CONVENTION PRIMER: Program and committees of a UNA Convention

As the Ukrainian National Association, its officers and members prepare for the organization's 36th Regular Convention, which will convene on Friday, May 26, at the Soyuzivka estate in Kerhonkson, N.Y., The Ukrainian Weekly is publishing a series titled "Convention Primer" that explains the UNA's goals, structure and operations.

On the front page of this issue, readers will notice the official announcement of the program for the 36th Regular Convention of the Ukrainian National Association. In accordance with the UNA By-Laws, the convention program must be announced "at least 30 days prior to the Convention."

The By-Laws also stipulate that "The Executive Committee at a special session called by the President, shall prepare a program for the Convention." That meeting was held at the UNA headquarters on April 7.

Also at their April 7 meeting, once again as directed by the By-Laws, the UNA Executive Committee approved the delegates and alternates to the 36th Convention, and appointed five members each to the Credentials Committee, Committee on Revision of By-Laws and Financial Committee from among the delegates elected by their branches to serve during the convention.

The By-Laws state that "The delegates on each respective committee shall be from different states; they shall elect from among their number a chairperson and secretary and shall meet with one or more members of the Executive Committee." The By-Laws also spell out the duties of these committees.

Meeting on April 13, the Credentials Committee verified the status of all delegates in accordance with the UNA By-Laws.

The names of the delegates and alternates, as well as the appointed committee members, were published in this newspaper's April 23 issue.

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The UNA Manuals, which are appended to, but not a part of the UNA By-Laws, stipulate that a UNA Convention is called to order by the UNA president. Once the conclave has been declared formally in session and the Credentials Committee has presented its report and the list of delegates, "the delegates shall elect from among themselves a Chairperson of the Convention and two Vice-Chairpersons."

Also elected are an 11-member Election Committee and a five-member Committee on Petitions. In addition, the Manuals provide for the appointment of "a Press Committee and any other Committees which may be deemed necessary." It is customary that a Secretaries Committee and a Resolutions Committee are named. Delegates elected to the Election Committee cannot be nominated as candidates for any office on the General Assembly. The duties of the Election, Petitions and Press committees are delineated in the Manuals.

The manner of voting at the convention also is dictated by the Manuals: "On any question before the Convention, except the amendment of the By-Laws, the majority vote of the delegates present shall govern. The presiding officer [the chairperson, or in his absence one of the vice-chairpersons] shall take the vote in such a way as he sees fit, except for the election of officers, which shall be by ballot and voting machines."

In order for an amendment to the UNA By-Laws to pass, it must be approved by "not less than two-thirds of the delegates of all Branches" at a UNA Convention. The UNA Manuals, on the other hand, can be changed more readily as all that is required is two-thirds approval of the 20-member General Assembly, which meets annually.

All convention proceedings are run in accordance with "Robert's Rules of Order."

- Roma Hadzewycz

Chicago UNA District Committee holds annual meeting

by Myron B. Kuropas

CHICAGO - The annual meeting of the Chicago UNA District Committee was held at the Ss. Volodymyr and Olha Community Center on Saturday, April 8.

The meeting was brought to order by District Committee Chair Stefko Kuropas. Elected to the presidium were Myron Kuropas, chairman, and Andrij Skyba, recording secretary.

Annual reports were presented by Chairman Stefko Kuropas, Secretary Skyba, and Treasurer Bohdan Kukuruza. Following a short discussion, a motion to accept the reports as read was made by the auditing committee. The motion was approved unanimously, as was a motion to re-elect the same three officers, namely, Stefko Kuropas, chairman, Mr. Skyba, secretary, and Mr. Kukuruza, treasurer.

During the discussion that followed, Stefko Kuropas reported that by enrolling 16 new UNA members ($245,000 of insurance), the Chicago District Committee achieved 106 percent of its annual membership quota. Stefko Kuropas enrolled four new members, while Myron Luszczak, Nadia Salabay, Stephan Welhasch and Steven Woch enrolled two each.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to concerns which branch secretaries and General Assembly members had regarding the future of the UNA.

One UNA branch secretary mentioned that he has been paying for UNA ads in Chas i Podiya, one of the local Chicago papers, with relatively good results. He wondered why the Home Office was not willing to pay for more of them in Chicago.

There was unanimity regarding UNA Christmas cards which were criticized as being aesthetically poor - "horrible," one person declared. Everyone wondered why Chicago members received the cards after Christmas.

Some delegates wondered why the UNA's application forms have not been modernized. It was agreed that they are needlessly long and repetitive. One person wondered why it was perfectly acceptable to have applications in the Ukrainian and English languages for over 100 years and now, when we have a new immigration that hasn't mastered English, the applications are all in English. Adviser Skyba explained that English only was mandated by the New Jersey State Insurance Commission.

One General Assembly member wondered if the UNA couldn't take the insurance commission to court for ethnic discrimination. "If we can have official U.S. government documents in Spanish, why can't we have our applications in Ukrainian? Is the New Jersey commission trying to sink the UNA?" he asked.

The problem of an effective national organizer was brought up as was the hiring of a publications director. One delegate wondered why the UNA hired a publications director to "fix" our publications when what we really needed was another organizer for the Midwest. "Why fix something that isn't broken?" he asked.

It was also pointed out that since the minutes of the last convention (2002) have not been published, it is ridiculous to think that delegates could offer "changes for the good and welfare of the association." One delegate seemed to recall that a resolution was passed at the Chicago convention to purchase "Helm of Destiny" videos or CDs for use by secretaries in marketing the UNA. This was not done. "No one seems to understand marketing at our Home Office, not for our products, for Soyuzivka for that matter," he stated.

The meeting ended with a buffet luncheon for members and guests.

Young UNA'ers

To the Members of the UNA:

The 2002 UNA Convention mandated several changes to the UNA By-Laws. The revisions made are now available in print. Those wishing to receive a copy of the revisions, should contact the UNA Home Office at 800-253-9862.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 30, 2006, No. 18, Vol. LXXIV

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