MESA - Middle East Studies Association

Update on 2016 Proposal to Amend Bylaws

For Immediate Release:  November 18, 2016         
Contact:  Geoffrey Knox at 917-414-1749 or

Members at Annual Meeting of Middle East Studies Association
Move Proposal to Amend Bylaws Forward for Full Membership Vote

Members attending the 2016 Members Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) voted to move forward a proposed resolution to amend the organization’s bylaws for consideration by the entire MESA membership in 2017.
Full Members eligible to vote cast 304 ballots, with 247 voting for moving the resolution forward and 57 voting against. MESA’s bylaws require a simple majority vote at the Members Meeting to move a resolution forward for consideration by all members.

The entire MESA membership will now consider and vote on the resolution by ballot in early 2017. For amendments to the bylaws, the result must be decided by two-thirds of the entire membership votes cast.

The 2016 resolution proposes to eliminate the term “non-political” from Article 1, Section 2 of the organization’s bylaws. It was put forward by members who noted that “MESA members have publicly and privately debated the meanings, utility, and practices of the word ‘non-political’”, and they now seek to “clarify the organization’s self-definition, maintaining consistency with the organization’s 501(c)(3) legal status, nature and objectives, and lived experience."

The resolution also adds to the end of Article 1, Section 2 the clause, “in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.”

Beth Baron, Chair of MESA’s Board of Directors and President of the association, commented on the vote to move the resolution forward: “The discussion at the Members Meeting leading up to the vote was full and open. In that same spirit, we will provide the entire membership with all the information they need on the resolution so that they can make an informed decision.”


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