Archive for March, 2012

What does the SWE Senate do?

The SWE Senate:

  • Conducts essential dialogue as the voice of the members
  • Charts strategic direction & adopts long range goals of the Society through future context and strategic plan updates
  • Develop and adopt statements of external policy
  • Amends bylaws and reserve fund documents
  • Sets individual member dues and rebates
  • Approves changes to region boundaries
  • Approves certain vacancies on the BOD

If you have questions, comments or suggestions on these, any other Senate related topics or have interest in holding a future Fiscal Year Senate position for the region, collegiate or professional, please let your current Senators know!

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March 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Did you know?

Did you know?  We use Robert’s Rules of Order to run the SWE Senate meetings and receive training from our SWE Parliamentarian, Collette Collier Trohan, on this topic.

March 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

March 2012 Senate Update

Aloha!! Still feeling the sand between my toes from Hawaii and the great memories of catching up with folks from all three regions in attendance.  Although I am back to reality in Portland, I can look out my window and see the trees and Spring flowers are budding out and blooming – a perfect venue to compose the SWE Senate update.  Here we go…

The SWE Senate met in Houston on Feb. 10-11.  At our Friday afternoon gathering we participated in a discussion led by Cathy Pieronek, the current Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) chair.  She led a review of the current SWE Vision, Vivid Descriptions, and Value Proposition that led to more rousing small and large group discussion the background and summary for which is located here: Vision & Vivid Description Presentation – 2-10-12.  As a result of the discussions, the Senate is in the process of kicking off two subteams to discuss and recommend revisions for each of these guiding statements. 

In the Friday evening dinner discussion groups, we talked about the role of the Alternate Senator based on specific questions – the summary was captured in the Senate meeting on Saturday and ranged anywhere from questioning the need for the position to how to engage more fully the individuals in the role.  If you have any ideas or inputs, please let us know!

Wondering about the motions reviewed this year?  You have also come to the right place!  A total of seven motions were on the docket.  Five of the seven were very straightforward and approved with little discussion.  Two led to significant discussion and the firs of those was the “Determination of the Number of RCRs”.  Ultimately, it was amended and approved that there would be moving forward, “One collegiate representative for each twenty active collegiate sections or fraction thereof, not to exceed two, of the region,…”.  In addition, the action for the  creation of a Senate Subteam to do a deeper dive into the existing data to ensure the number by region and role of the individuals as RCRs is clear was taken and is in progress.  The second more “controversial” motion was related to the “S-1214 Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF) Repayment”.  After significant discussion on the loan repayment that exceeded the allotted time in the meeting, the vote on this was postponed – you can review details in the motion documentation itself.

For more detail on all the motions reviewed this year, see the Senate FY12 Motions sharepoint and/or a summary in the Region J Senate update in Honolulu.

Mega Issues (MIs)?!  Can’t leave you without a quick summary of the great work going on here.  There are two MIs that the Senate is responsible for this FY. Significant progress and data collection have been made on both and whitepapers are expected before the end of this FY.  A quick summary:  Karla Tankersley, alternate Region G governor, led “MI 00115 How can SWE inspire companies to provide creative opportunities for engineers who want to contribute in their industry and attend to family needs? “.  Christine Cabrera, Region H Senator, led “MI 00121 How do we change the conversations from what member value SWE provides to how engaged are our members?”  One pager summaries are also in the Region J Senate update.

The Region A, B, and J Senators present in Honolulu held a mini Town Hall and answered several questions and took input about Senate communication to the regions, Society goals and connecting earlier to feed into section annual planning processes, and the SWE logo/brand and colors on the new SWE site.  Thanks for all those who participated and check out our picture and the beautiful flower leis!  Barb and I are first and third from the left.

Well, it is time to wrap-up.  See you in Houston at the next Senate Town Hall!  Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions, comments and/or interest in a future Senate position.  We will be chatting more after our April Senate meeting coming up in a few short weeks. 

Best Regards,

 Jennifer Bly, Professional Senator (FY11-12) on behalf of

Barbara Donoghue, Professional Senator FY12-13

Amanda Dang, Collegiate Senator, FY12

Carla Todenhagen, Alternate Professional Senator, FY12

March 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment


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