What is a Section?

A section is a mechanism to ensure that small chapters’ voices are heard and to allow chapters to pool resources to make attendance at the biennial delegate meeting more affordable. Participation in a section is voluntary and open to chapters with fewer than 250 members. There can only be one section per state. A section can be formed by two or more chapters in the same state. A section is entitled to one delegate for every 250 members, with a maximum number of 10 delegates per section. If a chapter elects to participate in a section then it cannot also send its own delegate to the biennial meeting. Chapters that do not opt in to the section could send a separate chapter delegate to the meeting. AAUP members not in a campus chapter do not participate in the section because those members elect delegates through the national at-large chapter.

Well in advance of the biennial delegate meeting, the national AAUP notifies eligible chapters of the opportunity to participate in a section. The AAUP provides sample procedures, instructions, guidance, and other material for operating the section, such as lists of eligible chapters and of members in those chapters, sample nomination and election notices, and sample ballots. In addition, state conferences and chapters may assist the section, though the chapter or state conference elections cannot substitute for the election of section delegates.

Once a section is formed, participating chapters need to elect a delegate or delegates to send to the meeting. The number of section delegates, and the number of number of votes the delegates cast, is based on the aggregate membership of the participating chapters. For example, if there are 10 participating chapters with a total membership of 150, the section would be entitled to 1 delegate casting 150 votes; if the total membership was 350, the section would be entitled to 2 delegates jointly casting 350 votes.

The nomination and election process is conducted by the chapters and section. Due to federal law, there are some minimal requirements for these elections. A nomination and election notice must be transmitted to all members of chapters participating in the section. Delegate election must be by secret ballot, either by mail ballot or by secret ballot at a chapter meeting. If there is only one nominee per delegate position, no election is required.

Chapter and section delegates have the same rights and privileges at the AAUP biennial meeting.