On July twelfth, 2021, USA Fencing posted a slate of proposed changes to the organization’s bylaws. The complete report from the Governance Process Power in addition to a clear and comparability copy to the bylaws might be discovered on this submit.
The USA Fencing Board of Administrators voted to enact a Governance Process Power on December 19, 2020. This Governance Process Power was co-chaired by Board members Kat Holmes and Donald Anthony, with a lot of different contributing members. These modifications will likely be voted upon in the course of the August 31, 2021 Board assembly.
Of the proposed modifications, essentially the most notable one was to transition away from having a President elected by the membership of USA Fencing. As a substitute, the function will develop into the Chair of the Board of Administrators, and the Chair will likely be elected by the Board of Administrators itself as an alternative of the final USA Fencing membership. The Chair place will typically maintain most duties that the President at the moment holds, plus the duties of a member of the Board. That is barely totally different from the present Presidential place which, for instance, solely casts a Board vote when there are ties. Beforehand, Presidents have been restricted to 2 phrases, however now Chairs shouldn’t have any particularly set time period limits past any limits imposed by their membership of the Board itself.
One other change contains transferring the elected Treasurer function right into a non-voting/advisor function that’s chosen immediately by the Board of Administrators. The affect of this variation is usually a lot smaller than the President modifications, because the Treasurer candidates have virtually all the time run fully unopposed.
Altering the character of the President and Treasurer roles will open up 2 new At-Giant areas on the board, which will likely be up for election in 2024. Different modifications proposed embody implementing a extra staggered election cycle for the board, which is able to contain quickly extending the time period of a number of the members of the Board till their subsequent respective election comes up. By 2026, all At-Giant Administrators will likely be serving 4 years phrases, up from 2 years. This might convey the Board’s composition to five At-Giant Administrators who’re elected by the final USA Fencing membership and who’re eligible for the Chair place; 4 Athlete Administrators; and three Unbiased Administrators for a complete of 12 Administrators.
In compliance with the Ted Stevens Beginner and Olympic Sports activities Act, the modifications embody language describing the function of an Beginner Fencing Group Director, if crucial. That is to supply greater stage illustration for qualifying beginner unbiased organizations inside the game (for instance, highschool or collegiate fencing organizations).
The bylaws would even be modified to incorporate a Variety, Fairness, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Committee which will likely be a 6-person committee serving in an advisory function to the Board. The function of the DEIB Committee will likely be typically to “present significant alternatives to advise the group, and enhance the presence and safety of underrepresented communities inside USFA governance”.
Different broad modifications embody cleansing up the language throughout the bylaws to be extra impartial.
For extra commentary and narrative on why these modifications have been proposed, in addition to a bit extra element on sure subjects, please see the the Governance Task Force report itself from USA Fencing. USA Fencing is soliciting suggestions on these modifications till August 26, 2021, which might be despatched to [email protected]. An present group dialogue on the modifications might be discovered on the /r/Fencing subreddit.