For the first time, ASCB graduate student members will be allowed to vote in future Society elections. In a unanimous vote this morning at its spring meeting in Bethesda, the ASCB Council agree to change the Society’s by-laws and give voting rights to all current ASCB grad student members, subject to approval by the general ASCB membership.
COMPASS, ASCB’s graduate student and postdoctoral fellow committee, had petitioned Council during last month’s Society elections to give grad students, who now make up 22% of the membership, the right to vote. “We were encouraged to see that many of the candidates in this year’s Council elections cite the needs of young scientists as a top priority for the society,” said the COMPASS petition, which was addressed to ASCB President Shirley Tilghman. “However, we find it incongruous that one demographic they purport to serve, namely the graduate students, have no voice in these elections.”
Council’s vote was unanimous. ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi said the change will be put to members either in an online vote or perhaps in person at the Annual Meeting next December in San Diego.