Editor's Note (Tom Gannon)

Time to renew memberships. Interestingly, there's a debate going on amongst Mensans (I subscribe to a discussion list for M editors) about whether local groups are getting their fair share of the annual $49 dues for full membership. And the prevailing opinion is that they are not.

Currently, the American Mensan Committee (AMC) returns $7.85 per member per year to local groups. That's supposed to fund both the mandated newsletter and local activities. It doesn't for RIM, as we've talked about this year, nor does it for virtually all the other local groups around the country. And no editor wants to cut back the size of the newsletters and further shortchange members.

Last month, the debate began to heat up, with editors maintaining that AMC board members have gone "Beltway," losing touch with the members, forgetting that they (who also are members) are elected to serve the membership not themselves and their pet projects. In short that they've grown power-mad, arrogant, and accustomed to jetting around the country four times a year to kick back and pat each other on the back.

How to rectify the situation? Grassroots feeling seems to be that wed like an item on the AMC agenda resulting in a more fair distribution of membership dues. Some have suggested a 50-50 split, others a flat $1 per member to fund the monthly newsletters--or $12 a year per member.

There's talk of soliciting support from members--that's you--for some by-law revisions (including membership approval of any dues increases) via the newsletters; if and when a petition or ballot is agreed upon, you can be sure it will be printed in M'Ocean.

As one editor put it: "It's past time that we members took control of Mensa."

(RVC Betsy Burke's column will resume next month.)

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Last updated: January 27, 2002