Compiled by Daina Cheyenne Harvey, SSSP Vice-President and Chair, Committee on Social Action on 6/1/20

All three proposed resolutions will be discussed during the Society’s Business Meeting on Friday, August 7 from 12:00pm-1:00pm (EDT). Thirty minutes will be allocated to a discussion in favor of or in opposition to all proposed resolutions. At this juncture, resolutions cannot be modified. The purpose of the discussion will be to seek clarification or to try to convince others to vote for or against the resolution. That discussion will be moderated by the Vice-President, with the assistance of the Executive Officer. Every effort will be made to allow time for the discussion of each resolution being considered, with equal time to those in support of and those in opposition to each resolution.

Immediately after the Society’s Annual Business Meeting, current members will vote online for or against each resolution, or abstain. The voting period will be two weeks. A resolution will pass if two-thirds of the members voting online by the deadline vote in favor of the resolution. The final results of the vote shall be reported to the CSA and the BOD, and published as early as possible on the Society’s website.

Note: You must be a current member to vote on the resolutions.  Click here to join or renew.  

  1. Expression of Gratitude
    Submitted by: SSSP Administrative Office
  2. Resolution to Support Improved Conditions for Contingent/Adjunct or Non-Tenure Track Faculty
    Submitted by: Keith Johnson and Gillian Niebrugge-Brantley
  3. Resolution on the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS)
    Submitted by: Melissa F. Weiner, Johnny Eric Williams, Timothy Black, Ashley Doane, Corey Dolgon, David Embrick, Kasey Henricks, Andrea Miller, Walda Katz-Fishman, and Reuben Roth

 

RESOLUTION 1:  Expression of Gratitude

Submitted by: SSSP Administrative Office

While the 2020 SSSP Annual Meeting in San Francisco was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still need to express our sincere appreciation to all of the officers, committee chairs, and members whose efforts help maintain the vitality of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). First, we thank President Heather M. Dalmage for her superb leadership in developing the 70th Annual Meeting and its theme: Bringing the Hope Back In: Sociological Imagination and Dreaming Transformation and also in navigating unchartered water to move the Society forward during the COVID-19 crisis. We also thank this year’s Program Committee members Angie K. Beeman and Doug Meyer and especially the Program Committee Co-Chairs, Tsedale M. Melaku and Barbara Katz Rothman, for putting together an outstanding program that was unfortunately unable to come to fruition the way it had been envisioned; and the Local Arrangements Committee Chair, Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, and her committee, Orly Clerge and Theresa Ysabel Rocha Beardall. We thank the Park Central Hotel for working with us up to our cancellation, and we particularly want to recognize the efforts made by Emily Cogswell, Senior Convention Services Manager and Troy Smith, Director of Group Sales.

The Society wishes to express its gratitude to Past President Nancy J. Mezey for her years of leadership; Vice-President Daina Cheyenne Harvey for managing the resolutions process; Glenn W. Muschert for his service as Secretary; and Susan M. Carlson for her service as Treasurer.

The Society also thanks Corey Dolgon, President-Elect; Pamela Anne Quiroz, Vice-President-Elect; Board of Directors: Yvonne A. Braun, Matthew W. Hughey, Debbie A. Potter, Giovanna Follo, Bhoomi K. Thakore, outgoing members Maralee Mayberry, Fernando I. Rivera, student representatives of the Board Apoorva Ghosh (outgoing) and Melissa R. Maxey, Kristen M. Budd, Chairperson of the Council of the Divisions; Annulla Linders and Earl Wright II, Co-Editors of Social Problems; Heather Dillaway, outgoing Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee Chair and committee members Susan M. Carlson, Louis Edgar Esparza, and David J. Luke; Shirley A. Jackson, Editorial and Publications Committee Chair and committee members Loretta E. Bass (outgoing), Valerie Leiter (outgoing), David G. Embrick, Rogelio Saenz, A. Javier Treviño, Heather Dillaway(outgoing), Pamela Anne Quiroz, Annulla Linders, and Earl Wright II; and the University of Tennessee and the Department of Sociology for hosting the SSSP Administrative Office. A special thanks to the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice at Roosevelt University for their financial contribution to program activities and Oxford University Press for its financial contribution to the 2020 ½-day Virtual Annual Meeting.

