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Vol. 53, No. 4 • May 2016 • .pdf version
USBWA seeking volunteers to tackle everyday issues
By JOHN AKERS / Basketball Times
College basketball writers have faced a number of obstacles in recent years that have made it more difficult to do their jobs. There are not only too many issues and too little time for the USBWA to take on all of them, but term limits on district reps and officers make it difficult to create the kind of long-term strategies that are sometimes necessary to find proper solutions.
The USBWA is determined to strengthen its ability to improve working conditions for our members and its ability to truly serve its membership by creating ad hoc committees comprised of members from throughout the USBWA's membership that address specific issues and are not bound by term limits.
The board and individual members will determine the topics covered by these committees, but they might include:
• Increasing access to players and coaches for beat writers.
• Creating greater diversity within the organization.
• Placing a member inside the room with the NCAA's tournament committee during the selection process.
• Improving media seating during both the regular season and the NCAA tournament.
• Social-media issues.
Anyone interested in joining a committee – or to suggest a committee that might be formed – should reach out to John Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1.
The primary function of each committee will be to identify and appraise an issue or problem and to create a strategy to deal with it. Any action taken by a committee must be approved by the USBWA board.
The ad hoc committees will be loosely defined but of a workable size (three to eight members) and freestanding, lasting as long as necessary. They will be comprised of persons who not only are willing, but are eager to use the USBWA to improve their own working situations. At least one member of the USBWA board will be on each committee and act as that group's spokesperson to the board. Each group will strive for diversity of age, geography, ethnicity, gender and affiliation (print/online), but the over-riding criteria will be a person's desire to be on that committee.
A common-sense approach should be taken in the formation of each committee. For example, a committee on diversity ought to have a particularly diverse membership. A committee on creating more access for beat writers should include beat writers who face access challenges as well as sympathetic SIDs who can help the committee understand all sides of that issue.
Each USBWA member will be limited to one committee.
The length of one's participation on a committee will be flexible, depending on the interest in that committee.
There will be no expectation of participation on committee conference calls, etc., by the executive director, president or any board member other than that committee's spokesperson, though they are certainly welcome to participate, and the board will be updated on the direction being taken by each committee.
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