News and editorial
The main decisionmaking and policy-setting body of the American Psychological Association is its Council of Representatives (COR). This body is made up of representatives from the different divisions of APA and also from state/provincial/territorial psychological associations (SPTAs) as well as members of the APA Board of Directors. It is a body of over 165 individuals and we currently serve as SPSSI/Division 9’s two members of COR. There is a complicated process for obtaining seats on COR. Each fall, members of APA are sent apportionment ballots on which they can assign a total of 10 votes to divisions and associations. Seats on COR for divisions and SPTAs are allocated based on the total number of apportionment votes received.
This past year, we strongly encouraged APA members to allocate their apportionment votes to SPSSI/Division 9, especially because our apportionment total had been declining. In short, we were getting close to losing our second COR seat. We are happy to report success – SPSSI/Division 9 had a big jump up in apportionment votes received this year! In 2007, a total of 1309 votes were cast for SPSSI/Division 9 whereas the 2008 total (which determines COR seats for 2010) was 1576. In addition, in 2007, 40 people allocated all 10 of their apportionment votes to SPSSI/Division 9; in 2008, that number went up 50% to 60 people. This is clearly good news for SPSSI and we think it reflects member recognition not only of the importance of dual interests in science and social policy, but of SPSSI’s role as the “conscience of APA.” That is, SPSSI has played an active role, sometimes adversarial sometimes cooperative, in pushing the APA to adopt policies in line with the science and social commitment of SPSSI members. The recent debates over psychologist involvement in torture and interrogation are a case in point (see related article, page 19).
So, the news is good and SPSSI/Division 9’s second COR seat is safe through 2010. Although we have a long way to go before a third COR seat is in reach, we will continue to push for more apportionment votes in the fall. In addition, the system currently used for translating apportionment votes into COR seats is under review and may be changed. We do not yet know what these changes will be and what they might mean for SPSSI/ Division 9. In the meantime, though, we are proud to represent SPSSI/Division 9 and we thank you for your support, commitment, and confidence.