The Society wishes to thank Executive Officer Héctor L. Delgado, Administrative Officer & Meeting Manager Michele Smith Koontz, Assistant to the Administrative Officer Kelsey Whitaker, Information Technology Specialist Rachel Cogburn, Graduate Research Associate & Webmaster Zaina Shams and the leaders of the 23 Divisions for continuing to make the Society run and be successful in fulfilling its mission year in and year out.

 

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RESOLUTION 2:  Resolution to Support Improved Conditions for Contingent/Adjunct or Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Submitted by: Keith Johnson and Gillian Niebrugge-Brantley

1. Whereas, there has been a shift in higher education over the last half-century so that “tenure system faculty are now a privileged minority” (Report of the ASA Task Force 2019: 6—hereafter Task Force) and over 50% of instructors in public and private institutions of higher education are now “contingent” or “adjunct” faculty (GAO 2017: 15, n32)—a condition so pervasive that one organization representing these instructors is titled “The New Faculty Majority.” This shift has been accompanied and achieved by a policy of deliberately ignoring the crucial role and plight of non-tenure track faculty in higher education today. One example of this is the confusing range of titles for these faculty, that are frequently employed in contradictory ways among institutions.

2. Whereas, what we do know about the treatment of these faculty is that it is not good: it is detrimental to the state of higher education and the workers who labor as non-tenure track faculty. Non-tenure track faculty workers are typically employed under the following conditions, all of which create a condition of precarity:

a. low salaries— “Overall, part-time faculty respondents report low compensation rates across all institutional categories. Toutkoushian and Bellas (2003) found that part-time faculty earn approximately 60% less than comparable full-time faculty in institutional salary when expressed on an hourly basis.” (Task Force 2019: 14)

b. absence of benefits— “Benefits are a particular problem for part-time faculty. The CAW survey (2012) found that only 22% of contingent faculty respondents had access to health insurance coverage through their academic employer. The American Federation of Teachers offered similar findings in a 2010 survey, which found that 28% of part-time faculty had health coverage through their academic employment. “Health insurance benefits appear to be linked with course load,” the latter survey found. “Just 11 percent of those who teach only one course receive employer health benefits, while 26 percent of those who teach two courses and 39 percent who teach three courses or more receive benefits.” (AFT 2010: 14) (Task Force 2019: 14)

c. job security is minimal, contracts are typically issued only around the start of a term, if at all; renewal is typically not guaranteed; (Task Force 2019: 15)

d. non-tenure track faculty are typically excluded from participation in governance at the institution and from professional development opportunities; (Task Force 2019: 21)

e. office space ranges from shared to non-existent; (Task Force 2019: 21)

f. computers and copying facilities are typically sub-standard and restricted. (Task Force 2019: 21)

3. Whereas, this combination of conditions is detrimental to the educational experience, leading to:

a. lack of time to prepare syllabi and all the problems attendant on that first difficulty; (Task Force 2019: 18)

b. being forced to order texts at the last moment; (Task Force 2019: 19)

c. working without adequate access to computer, copying, and library facilities; (Task Force 2019: 18)

d. working without orientation to governing policies for student conduct; (Task Force 2019: 19)

e. working around a substandard office situation (frequently having to meet students in coffee shops or one’s car); (Task Force 2019: 20-21)

f. having to teach at more than one institution in order to earn a living wage; (Task Force 2019: 18, 21)

g. going unrewarded, unaided, and unrecognized for one’s own scholarly achievements. (Task Force 2019: 21-22)

4. Whereas, because this condition of precarity, maintained by low salaries and lack of job security, gives administrators more flexibility in terms of costs and scheduling, administrators have little interest in improving the situation for non-tenure track faculty, which frequently function as part of the institution’s financial margin.

