Posted July 19, 2016 by J. Scott Derrick 

New Statement on Conference Site Selection

During our most recent annual conference, a question came up during the Meeting of the Delegates regarding the methodology ACUI uses to select future conference sites and if any sites had been selected beyond New York City in 2021. Around that same time, the controversial HB2 resolution had been passed in North Carolina, resulting in many national and regional entities either cancelling events already planned or determining not to hold events in North Carolina until the law is repealed.

As indicated in our discussion at the time, ACUI’s core values of diversity and unconditional human worth are essential to the decision-making process for site selection. To formalize this sentiment, we committed to drafting a value-driven statement that informs the Association’s decisions on site selections for future conferences and other signature programs.

During the recently concluded July Leadership Meeting, the ACUI Board of Trustees endorsed a new ACUI Statement on Conference Site Selection. In addition to summarizing the steps that go into selecting a conference site, this statement also describes how any conflicts with ACUI’s core values would be addressed. Specifically, the statement indicates: “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.”

We feel that this is an important step forward in ensuring the Association protects the rights and dignity of its members, and the development, education, and networking that take place at ACUI conferences and programs are not impeded as a result of local, regional, or state ordinances that conflict with our values. As we begin the process of determining conference sites beyond 2021, these guiding principles should give us all a great deal of hope and encouragement.
J. Scott Derrick

J. Scott Derrick is the Executive Director, Student Union & Cone University Center at University of North Carolina–Charlotte.

J. Scott is currently the executive director of the Student Union and Cone University Center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition to the two Union facilities, he is also responsible for the Conferences, Reservations, and Event Services (CRES) department, as well as the NinerTech computer store. J. Scott has served in many ACUI volunteer roles, including an at-large member of the Board of Trustees, a regional director, two Conference Program Teams, and currently as president. He received his bachelor’s in mathematics from Furman University and his M.Ed. in student personnel services from the University of South Carolina.

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