ACUI Statement on Conference and Program Site Selection

ACUI has a long history of valuing diversity and striving for all members to feel welcome at any ACUI event or program. Unfortunately, the reality exists that external factors can affect ACUI conferences and programs. When local legislation is in conflict with ACUI’s core values, including unconditional human worth and diversity, it can be a direct threat to some of our member participants. At the same time, members in those communities are often working to counteract legalized discrimination and maintain inclusive environments, so we need to safeguard their access to educational resources and accordant networks. Without knowing what the future may hold, we can provide assurance to members about how ACUI will approach site selection for conferences and programs.

When planning any program, the end goal is to select a site that will create an outstanding experience for attendees. Before selecting an annual conference location, an analysis is first conducted to determine viable hotel properties, cost to attendees, past sites, and area membership support. Regions and other program planners consider similar factors after receiving proposals from interested member institutions to host the conference. Final determination of a site location must be in alignment with ACUI’s core values.

Future hotel/venue contracts will be negotiated to include a clause that enables ACUI to terminate the agreement without penalty due to new conflicting laws that are enacted. Such an action would be determined after careful consideration of the program directors, or Board of Trustees, as applicable. When a cancellation is not contractually possible or desirable, ACUI will provide education about the implications of the laws, encourage advocacy around equity and access, and ensure that local members affected by such broader external factors are supported.

ACUI will continue to explore locations for programs that are appealing to our members in terms of their geography as well as the inclusive and welcoming nature of the local community. And, as always, conferences and programs will strive to provide educational content and attendee experiences that are interesting, engaging, and meaningful.

Updated July 15, 2016