5. Therefore, be it resolved that SSSP request US News and World Report, in its widely used rankings and assessment of colleges and universities in the United States, to include as a criterion how well institutions provide for non-tenure track faculty. The following criteria should be included as components of the final evaluation:

a. qualifications of the non-tenure track faculty as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

b. salaries as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

c. benefits as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

d. inclusion in governance as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

e. office space and access to technology and library resources as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

f. professional development opportunities as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution;

g. job security as compared with tenure-system faculty at the institution.

Members of SSSP would be happy to be available to editors to help in the production of this new criteria.

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RESOLUTION 3: Resolution on the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS)

Submitted by: Melissa F. Weiner, Johnny Eric Williams, Timothy Black, Ashley Doane, Corey Dolgon, David Embrick, Kasey Henricks, Andrea Miller, Walda Katz-Fishman, and Reuben Roth

Whereas, the vast majority of Palestinian civil society organizations have called on international civil, academic, and cultural communities to end complicity in Israel’s decades-old violations of Palestinian rights and to engage in non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,1 by meeting three demands:

1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied in 1967] and dismantling the Wall,

2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;

and

3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194,2

And

Whereas, Palestinian academics routinely experience academic freedom violations in the form of prohibitions by the State of Israel from attending conferences, completing research, traveling outside of Palestine to earn degrees, and acquiring the most recent publications in the form of journals and books,3

And

Whereas, the State of Israel routinely violates the academic freedom of Palestinian students through harassment on their way to school at checkpoints and elsewhere in public, attacks on schools using tear gas and rubber bullets, the bombing of higher educational institutions, raids of schools and arrests of faculty and students, invasion of campuses and killing of Palestinian students, arresting and detaining students, and defunding of schools created by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA),4

And

Whereas, some Israeli universities exist, in part or in full, on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law,5

And

Whereas, “Not a single Israeli academic institution has petitioned the Israeli government to protect Palestinian rights to education or to cease interference with and destruction of Palestinian schools and colleges… A boycott of academic institutions is the strongest message possible that Israel cannot claim normality and ask to be considered in the fold of democratic societies while maintaining an apartheid state and a brutal occupation.”6

And

Whereas, Palestinians living in Israel experience limits to their academic freedom through a racially segregated education system with overcrowded, underfunded, and fewer schools, fewer kindergartens, and fewer Special Education programs for their children. This has resulted in Palestinian children in Israel experiencing higher dropout rates and lower pass rates for national exams required for entrance to higher education. Israeli courts have “never found the state to be in violation of the law or ordered it to end discriminatory practices,”7

And

Whereas, Israeli academic institutions are a critical element of the ideological and institutional scaffolding of Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism, and apartheid through the production of policies, programs, and technologies that enable and sustain these forms of oppression,8

And

Whereas, Israeli military authorities have closed Palestinian universities and destroyed cultural and academic institutions,9

And

Whereas, scholars, students, and student groups addressing human rights violations in Palestine and Israel are routinely harassed at US colleges and universities,10

And

Whereas, the US Government denies Palestinian students visas to study in the US,11

And

Whereas, it is increasingly difficult for international academics (including US citizens) to be admitted into the occupied Palestinian territory as entry is dependent on Israeli approval and are repeatedly denied entry by Israeli military authorities, thereby severely compromising Palestinian universities’ ability to employ international faculty,12

And

Whereas, US tax dollars support the military repression and oppression of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza,13

And

Whereas, Palestinian civil society organizations have called on academic and professional organizations to engage in a boycott of Israeli universities for their complicity in Palestinian oppression,14

And

Whereas, the SSSP mission statement calls on us “to foster higher quality of life, social welfare, and positive social relations in society and the global community and to undertake any activity related thereto or necessary or desirable for the accomplishment of the foregoing purposes” alongside “strict adherence... to the protection of the right to engage in intellectual debates of all types without fear of censorship or retaliation,”15

