As we await the results of the USA Dance national election in just a few days, I have forwarded my concerns to the Task Force that has been appointed by the Governing Council to review the national election policy. This Task Force will be looking not only at issues surrounding electronic voting, but also at such things as appropriate campaigning on social media sites with the aim of updating and refining the policy for future elections.
The specific areas I have brought to the Task Force’s attention include a determination of the appropriateness of a candidate campaigning from the podium at USA Dance sanctioned events where the candidate is serving in an official paid capacity. It will be for the Task Force to evaluate this issue and make a recommendation to the GC on policy language.
I have also requested that there be a consistent policy regarding campaigning on chapter Facebook pages. At this time most chapters allow open posting by all USA Dance members, whereas several others have more restrictive policies. At least one chapter changed its policy in the middle of the election. Candidates have relied heavily during this election on chapter Facebook pages in order to get their message out to members, and it is my opinion that whatever policy is developed to cover this issue should apply equally to all chapters during an election cycle.
Additionally, I have asked the Task Force to address the issue of the use of official USA Dance mailing lists for partisan campaigning by USA Dance candidates and their supporters, and have recommended that policy language be strengthened so that official chapter, district and national lists are not misused.
These are the issues I have brought to the attention of the Task Force. Not everyone will hold the same view regarding these matters. I suspect the Task Force will be reviewing information from a variety of sources in order to refine and expand the national election policy so that it will be better able to address campaigning in future elections, taking into consideration free speech rights as well as the responsibility of USA Dance to run elections in a manner that is fair to all candidates while being respectful of the privacy concerns of the membership at large.