Swift business meeting passes several measures

2016 AIA Business Meeting

AIA EVP/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, addresses the crowd at the 2016 AIA Convention's business meeting.

AIA business meeting on May 21 sparked debate about ethical implications of unpaid labor and conclusions about Seven World Trade Center’s collapse

Bylaw Amendment 16-B: Authority of the Institute Secretary to Waive Age Requirement for Emeritus Membership, pertains to the tripartite structure of Emeritus status eligibility: retirement from practicing architecture, a member of the Institute for the 15 consecutive years preceding that retirement date, and—notably—at least 70 years old. The amendment allows the AIA Secretary to waive all or part of the 15 year, good-standing period of membership prior to retirement and/or waive the age requirement, effectively allowing individuals younger than 70 to be Emeritus members in exceptional circumstances. Bylaw Amendment 16-B passed with 4,609 votes in favor and 84 votes against.

Bylaw Amendment 16-A: Technical Amendments to the Institute Bylaws, eliminates obsolete bylaw provisions that had been added to ease the transition away from the Board Executive Committee and toward the Strategic Council after a 2014 decision to reorganize AIA’s governance model. Bylaw Amendment 16-A passed, with 4,669 votes in favor and 17 votes against.

Resolution 16-2: Amending the Current "Intern Declaration Policy," sponsored by AIA Georgia, passed with 4,805 votes in favor and 7 votes against. The so-called "Intern Declaration Policy," which has been amended several times since first taking shape more than two decades ago, asks architect candidates for AIA National awards, Fellowship, and national office, as well as persons appointed to office by the AIA President, to affirm that neither they nor their firms employ unpaid intern architects—including "working students." The policy also extends to any guest speaker at an AIA event or author (or subject) of a book published by the AIA.  

AIA Georgia’s resolution asked the Board to amend this policy in two key ways. First, the resolution’s sponsors asked the Board to change the policy’s name to "Unpaid Labor Declaration Policy." Second, they asked that the policy be amended to require signatories to affirm that they have not utilized unpaid labor for a minimum of five years prior to their application for an Institute Honor Award and a minimum of 10 years prior to their application for all other Institute Honors. "We believe that the language is in need of a little updating and clarifying. This resolution addresses all type of unpaid labor, and also eliminates the word 'intern,'" says Gregory Walker, AIA, from AIA Georgia, the resolution’s sponsor.

Resolution 16-3: Investigation of the Total Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, sponsored by Daniel Barnum, FAIA, and 50 Members of the Institute, failed with 4,176 votes against and 529 votes in favor. Resolution 16-3 created the liveliest debate among delegates, centering on its request that the Institute should adopt a position statement calling for a new investigation on the collapse of New York City’s 7 World Trade Center (WTC7) on Sept. 11, 2001. The resolution’s sponsors questioned the integrity of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) 2008 conclusions about the collapse of WTC7, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, FAIA. Contending rather that the collapse of WTC7 "exemplified many of the signature features of controlled demolition," the resolution’s sponsors argued for further study.  

Other resolutions of note

  • Resolution 16-1: Joint Nomination of Two Individuals for Honorary Membership in the Institute, sponsored by AIA Dallas and Texas Society of Architects and building on the momentum of recent Board action to permit the joint work of two individuals to be eligible for the AIA Gold Medal, passed with 4,521 votes in favor and 214 against.
  • Resolution 16-4: Appreciation to Retiring Strategic Council Representatives and Board Members, sponsored by the AIA Resolutions Committee, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-5: Appreciation to Members, Fifty Years, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-6: Recognition of Newly Licensed Members, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-7: Recognition of Component Executive and National Staff Anniversaries, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-8: Appreciation to the Host Chapter, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-9: Appreciation to Convention Committees, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-10: Appreciation to Exhibitors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.
  • Resolution 16-11: Appreciation of Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, and Susan Davidson, Assoc. AIA, sponsored by the AIA Board of Directors, passed by acclamation, with a clear majority saying aye.

Image credits

2016 AIA Business Meeting

Carl Bower

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