And

Whereas, “SSSP is engaged in multiple avenues of social justice research and action” and “regularly participates in calls to action on various social justice issues,”16

And

Whereas, SSSP protects the rights of all scholars, students and faculty, to address the human rights violations in their scholarship and speak out against it without experiencing harassment, bullying, or consequences to their employment, scholarship, or rights to free speech,

And

Whereas, sociologists engaged in critical race and systemic white racism scholarship recognize the institutionalized power relations and structural violence17 inherent in the occupation as diametrically opposed to full equality in academia and academic freedom,

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the Society for the Study of Social Problems endorses the call for a boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions articulated by our Palestinian colleagues18 until they end all forms of complicity in Israel’s grave human rights violations and publicly distance themselves from these violations,

And

Be it also resolved, that SSSP send a letter to the PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) and USACBI (US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) organizations regarding our support of their resolution with ours,19

And

Be it also resolved, that SSSP publicize these BDS Resolutions on the SSSP webpage,

And

Be it also resolved, “recognizing that different actions may be feasible and appropriate under the many different academic and political circumstances that pertain in US institutions,” SSSP will urge its members to undertake as many of the following initiatives as possible:

1. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support;

2. Encourage your university and college administrations to institute funding for scholarships and fellowships for Palestinian students;

3. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with complicit Israeli institutions;

4. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by academic institutions, and place pressure on your own institution to suspend all ties with Israeli universities, including collaborative projects, study abroad, funding and exchanges.20

