Friday, October 29, 2004

Latest SCA Statement on Meetings

October 28, 2004

Dear members of the Society for Cultural Anthropology:

Although AAA plans for the annual meeting are uncertain as I write, the SCA Board and I thought it would be a good time for an update. First of all I want to thank those of you who have communicated directly with us to express your views on the choices facing the AAA Executive Board: first with respect to the lock out at the San Francisco Hilton, then in its decision to move to a December meeting in Atlanta, and then to reconsider a San Francisco meeting in light of a possible cooling-off period. The SCA Board first passed a resolution in favor of respecting the picket line and meeting in San Jose; later we passed a resolution in favor of returning to San Francisco should a cooling off period ensue. I have also written personally to regional and national Hilton officials pledging to never schedule a meeting in a Hilton if the local consortium including the San Francisco Hilton did not agree to the cooling off period. All three statements are copied below, as well as what can only be called a non-reply from the Hilton Hotels Corporation.

The SCA Board has not yet taken a position with respect to the AAA plans to meet in Atlanta. We have, however, communicated with panel organizers and presenters on volunteered panels, asking them to let us know their intentions with respect to several possibilities (including deferral to next year's annual meeting). A copy of that e-mail is included below. We apologize if you should have received it and did not, and ask you to please communicate with SCA Program Chair Ana Alonso .

We are currently considering several options with respect to our annual Business Meeting. One of the options is an electronic meeting to be held either on the original meeting date, November 19, or on the new date assigned by AAA (likely December 17). We think that it is absolutely critical that the membership meets in some form to discuss the issues of labor relations, meeting structure, and governance that have been highlighted by this crisis. I would appreciate receiving any suggestions you may want to make regarding the scheduling, format, and agenda of the Business Meeting.

Thank you very much for reading still one more e-mail about this crisis. If you are interested in additional issue, I would refer you to the excellent web site of the American Ethnological Society. I welcome any and all messages from SCA members, and will share them with the SCA Board. I will also send the sense of the messages with Section Assembly Convener Dan Segal, who is our liaison with the AAA Executive Board.

Yours sincerely,
Polly Strong, SCA President


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