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MESA Membership Passes Bylaw Amendment Removing 'Non-Political' Clause and Affirming 501(c)3 Status

[Geometric arabesque tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz. Image by Pontecelo via Wikipedia] [Geometric arabesque tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz. Image by Pontecelo via Wikipedia]

The general membership of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has approved (with 81% of voters supporting) a bylaw amendment that does two things: first, it removes term "non-political" from its self-description; second, it reaffirms the committment to operating in accordance with its 501(c)3 status.

The amendment was introduced by a diverse array of MESA members during the business meeting of the 2016 Annual Meeting. It was then that those in attendance voted 247-57 in favor of putting the amendment up to a general membership vote, which was held between 1 February and 15 March 2017. According to the organization's bylaws, the amendment needed to be supported by a two-thirds majority of votes cast.

Since the business meeting, the debate around the bylaw amendment featured genuine discussion, questions, and concerns around the nature and future of MESA as an academic association. However, the voting period  also featured the odd intervention of first-time MESA member Carry Nelson. A number of long-time MESA members spoke out in favor of the resolution to convince their colleagues who were either unsure or skeptical of the resultion:

At approximately 4:15pm on Friday 17 March 2017, the Secretariate of MESA emailed all members indicating that the bylaw amendment passed, with 81% of votes in favor of the amendment.

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About Roundups Page

Jadaliyya’s Roundups Page collects all the roundups posted by each topical or country page for easy purview of the latest tides, trends, and notable pieces of news in or about the region. From Daily Acts of Resistance to Critical Currents in Islam, these roundups attempt to both capture the importance of the actual events occurring, as well as how the nature of knowledge production either enhances or distorts the narratives of certain news points.

For a broader overview of Jadaliyya's publishing activites, there are "Last Week on Jadaliyya" and a "Jadaliyya Monthly Edition" roundups that highlight all of the most critical and hard-hitting pieces you may have missed. If you want to submit a piece of news to the roundups, email us as info@jadaliyya.org.