The amendments have been put forth to the AJET National Council in a motion by Daniel Brooks (Chair) and Ashlie O’Neill (Vice Chair) and approved by the voting members (11 Block Representatives and CIR Representative) of the AJET National Council by a margin of 10 votes to 3 abstentions.
Amendment 1: Proposal to formally establish AJET Prefectural Chapters and JET Special Interest Groups as independent groups working with, rather than under, National AJET.
It is hereby proposed that the line in Article IV which reads “and establish policies concerning the formation and management of various interest groups within AJET” Article V Section 1b, and Article IX Sections 1 and 2 be struck from the AJET Constitution. Article IX Section 3 (Peer Support Group) will remain, but be renamed Article IX Section 2 for the sake of numerical consistency.
Furthermore, it is proposed that Article IX be amended to the following:”Article IX Affiliated GroupsThe Executive Council may, on the approval of a two thirds (2/3) majority vote by the AJET National Council, make agreements to cooperate with or support external organisations, provided such actions are pursuant to the AJET Constitution and By-Laws. Engagements with external organisations are subject to annual review by the AJET National Council.Section 1AJET Prefectural Chapters and JET Special Interest Groups are fully autonomous external organisations that are independent of National AJET.Relations between National AJET and each individual group shall be limited to specific cooperative activities or offers of support that are determined by mutual agreement between the Executive Officers of these groups and the AJET National Council.”
To clarify the relationship that National AJET will adopt with Prefectural Chapters and Special Interest Groups, the following By-Law has been ratified by a 2/3 majority of the voting members of the AJET National Council.“Long-term interactions with external organizations, including but not exclusive to advertising partners, volunteering groups, and community groups (Prefectural Chapters of AJET, SIGs, etc) shall require a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) detailing the terms of the relationship to be signed by the Chair, the appointed officer responsible for maintaining the relationship (e.g. Director of Volunteering, Director of Advertising, Director of Community and Affiliate Relations, Block Representatives, etc.) and an appropriate executive member of the partner organisation. Agreements for cooperation and interaction may not cover a period of more than one year and must be ratified by an official council vote. MOA’s may be renewed on mutual agreement between AJET and the external party without an official council vote if the terms of the MOA remain the same.”
Why is this amendment being proposed?
The current AJET Constitution states that AJET Prefectural Chapters and JET Special Interest Groups are semi-autonomous groups who are subject to both National AJETs Constitution and By-Laws, as well as their own, and must be approved by the AJET National Council.
This amendment is intended to devolve full constitutional control to local community and special interest groups and ensure that National AJET, AJET Prefectural Chapters, JET Special Interest Groups, etc., are equal partners in their relationships going forward.
National AJET will continue to offer such support as is necessary and can be feasibly provided to any and all AJET Prefectural Chapters and JET Special Interest Groups, and National AJET will continue to maintain its relationships with these groups through the elected Block Representatives and appointed Director of Affiliate and Community Relations.
Amendment 2: Proposal to remove the constitutional requirement for the AJET National Council to hold at least 2 in-person meetings per year.
It is hereby proposed that Article VI, Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 be struck from the AJET Constitution, and that Article VI Section 2 be amended to the following:“In-person meetings of the AJET National Council may be held if a motion to convene a meeting is proposed by one Executive Officer and is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members of the AJET National Council”.
Why is this amendment being proposed?
The current AJET Constitution states that the AJET National Council must hold 2 in-person meetings per year, and that 2/3 of the National Council must be present for the proceedings of the in-person meeting to be valid.
The 2014-2015 AJET National Council passed a By-Law removing the obligation for elected Representatives to adopt ‘additional positions’, and decided to appoint current JETs directly to carry out these positions. This increased the size of the AJET National Council from 17 to 30 members.
Thus the realities of organising an in-person meeting of the recently expanded AJET National Council have become impractical in scale.
This amendment is being proposed to allow each National Council to decide for itself whether or not it will organise an in-person meeting.
The AJET National Council will continue to conduct regular meetings online e.g. via Skype.
Time to crawl out of your kotatsu – though maybe not quiiite time to pack it away – because Spring has sprung! This month’s issue of Connect has all the features you know and love – the latest news, a jam-packed events calendar and our pick of March’s most anticipated releases (and the platforms to stream them on)! It’s the perfect time of year to take up something new, and if you’re looking for inspiration you won’t want to miss this month’s look at veganism in Japan (plus vegan peanut butter brownies!), a West Tokyo blood donation collective, and our guide to Japanese thrift stores. Need a dose of culture? Get stuck into the myths of Miyazaki, and top it off with one JET’s unforgettable experience of volunteering at a Thai orphanage.