TAA Constitution Revision: Non-Discrimination Clause

One piece of the TAA Constitution is up for review at the next General Membership Meeting on December 3rd. Making decisions on our Constitution, the union’s core governing document, is a really important job for all union members. So you should definitely be at general membership meeting to participate in some key union governance and some good old fashioned participatory democracy.

The non-discrimination clause needs to be reviewed as we are now an official registered student organization on campus, in addition to being, well, a chartered union. In becoming a registered student org (which provides us with some rights on campus), the UW required that we add to our Constitution’s non-discrimination clause the category of veterans. In true TAA fashion, we took this as an opportunity to expand greatly our non-discrimination clause with more than that, to ensure that this piece of our Constitution accurately reflects our commitment to ecumenical inclusion and democratic solidarity.

Our Constitution is our primary governing document, so we need to take care when amending it. Constitutional changes take place through multiple votes. At the last general membership meeting, we created an ad hoc committee to work up new language for the non-discrimination clause. The ad hoc committee met and drafted language, moving it along to our Executive Board and a review from our Diversity Committee. The Executive Board will now bring the drafted language to the next general membership meeting for review. From there, membership action will determine whether or not we adopt language, and what language would be adopted.

For the Roberts’ Rules junkies out there, the proposed Constitutional change comes as a direct motion from the Executive Board.

The current language we have for the non-discrimination clause in our Constitution is:

Our current constitutional language:

III. General Principals and Guarantees
A. Rights to Membership
No person otherwise eligible for membership in this Association shall be denied membership, on the basis of equality, because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, handicap, or political belief.

The drafted language is:

III. General Principals and Guarantees
A. Rights to Membership
In the spirit of equality and solidarity, no person otherwise eligible for membership in this Association shall be denied membership because of age, ancestry, citizenship, color, creed, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identification, learning barriers, marital status, mental health, national origin, native language, parental status, physical characteristics, political belief, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and background, spiritual beliefs, veteran status or any other factors irrelevant to the guiding principles of unionism.

With any questions, be in touch with Co-President Katie Lindstrom. Again, our union will make a decision on our Constitution’s non-discrimination clause at the next General Membership Meeting, on December 3rd at 5:30 PM.