1 Abunimah, Ali. 2014. The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Chicago: Haymarket. The full BDS Call can be found here: bdsmovement.net/call, bdsmovement.net/pacbi; Barghouti, Omar. 2011. Boycott Divestment Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. Chicago: Haymarket.
2 For the text of UN Resolution 194 see: https://undocs.org/A/RES/194%20(III).
3 American Libraries Magazine, June 27. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/academic-libraries-palestine/; Baramki, Gabi. 2010. Peaceful Resistance: Building a Palestinian University under Occupation. Chicago: Haymarket; Barghouti 2011, Eberhart, George M. 2016. “Academic Libraries in Palestine: Challenges and Frustrations of Information Access in the Palestinian Territories”; Mullen, Bill V. and Ashley Dawson, Eds. 2015. Against Apartheid: The Case for Boycotting Israeli Universities. Chicago: Haymarket.
4 Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). 2013. Education Under Apartheid: Access to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Geneva: World Council of Churches and UNICEF https://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_Under_Occupation_final-SMALL.pdf; United Nations Development Programme. 2014. “Education.” 2014 Palestine Human Development Report. New York: United Nations, https://www.undp.org/content/dam/papp/docs/Publications/UNDP-papp-research-PHDR2015Education.pdf. Visweswaran, Kamala. 2015. “Palestinian Universities and Everyday Life under Occupation.” Academe (Sept-Oct), https://www.aaup.org/article/palestinian-universities-and-everyday-life-under-occupation#.XtPF51ApDOQ.
5 Hebrew University sits on land illegally acquired in 1968 while Ariel University is located in the illegal settlement of Ariel in the West Bank.
6 https://usacbi.org/2013/09/do-not-apply-open-letter-campaign-to-boycott-hebrew-university/
7 Coursen-Neff, Zama. 2004. “Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in the Israeli Educational System.” International Law & Politics 36(749): 101-162; Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). 2013. Education Under Apartheid: Access to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Geneva: World Council of Churches and UNICEF https://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_Under_Occupation_final-SMALL.pdf; Human Rights Watch. 2001. Second Class: Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s Schools. New York: Human Rights Watch.
8 http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2613; Mullen & Dawson 2015.
9 Almeghari, Rami. 2014. “Israel Attacks my University - with Bombs and Lies,” Electronic Intifada, August 4, https://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-attacks-my-university-bombs-and-lies/13697; Baramki 2010; Birzeit University. Nd. “University Closure History.” https://www.birzeit.edu/en/about/history/education-under-occupation/closures-history; Kabariti, Ahmad. 2018. “‘It is a War Against Every Part of Palestinian Identity: Israel Destroys Popular Gaza Cultural Center.” Mondoweiss, August 10. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/palestinian-identity-destroys/; Middle East Monitor. 2018. “Occupation Forces Close Vicinity of Al-Quds University, Prevent Students from Entering,” October 5, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181005-occupation-forces-close-vicinity-of-al-quds-university-prevent-students-from-entering/.
10 See Salaita, Steven. 2015. Uncivil Rights: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom. Chicago: Haymarket for a thorough discussion of the multiple ways that students and faculty speaking in support of Palestinian human rights are targeted and attacked. For the role of Canary Mission and other organizations that are bankrolled by the Israeli government to limit academic freedom of those supporting Palestinian human rights and scholars conducting research and teaching about these human rights violations see Kane, Alex. 2018. “‘It’s Killing the Student Movement’: Canary Mission’s Blacklist of Pro-Palestine Activists is Taking a Toll.” The Intercept, November 22 (https://theintercept.com/2018/11/22/israel-boycott-canary-mission-blacklist/), and Al Jazeera’s four-part series The Lobby (https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/). For recent examples of students and faculty facing legal harassment for their Palestinian solidarity activities at Williams College (MA) and the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, respectively, see: Moore, Joseph. 2019. “Freedom of Speech for Palestine Solidarity Activists.” Jacobin, July 22 (https://jacobinmag.com/2019/07/palestine-solidarity-williams-college-free-speech); Krantz, Laura. 2019. “At UMass, a Palestinian Human Rights Panel Draws a Lawsuit.” Boston Globe, April 29 (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/04/29/umass-palestinian-panel-draws-lawsuit/W4Q3zxw54N6Zt5MgCWFQ8L/story.html). See also Arnold, Janice. 2019. “Aggressive Policy Against Academic BDS Proposed by Expert.” Canadian Jewish News, December 4. https://www.cjnews.com/news/canada/aggressive-policy-against-academic-bds-proposed-by-expert
11 Avi-Yonah, Sera S. and Delano R. Franklin. 2019. “Incoming Harvard Freshman Deported After Visa Revoked.” The Harvard Crimson, August 27. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/8/27/incoming-freshman-deported/
12 Abou Jalal, Rasha. 2018. “Palestinians Decry Israeli Visa Restrictions on Foreign Academics.” Al-Monitor, July 22, https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/07/israel-denies-visa-foreign-professors-palestinian-university.html; Adalah. 2019. “Israel Forcing International Lecturers out of West Bank Palestinian Universities,” November 7, https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9767; Hass, Amira, 2019. “Israeli University Heads Say Won’t Intervene in Discrimination Against Palestinian Schools.” Ha’aretz, August 28; Kundera, Naomi. 2018. “Israeli Visa Crackdown Affects Palestinian Higher Education.” Palestine Monitor, August 9. http://www.palestinemonitor.org/details.php?id=9qzu2ka19923ymctgm73xf
13 Mark, Clyde R. 2005. CRS Issue Brief for Congress: Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress; Sharp, Jeremy M. 2019. “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel.” Washington DC: Congressional Research Service (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf).
14 Abunimah, Ali. 2014. The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Chicago: Haymarket; bdsmovement.net/call, bdsmovement.net/pacbi; Barghouti, Omar. 2011. Boycott Divestment Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. Chicago: Haymarket; Sharp, Jeremy M. 2019. “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel.” Washington DC: Congressional Research Service (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf).
15 https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/m/453/locationSectionId/0/Who_We_Are
16 https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/m/480/locationSectionId/0/Action_and_Activism
17 Delgado, Richard. S., & Jean J. Stefancic. 2001. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press. 
18 https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi/pacbi-call
19 Letter to be sent to: pacbi@bdsmovement.net and usacbi@usacbi.org.
20 https://usacbi.org/mission-statement/

 

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