SSSP resolutions constitute an important opportunity for our scholar-activist membership to declare their sentiments publicly, thereby creating a channel for greater visibility and more direct influence upon a variety of “publics,” i.e., fellow activists, scholars, students, decision-makers, social action groups, voters, and others.  Thus, as Vice-President this year, I am calling on the membership to submit resolutions for discussion and adoption.  Keep in mind, that proposed resolutions serve as useful discussion points for SSSP members, helping to increase and enhance communication and activities during the long period between annual meetings.  To submit a proposed resolution, simply forward your resolution to the Vice-President by June 1, 2019.  The Vice-President will distribute the proposed resolutions to the Committee on Social Action and the Executive Officer who are requested to comment by June 15, 2019.  The Vice-President will then forward the proposed resolutions to the Division Chairs for their review and then the Vice-President and Executive Officer will distribute the proposed resolutions to the membership no later than July 15, 2019 in order to give members ample time to give serious consideration to all proposed resolutions.  The only exception to the deadline is if the issue in question occurs after June 1st.  Proposed resolutions will be available for review prior to the Annual Meeting on the SSSP website in the “members-only” area and under “Annual Meeting,” and as an e-mail blast sent to members who want to receive announcements from the Administrative Office.

All proposed resolutions with the exception of those expressing thanks should contain a concise position statement concerning a social problem of urgent concern and the appropriate evidence and citations to support the position taken in the resolution.  In most cases, the proposed resolution should include some sort of call for viable action on the part of the SSSP.  This typically has involved a letter from the Board directed to some public entity expressing concern, support, or protest.  Feel free, however, to propose other forms of appropriate action. If the proposed resolution is in support of or in opposition to a piece of legislation, a copy of the legislation or a place where members can access it must be provided.  Please click on the following link for examples, including the format we would like you to use: https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/pageid/1993/.

It is the Vice-President’s responsibility to serve as the facilitator for proposed resolutions sponsored by the Divisions as well as from individual Society members, making the proposed resolutions available to the membership prior to and at the Annual Business Meeting.  In New York City, the resolutions process will be organized in a manner that promotes wider discussion prior to formal consideration at the 2019 Annual Business Meeting.  The process is as follows:

  • On the first day of the Annual Meeting, the Committee on Social Action will meet prior to the open forum.  At this meeting, the committee can make changes to a proposed resolution to strengthen it or send it back to the originator(s) of the resolution with specific suggestions.  The open forum is designed to encourage a political discussion by concerned members.  At this meeting, each proposed resolution should be presented for membership discussion by the person who created the resolution (or designated representative) and the sponsoring Division’s Chairperson.  Adequate time for discussion will be properly allotted.  To facilitate this process, all proposed resolutions, as noted above, must be made available to the Vice-President by June 1, such that the membership has ample time to consider proposed resolutions and can be provided a print copy with their registration packet.
  • Modifications and revisions will be considered during the open discussion forum on the first day of the Annual Meeting; the open forum will be held in place of the annual meeting of the Resolutions Committee. Sponsors of proposed resolutions or a surrogate must be present at this forum to present and respond to questions concerning their resolution.  It is imperative that someone be present who can speak to the substance of the proposed resolution, as changes may be made to the resolution during that meeting.
  • During the 2019 Annual Business Meeting, the proposed resolutions will be presented (including any modifications or revisions) by the Vice-President as a package for approval for action by the attending membership.  The membership will vote on proposed resolutions that were discussed and revised on the first day of the meeting.  Experience shows that the Annual Business Meeting fails to provide sufficient time for a detailed discussion of proposed resolutions.  If objections from the floor are raised to any specific resolution at the SSSP Business Meeting, that resolution can, by majority vote of those present, be separated from the package, and voted on separately.  Those present can either vote to support the resolution as proposed, make changes to the resolution before voting, even without the approval of the originator(s), or decide to table the resolution for further discussion at the subsequent year’s annual meeting.
  • If the resolution requires letters or e-mails to be sent, the sponsor of the resolution must provide the addresses to the Administrative Office and, if necessary, be prepared to assist the Administrative Office in getting the resolution to the appropriate individuals or agencies.  Furthermore, sponsors are responsible for keeping the Society informed of developments pertaining to the resolution they sponsored.
  • We will attempt to make approved resolutions immediately available to the press.  In addition, all approved resolutions will be posted on the SSSP website.

Members who wish to propose resolutions for consideration of the SSSP, should submit them to the SSSP Vice-President at  by June 1, 2019.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

William D. Cabin, SSSP Vice-President, 2018-2019


Here are some suggestions that may help enhance resolutions submitted for consideration by the Society:

  • Local awareness: A resolution which addresses an issue of urgent concern for the city or region where the annual meeting is taking place is highly desirable. Thus, a more general or globally-oriented resolution can be strengthened if it makes the extra effort to cite any local aspect or manifestation of the problem which can help dovetail with the larger concern.  Clearly, matters of local concern are more likely to be of interest to the local media.
  • Urgency: Resolutions that embody some urgent or timely matter involving some current manifestation of a larger social problem are highly desirable. This can relate, for example, to pending legislation, policies and programs, a recently released report, and so on.  Resolutions that address urgent matters are much more likely to be picked up by the press.
  • Action-oriented: All resolutions should attempt to incorporate a call for action, be it on the part of the SSSP Board of Directors, or for concerned individuals.  If action is requested on the part of the SSSP, it should be as specific as possible, e.g., to whom should a letter be directed, etc.  In the past, other proposed actions have included calls for boycotts, participation in public demonstrations, collecting donations, and so on.
  • Resource pointer: A resolution which is accompanied by a specific resource or resource list is extremely useful for those who wish to learn more about the issue at hand.  The resource supplement can be a specific document or scholarly paper, website(s), or some other useful repository of information.  This can be very helpful in increasing the impact of the resolution by assisting teachers, students, the press and others who wish to have further background information in engaging the issue for their own specific purposes.