Information for Steering Committee Members

Steering Committee Responsibilities and Duties

(Revised October 2009, Mareike Herrmann and Alexandra Merley Hill; Updated January 2014 B. Muellner; Updated from GoogleDrive by Jamele Watkins)

Your term begins and ends at the business meeting of each annual conference. Each member is also responsible for finishing the tasks of the current year even as they rotate into the next year. It is recommended that SC members (years 1,2,3, and retired) lunch together after the Business Meeting in order to clarify the responsibilities and duties outlined in this document. Web Editors’ email is: webeditor[at]

First-year members

Tasks during the Year

  • Create a username for yourself on the website immediately after your election to SC. Contact the current Web Editor to get approval for access. You will need access to the website in order to properly update the documents you generate (i.e. meeting minutes) and any announcements or new news that will come about during your three-years on SC.
  • Collect CfPs of WiG conference panels and WiG-sponsored panels at MLA, GSA, AATG, CAUTG, and other organizations by the end of the conference or shortly after. Post these to the WiG website.
  • Send out reminders of deadlines for WiG conference panels and WiG-sponsored panels at MLA, GSA, AATG conferences to the WiG-L, as well as to H-German and to major list-serves (e.g., fields of German, History, Cultural Studies, Feminist Study, Theory and Philosophy, and so forth), and to German Studies Departments. Abstracts for WiG and MLA panels are usually due in mid-March; check about GSA and AATG deadlines with panel organizers. Part of the rationale for this wide posting is to publicize WiG projects.
  • Respond to email on WiGBiz-L
  • Take notes during the May meeting

Tasks in preparation for and at Conference

  • In September, send out a call for panel proposals for upcoming conference. If a person would like to propose a panel in absentia, s/he/they must find someone to discuss the panel at the business meeting; s/he/they must indicate what function s/he would serve on the panel (e.g., organize, present a paper, etc.); s/he/they must indicate whether s/he would be willing to have the panel considered for the MLA, GSA, or AATG WiG-sponsored panels as well. The protocol for proposing panels is on the website. 
  • In September, send out a call for raffle donations. Continue to solicit donations during the conference (even in the form of IOU’s).
  • Take minutes at the Steering Committee Meeting, and send out to the WiGBiz-L for approval within three weeks of the end of the conference. Make alterations as necessary and post to the WiG Steering Committee Google Drive. Prior to the next SC meeting, send link/reminder of minutes in Drive. Highlight action items (or list them separately) for SC meetings. After approval of minutes at next year's conference, post final version of minutes to Google Drive. 
  • Make announcements at the conference, generally during the meals. Include information on how the conference runs for newcomers, e.g. panel proposals, business meeting, etc. Announce yourselves and your role at the Thursday panel and at Friday breakfast. Invite attendees to approach you with announcements.
  • Organize raffle. It is important to pass the raffle tickets along to the next generation of first-year members and to contact conference organizers regarding the legalities of raffle, since laws differ from state to state. Check the raffle protocol for updates.  

Second-year members

Tasks during the Year

• Respond to email on WiGBiz-L 
• Mentor first-year SC members.

Tasks in preparation for and at Conference

  • Send out reminders of Steering Committee Meeting minutes from the previous conference three weeks prior to conference. (These are the ones that you took!) At the Steering Committee Meeting, highlight any alterations to the minutes that were made between the initial draft sent out and this version. 
  • Take minutes at the Business Meeting and send out to the WiGBiz-L for approval within three weeks of the conference. Be certain to record ALL of the panels proposed and ALL of the votes received for each of the proposed panels as well as the final outcome of the votes. Make alterations as necessary post on Website. (As a 3rd year, you will distribute these Business Meeting minutes three weeks prior to conference.) 
  • Prepare sign-up sheets. SC nominations; panels for WiG (generally: 1 Thursday Night, 1 pre-20th century, 2 open sessions, 1 guest-related/special panel, 1 guest / special session), panel for GSA (1 WiG slot guaranteed; contact Pres for further info.), panels for MLA (1 WiG slots guaranteed; contact Pres for further info.), panel for AATG (1), panel for ASA (1) -- include date and location of conferences. Put these sheets up on Wednesday afternoon before conference participants arrive. Check with Conference Organizers three weeks before the conference to be sure that markers and flip charts are available for this project. Post dates and locations of each conference. 
  • Update SC Responsibilities and Duties document (this document) as relevant. Significant alterations must be passed by the SC, either through the listserv or at the SC meeting. Give the copies of the updated RaD document to new first-year members at the conference. Email copies of the updated RaD document to all the SC members after the conference.
  • Post dirty and clean Business Meeting minutes to Drive within three weeks of conference.

Third-year members

Tasks during the Year

• Run elections for President-Elect in even-numbered years. Recruitment of potential candidates can happen in consultation with the entire SC -- be forthright about asking for aid in recruitment. A Task Protocol for running elections is posted on the Website. 
• Mentor second-year Steering Committee members. 
• Send out reminder on WiG-L for suggestions for future guests, panels, etc. 
• Prepare Steering Committee Agenda. There is a Task Protocol for this task on the Website. 
• Respond to email on WiGBiz-L

Tasks in preparation for and at Conference  

  • Draft Business Meeting Agenda. Use combination of last year's Business Meeting Agenda and input from SC and WiGgies received at the SC meeting and in email exchanges during the year as basis of the agenda. Email to SC members three weeks prior to the conference. Post to Website after conference. 
  • Email panel chairs of Annual Meeting to stick to their time limits so that there is enough time for discussion. 
  • Help make sure the conference schedule is followed
  • Facilitate Steering Committee Meeting 
  • Facilitate Business Meeting
  • Organize the meeting with new SC members after the business meeting. 
  • Update SC task protocols on website after conference.

Note: Web Editor updates the contact list of those on the Steering Committee, the Treasurer, and the editors of the Yearbook and the Newsletter, but it is up to each of these individuals to be sure that info is correct! Look at Website and make any changes accordingly.