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Re: Re: AIS: membership trends - more

On Jan 27, 2005, at 8:36 PM, Bobby Baxter - Wake Forest, NC wrote:

I belong to four different plant societies and AIS is the only society that does not publish a membership list for the general membership. If some members were to take a look on page 87 of issue #323 of the Iris Bulletin for July 2001, then they might just get the impression that the AIS membership is restricted in the way the Bill describes. The minutes from the Board of Director meeting in May 2001 say:

"...member of the AIS board of directors, Administrative officers of the AIS, Committee of the AIS (or their designate), Cooperating Societies of the AIS (or their designate), on their request and upon their certifying that the information will be used only for AIS business, be given an electronic copy of the AIS membership at no charge." This action was approved.

To date, I do not believe that the general membership may purchase a copy of this membership roster or any printed membership roster from the society simply for the purpose of having it.

I wholeheartedly agree that the designated people in the above motion have access to the membership list. It is a necessary tool for these people and should be readily accessible. I also favor having a membership list that the general membership is either given as part of their membership or to purchase separately.
John (speaking as a board member) sez:

In my tenure on the board, the subject has come up several times. The boards position (and one I happen to agree with) is that the privacy of individuals is the key issue and releasing the membership list (meaning of course name and address) has the potential of having the members abused with unwanted mailings etc.

(I actually am not sure whether we are required by law to protect names on the list or not, but that is our position)

It used to be that commercial concerns could purchase a set of mailing labels, that is no longer the case.

Given today's environment, the increase of identity theft, fraudulent mailings and the like, I personally don't want my name released (it is already public enough).

We do not think we want to burden the AIS Membership Secretary with the additional burden of dealing with an exception list for people who want their name restricted from any distribution, and probably most people would want to be on the restricted list, so what would be left would be of marginal utility.

Having a roster "simply for the purpose of having it" is sort of an oxymoron. If you don't want it for a purpose, why have it.

John | "There be dragons here"
| Annotation used by ancient cartographers
| to indicate the edge of the known world.

List owner iris@hort.net and iris-photos@yahoogroups.com
USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay)
Fremont, California, USA
Director, American Iris Society
Chairman, AIS Committee for Electronic Member Services

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