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Section Conveners’ Essentials

All conveners should follow these guidelines:

1. Read Important Information for Section Conveners.
Review this comprehensive manual when you assume your duties; alert us to gaps. Topics below are presented more elaborately there.

2. Contact AFS staff at [email protected] in advance concerning all new business. This includes:

  • All financial transactions or fundraising
  • All new communication channels (eg, Slack, Facebook, Google groups, listservs, etc.)
  • All activities except routine annual meeting business and existing online group communications
  • Any and all questions or concerns

3. Send your email through AFS for your section business. It is the only way to make sure that you reach all current members at their most up-to-date addresses. You may use off-site communications, like listservs or Facebook, for general discussion, but not for section business. Submit the text of your message to [email protected], and AFS staff will send your message on your behalf. See “Section Communications” in Important Information for Section Conveners for a full explanation.

4. Convene a meeting for your members at least once a year. AFS bylaws state that your section must meet at the annual meeting. Generally speaking, AFS will always provide you with meeting space, but you must request meeting space by the proposal deadline to have a meeting scheduled. Use the “special event request” form that will be posted each year to that year’s Annual Meeting web page. If you don’t request the room, your business meeting may not be listed in the meeting program. Note: due to the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, sections had to conduct their business meetings virtually, using a Zoom meeting created by AFS; many sections preferred the virtual option for accessibility in 2022 and virtual business meetings remain an option in 2023. Contact [email protected] to arrange a date and time.

5. Submit a section annual report by December 31 each year; use this annual report form. This step is required by AFS by-laws.

6. Keep your online section information current. (See “Sections on the AFS Website” in Important Information for Section Conveners.) For now, send changes to AFS pages to [email protected]. You are also responsible for keeping off-site platforms current, and giving AFS staff administrative access to them.

7. Use AFS channels for communication to your advantage:

  • We want to help you share information about your section and interests using our website news, email newsletter, and social media. Share your calls for submissions or prize announcements, of course, but also consider writing a feature, note, or report. Submit text to publish in Word or text format.
  • We ask that you post announcements through AFS first, then spread the word through non-AFS channels like Publore and H-Folk.

8. Keep the Section prize ball rolling: AFS staff will assist at all stages of your prize process, but you (or a prize committee chair) will have to initiate it; each section is responsible for managing and documenting its own process. (See “Section Prizes” in Important Information for Section Conveners). At minimum, you will:

  • Make sure that your prize information is up to date on the AFS website and submit your “call for submissions.”
  • Submit the prize winner. The form will prompt you for the information that AFS staff will use to issue payment, prepare a letter of recognition, and announce the winner.
  • Submit the prize winner report form by October 1 if you want your winner announced at the AFS Annual Meeting.
  • See Resources for Conveners for the current form links.

9. Request any other payment by email to Jessica Turner. Allow up to two weeks for delivery.