continuing, and welcomes those who are newly elected;
- Announces the membership size of the section and how many sessions we will likely receive at the next annual meeting;
- Calls for volunteers for various committees and positions in the section and passes around sign-up sheets;
- Opens discussion for suggestions on session topics for the following annual meeting.
Following the meeting, either the Chair or the Chair-Elect should email all section members to solicit additional suggestions for session topics and volunteers for session positions, so that members who were not in attendance can also contribute.
Inability to Perform Responsibilities Due to Health or Family Circumstances
If a SREM Officer or Council Member believes they will be unable to perform their responsibilities due to health or family circumstances, they should discuss the situation with the (other) Section Officers as soon as possible. If possible, they should identify 2-3 other section members who would be willing to take over some or all of their responsibilities. If this is not possible, the Past Chair should develop a plan for one or more section members to assume the responsibilities. The Council should approve this plan.
Removal of a Section Officer or Council Member
Following the default policy recommended by the ASA Committee on Sections, any SREM Officer or Council Member may be removed from office by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Council. The vacancy should be filled by the Council for the unexpired portion of the term. This should involve dividing up the member’s responsibilities among the Council members or finding a section member volunteer to take over the office for the remainder of the term. If the Officer who is removed from office is part of a succession (e.g. Chair-Elect to Chair, or Chair to Past-Chair), the Council should decide whether the unexpired portion of the term will be defined as the remainder of the succession or the remainder of the current position.
Figure 1: SREM Committee Assignments
Chair, Program Cmte; Member, Nominations Cmte
Chair, Nominations Cmte
Chair, Mentoring Cmte
1st year on Council - 1st alphabetically
Chair, Blackwell Grad Student Paper Award Cmte
Chair, Cox Article Award Cmte
Chair, Founder's Award Cmte
1st year on Council - 2nd alphabetically
Chair, Feagin Undergrad Award Cmte / Distinguished Early Career Award (whichever offered that year)
Chair, Cox Book Award Cmte
Founder's Award Cmte;
Ex-Officio member on Pubs Cmte
2nd year on Council - 1st alphabetically
Chair, Cox Article Award Cmte
Chair, Founder's Award Cmte
2nd year on Council - 2nd alphabetically
Chair, Cox Book Award Cmte
Founder's Award Cmte
3rd year on Council - 1st alphabetically
Chair, Founder's Award Cmte
3rd year on Council - 2nd alphabetically
Founder's Award Cmte
Grad Student Rep
Feagin Undergrad Award Cmte / Mentoring Committee (in years Feagin Award not offered)