Voting Opens Tuesday, October 20, 2020 on Proposed Updates to SACNAS Bylaws!

Bylaws are the roadmap which guide the processes of an organization, including how leaders are elected and what their roles are. In other words, bylaws guide the way SACNAS operates at its highest levels to serve you.

Over the past year, the Bylaws Task Force, Governance Committee, Board of Directors, and an attorney with expertise in bylaws and State laws that govern non-profits, have worked to update our existing bylaws — and now we seek to share these changes with the membership!  To understand the proposed changes to the bylaws, we provide a table summary of the proposed changes on this page. We also encourage you to review:

Overview of Proposed Changes to Current Bylaws:

  • Updates were made that ensured the Bylaws were consistent with Maryland law. SACNAS was incorporated in the State of Maryland.
  • Edits were made to improve clarity and consistency in the language across the document and with regard to current SACNAS policies and practices.
  • Policy changes and additions recommended by the Board of Directors were included as described below:

Topic: Size of the Board of Directors

Proposed Update:

The Board shall consist of no less than thirteen (13) members during any given year.


This removes limits on the size of the Board of Directors by setting only a minimum number.

Topic: Student Director Term of Office

Proposed Update:

Should an elected Student Director switch to a non-STEM related degree program or graduate before their term ends, the Student Director shall be allowed to finish their term.


This clarifies that Student Directors are able to complete their full terms of office.

Topic: Election of the Secretary and Treasurer

Proposed Update:

Candidates for the position of Secretary shall come from the Directors and will be elected by a majority vote of the Directors. Candidates for the position of Treasurer shall come from the Directors and will be elected by a majority vote of the Directors.


These changes to the Bylaws no longer allow nominations for the positions of Secretary and Treasurer of individuals who are not Board Members.

Topic: Committees

Proposed Update:

The names and descriptions of SACNAS committees and subcommittees mentioned in the Bylaws were added.


This provides greater transparency and clarity with regard to the tasks assigned to committees.

Topic: Native (American) Affairs Committee

Proposed Update:

The Native (American) Affairs Committee is elevated from a subcommittee of the Programs Committee to a Committee and its name is changed to the Native American/Indigenous Affairs Committee.


Elevating the Subcommittee to a full Committee reflects its importance to SACNAS. The change in name reflects greater diversity and inclusion in its charge.

Topic: Documentation of SACNAS Policies

Proposed Update:

Members shall have the right to access and review SACNAS policies described herein via the SACNAS website or by request via electronic submission to SACNAS office.


To improve transparency, this statement was added to make clear that members have the right to access documents describing SACNAS policies.

Topic: Date Changes

Proposed Update:

The fiscal year of SACNAS shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
The officers of SACNAS shall be installed on January 1 of the following year after their election, unless otherwise indicated during a special election, or until their respective successors shall have been duly elected.


The fiscal year date change will facilitate financial record-keeping. The term for officers standardizes their start dates and allows time for on-boarding processes. 

Where To Find Your Ballot

All dues-paying SACNAS members (Student-level and above) will receive a link to their ballot via email on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The email will come from via SurveyMonkey (please check your SPAM/JUNK folders).

If you cannot locate your ballot:

  • Check your SPAM/JUNK folder first! SurveyMonkey emails can be filtered as spam. The email will come from with the subject line: Cast Your Vote!
  • Confirm you are checking the email address you used for your SACNAS membership. If you are unsure which email is associated with your membership, email
  • Confirm you are an active dues-paying member (Student, Postdoc, Professional 1, Professional 2, Professional 3, Lifetime). Click here for instructions on how to check your membership status.
  • If you have attempted all of the above, please email for assistance.

Voting deadline is Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11:59pm PT

Per current SACNAS bylaws, all dues-paying members are eligible to vote on changes to the SACNAS bylaws.

October 20 – November 20, 2020:

December 2020:
Results announced to membership

It is the policy of SACNAS not to discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, age, marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, physical or mental or sensory disability, genetic information, military status or any other consideration protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. SACNAS is committed to providing equal opportunities in all activities including application for Board service.

Diversity and inclusion are more than just words to SACNAS. They are integral parts of our history, culture, and identity. They are the principles that founded our organization, guide our strategic path forward, and help us fulfill our mission. We continually seek to build and maintain a Board of Directors that reflects the rich diversity of our organization and country. We look for and celebrate diverse voices, experiences, backgrounds, and talents to help us approach our work fearlessly, spark creativity, drive innovation, improve constantly, and celebrate our successes. Simply put, everyone is welcome at SACNAS. We believe that an inclusive organization is one where our employees, volunteers, and board members feel empowered to be their full, authentic selves.