FY13 Senate Meeting Recap

At the Senate meeting at WE13 your 3 region senators were hard at work.  Three potential bylaws amendments came before the senate, the results of which are summarized below:

S1401: Past President as Nominating Committee Chair

A substitute amendment was proposed in the place of this bylaws amendment and successfully passed.  The substitute amendment kept the election of the nominating committee chair the same as it is currently but opened he pool of candidates up to current and former Board of Directors members as well.

S1402: Collegiate Director Election

This amendment passed as proposed.  The Collegiate Director candidates will be vetted by the Nominating Committee and then voted on by the collegiate section presidents.

S1404: Collegiate Region Representatives

This bylaws amendment was postponed indefinitely.  The Senate decided to hold off on voting on this amendment until better training was in place for the elected collegiate leaders.  They were worried about too much change happening to quickly and the negative impacts this could have if the collegiate training weren’t improved (the method for collegiate training changed at the beginning of FY14).


December 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

Input Needed: Election for SWE FY14 Director of Advocacy

The elected Directory of Advocacy recently stepped down and it falls to the Senate to fill that vacancy.  Members of the FY14 Special Senate nominating committee have completed their evaluation of nominees for the FY14 Director of Advocacy BOD vacancy position and have selected the following slate of candidates who meet the required qualifications.  As your region Senators, we need your input to aid in making our decision.  If you have any feedback on the below candidates or have an opinion as to who we should vote for please either reply to this post or e-mail us via the e-mail addresses posted on the contacts page by Saturday, August 24th.  Please see the candidate bios and position description below:


FY14 Slate for Director of Advocacy BOD Position

Mary Perkinson
SWE Resume
Justina Mikals
SWE Resume


Position Description:

Director Position Description:

A candidate for director should have experience in managing committees, managing funds, and have an understanding of SWE’s committee operations.  The candidate should have participated in society level or regional activities.  In addition, the candidate should provide the interface between staff and SWE committee volunteers to accomplish objectives. Experience as a committee chair is beneficial and strongly recommended.  The director is not an officer of the Society.


Operational Goals related to Director of Advocacy:

3.2.1 Develop membership advocacy tool kit
Owner:  Director of Advocacy

3.3.1   Enhance resources/programs for adult
influencers via the current outreach programs
and add or enhance for outreach key events
Owner:  Director of Advocacy

The Outreach Committee and Advocacy Advisory Board would report to the new Director as well.


August 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

FY13 Proposed Bylaws Amendments Survey

We need YOUR input on the proposed bylaws amendments we will be voting on next month.  Please use the below survey to let us know your opinions!


Detailed information about each amendment can be found in the documents linked to the post below.

Section Reps, please pass this information on to your sections and ask any interested persons to fill out the survey.  We would like responses by Friday, November 2nd.

October 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

FY13 Proposed Bylaws Amendments

Hello Region J!

We have proposed Bylaws Amendments to share with you, our constituents, and we need YOUR feedback!  The Senate is voting on these motions at the meeting in Houston on Saturday, Nov. 10th.  Section Reps, please pass this information on to your sections!  Note that each amendment is summarized below but you can click on the hyperlink to read each amendment in full.  Here is the process we will use :

  • Senators share the motions with the Region participants (post on Senator’s blog) on Sept. 28th
  • Senators will share any further motions and information as it is received
  • Region survey will open on Oct. 1 for all Region SWE members to post their feedback and concerns for each motion–survey will close on November 2nd.
  • Senators will share the motions with Region J leaders and lead discussion during the region council call on Oct. 29th.
  • You will hear the results through the blog by Nov. 20 after we return from Houston!

There are 6 amendments–each is described below.  Please let us know what questions or comments you have on these motions directly through e-mail or through posting a comment on the blog.

S1301: Roberts Rules of Order

  • This amendment will update the SWE bylaws to the current edition of Robert’s Rules that SWE uses to the eleventh edition which was released in September 2011. No major changes have been identified that require additional rules for SWE to adopt.

S1302: Date for determining representation

  • This amendment establishes a common date for determining the number of representatives that both the professionals and collegiates are entitled to elect for the following fiscal year and incorporates the date into the bylaws.
  • Moves the collegiate date from January 31st and the professional date from March 31st to now both be on December 31st.
  • Moving this date, may change the number of representatives some professional sections have (most likely a reduction), but will ensure sections have the final numbers in time for their elections.
  • The December 31st date was the old collegiate date, which was moved to January 31st in FY10.  The bylaws committee was unaware of this process change hence no reference to the January 31st date in the motion.

S1303: Removal of Alternate Senator

  • This amendment removes the alternate senator position from the bylaws.
  • A taskforce looked into the role of alternate senators last year, and this amendment originated there.
  • The original GFIG recommendation when the Senate structure was proposed was for there to not be alternates as they wanted the senate to be a high functioning and accountable body.
  • No clear job description was ever developed for the alternates and thus they were not held accountable for lack of participation.
  • Removing this position could make it harder for the senate to meet quorum and removes the training opportunity it provides for those interested in becoming senators.

S1304: Petition Candidates

  • The amendment changes the petition requirement (for petitioning for an elected society position) from requiring 200 signatures with at least 40 signatures from each of four separate regions to require 200 signatures with no more than 60 from one region or the international member.
  • The current wording is a little confusing and this amendment makes it easier to petition and still maintains the intent of the original wording.
  • The original wording allows for up to 80 signatures from the person’s home region, the new wording reduces this number to 60.

S1305: Collegiate Director Election

  • This amendment changes the appointment of the Collegiate Direction from being someone vetted and nominated by the President Elect and then approved by the BOD to being someone elected by the collegiate section presidents (as are the RCR, RCCE, RCSs).
  • The Collegiate Director candidates would be vetted by the nominating committee as all other Board members (except the special Director) currently are.
  • This amendment removed the potential conflict of interest with having the BOD appoint another voting member of the BOD, however the collegiate section presidents may have less knowledge of what apptitues/qualifications are most needed for the position.

S1306: Nominating Committee Chair

  • This amendment removes the requirement that the nominating committee chair have recently served on the nominating committee.  It also allows the nominating committee chair to serve one more consecutive term than currently allowed (three years total instead of two).
  • The nominating committee only has ten regular members which is a small pool for chair.  This amendment expands the pool of candidates to those with other society level SWE experience.
  • This could mean that future nominating committee chairs won’t have had nominating committee experience.

September 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

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!

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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