I am pleased and honored to share my first President’s Message with all of you. My involvement with WAML these past few years has given so much to me, and I am very happy to give back to WAML by serving as its President. Katherine Strickland, at the University of Texas, and I have been working together planning the upcoming meeting in Austin, Texas. We are both very excited about all of the plans made so far, and we look forward to a great meeting in November this year –WAML’s 50th anniversary! Look for an announcement with more details about the upcoming meeting and a call for proposals late this July.
Several WAML members have rightly voiced concern over the State of Texas’ so called “bathroom bill” and various other related legislation. I share your concern and recognize that this legislation may influence some WAML members’ decisions to attend our meeting in Austin. I am also aware that the State of California Attorney General recently added Texas to its list of states to which state employee travel is restricted. These developments are disappointing, but out of our control. The WAML Executive Board met earlier this spring to discuss the consequences of this legislation on our Annual Meeting with the hope that any potential ban on travel to Texas would not yet be in effect come November. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
On behalf of the Executive Board, I emphasize that WAML extends a warm, accommodating welcome to all people and opposes acts of discrimination and prejudice. Katherine Strickland and I will seek an LGBQT friendly or owned venue for the conference banquet. The Executive Board is also discussing the addition of a code of conduct and statement of inclusivity to our conference materials. Lastly, if any WAML member decides not to attend our meeting due to the recent Texas legislation, we support your decision.
A final cheery note: the next three issues of the IB, including this issue, honor WAML’s 50th anniversary. Each issue will feature articles celebrating the history of WAML, particularly the November issue. I look forward to reading and learning more about our great organization!
University of Colorado Boulder