[URBANTH-L]Refunds, MESA meeting, Repercussions of 2006 in SF

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sat Oct 23 20:15:20 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "susan mazur" <susanmazur at hotmail.com>
To: <acjancius at ysu.edu>; <urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu>
Sent: Saturday, October 23, 2004 7:01 PM

Is there any question of a refund?

Susan Mazur-Stommen, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Anthropologist
University of California, Riverside

----- Original Message -----
From: <asteiner at mail.utexas.edu>
To: <urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu>
Sent: Saturday, October 23, 2004 6:42 PM
Subject: Fwd: [GRADFORUM:2076] RE: mesa conference in nov in sf

>Here's the latest concerning the MESA meeting:

>To newhall at u.arizona.edu
>Dear Dr.  Newhall,
>Thanks for your prompt response!
>I am dismayed that I had not heard anything about this situation from
>MESA and would not have been aware of it except for my participation in
>AAA.  Many student members of MESA were apparently equally in the dark
>about this, and Iíve even heard from a professor who was not aware that
>the Hyatt Regency in SF is one of the hotels being struck, though he
>cares very much about this issue.  You mentioned in this email to me
>that ìMembers will be informed of the situation,î but I do believe that
>this should be done in a timely manner ñ i.e. now! ñ to give people
>time to make their decisions about whether to attend (i.e. cross picket
>lines), to change their hotel plans (especially if they had intended to
>stay in one of the hotels being struck), or even ìjustî to discuss the
>situation and the ethical questions involved.  The sooner we make
>cancellations/ changes, the less we are personally liable for.
>I fully appreciate the situation MESA finds itself in; as you
>mentioned, a lawsuit and huge financial penalties could destroy the
>organization.  I truly do not want that to happen as I think MESA has
>played and will continue to play an important role ñ especially as we
>have seen in recent times ñ in combating prejudice(s) within government
>and within the public (e.g. as regards federal funding and oversight
>issues) and in taking official positions on certain issues (e.g. the
>restriction of visas to the US for academics who are not citizens or
>permanent residents of the US).
>And yet, MESA also has an important role to play in these
>circumstances. I find that our ìright to chooseî (your own words!) as
>individual members of MESA in this case has been compromised by MESA
>organizersí lack of forthrightness about the situation; we cannot
>ìchooseî if we do not know there is a ìchoiceî to be made!  I would
>heartily appreciate an official and public statement of disclosure from
>MESAís Board of Directors on their position and decisions, as well as
>the reasons for those decisions and an explanation of the
>decision-making process.
>You and other MESA officials should be aware of measures that have been
>recommended to AAA to avoid getting caught in such a dilemma in the
>future, and MESA should consider adopting similar policies, including:
>&#8729; to favor living wage municipalities and unionized hotels in
>choosing future meeting venues, to seek a strike cancellation clause in
future contracts with
>meeting hotels, and to purchase cancellation insurance to cover future
>To this list I would add: for MESA to make major decisions and
decision-making processes
>(such as involved here) public to its members, to adopt some policy
regarding collecting input from MESA members on such issues, and to alter
MESAís no-show policy so as not to penalize those who boycott the annual
meeting(s) for matters of principle such as this.
>I feel this last point is important.  While you state that individuals
>have the ìright to chooseî whether or not to attend this yearís annual
>meeting, MESAís policy states that a no-show on the part of a presenter
>will be penalized by not being allowed to present in the following
>yearís meeting; if a proposed presenter at this yearís meeting decides
>to boycott this yearís meeting at the Hyatt in San Francisco, would
>he/she still be penalized as a no-show?
>While I am well aware that MESA plans for and contracts for annual
>meetings several years in advance (and so enacting these recommended
>policies may not have real effect until years into the future), I
>believe that consideration of and adoption of these measures would
>improve the ethical position of our organization.  At the very least,
>it will clarify MESAís position to our members and to managers/ owners
>of potential meeting sites.
>I hope to hear from you on these points, and I feel that a general
>discussion ñ of both the long-term and the short-term issues ñ is
>desirable right now.
>Eagerly awaiting your reply,
>Afra Al-Mussawir
>Graduate Student in Anthropology and
>The Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies
>The University of Texas at Austin

>--- MESA <mesana at u.arizona.edu> wrote:
>>  To: "'Afra Al-Mussawir'" <afraalmussawir at yahoo.com>
>>  Subject: RE: mesa conference in nov in sf
>>  Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 13:06:34 -0700
>>  Dear Afra,
>>  Thank you for your inquiry about MESA's meeting in San Francisco.
>>  The Secretariat and the Board of Directors have been monitoring the
>>  situation and have been in communication with both the union and the
>>  hotel.
>>  The meeting will take place. After extensive deliberations, the Board
>>  made  the decision that individual members should be given the right to
>>  choose to  attend or not to attend. Cancelling the meeting is not an
option as
>>  MESA would be destroyed by a lawsuit. It does not have the financial
>>  cushion that AAA has. For us it is a question of the survival of the
>>  We will do as much as possible to allow individual members to make
>>  the decisions about participating in the meetings without spending money
at the
>>  host hotel; alternative hotel rooms at non-striking locations are
>>  available. There is nothing we can do about the sessions.
>>  This is an impossible situation but I have to be optimistic that it
>>  will be resolved by the time of the meeting. Members will be informed of
>>  situation.
>>  Give me a call if you would like to talk about this some more.
>>  Amy W. Newhall, Ph.D.
>>  Executive Director
>>  Middle East Studies Association
>>  University of Arizona
>>  newhall at u.arizona.edu
>>  www.mesa.arizona.edu

x-posted from H-MedAnthro
From: Kathryn Clancy <kathryn.clancy at yale.edu>
Author's Subject: Walking the AAA into a second strike in 2006
Date Posted: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 17:00:46 -0500

I forgot to point out in my previous email: by agreeing with the Hilton to
return to SF in 2006, you are agreeing to cross another picket line by
Local 2.  It's a contract expiring in 2006 that they're holding out
for.  They are sacrificing themselves with the knowledge that by holding
out for that in their contracts, they have a greater chance of having a
better contract in the long run.  The entire country will be on strike in
2006, including the SF Hilton.  The Hilton knows this, and that is why they
pushed that you go back to SF -- they wanted to secure business for that
time.  You just got totally played by a global corporation, and AAA
members, and your collective conscience, will be paying for it.

I believe you still have a chance to fix this.  You can still move to San
Jose, which is a better choice.  As you said in your memo, it seems a
majority of AAA members support this move.  Why go against the wishes of
the membership, and the wishes of Local 2?  You can say your decision was
difficult, but at the end of the day it should not be about difficulty,
especially when the membership is after a different decision.

kathryn.clancy at yale.edu
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Anthropology

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