I know ... I promised not to ...


... but I just have to toss out another rhetorical situation ... (really! It IS rhetorical! I HAVE deleted the names and places and ... you know, all of that other "Dragnet" stuff.Wait. Now I have to look it up. Can yall read the next post while I do this please?)

In these pages, I've asked often about the relevancy of Spouses' Clubs. No, not FRGs, or AFRCs, or any of the spouse "clubs" organized by the Services and set up to disseminate information or be a point around which focus can be placed on the greater good or mission of an organization. Nay nay ... what I'm asking about are those now famous and sometimes infamous OWCs/OSCs and EWCs/ESCs. Now before the beatings begin -- caveat -- FIRST AND UP FRONT, many of these Clubs are great! Yours may be one! Great! Count your blessings, participate, and learn what you can and take it with you as a treasured gift to your next installation -- puh-lese!

All of these Clubs are chartered and granted permission to be constituted on, and conduct their affairs on the post or base. The Garrison Commander or similar (Wing Commander) after JAG review of the constitution, agrees for this Club to be on base as long as they adhere to all of the tenets of DOD policy. Basically, withinthe legal tenets of the charter,the constitution will address andmake provisions foreveryone who "can play" should be "allowed to play." Oh ... Really?

Something just struck me as odd though, for those major installations that support a student population. Shouldn't the spouses of students be allowed unfettered access to and participation at al levels in these clubs? Ready to take a ride ... then let's continue reading ...

Most constitutions state that you may be a member but you must reside in the local area of the installation. And of course, you must be a member to run for an elected Board of Governors office. Ergo, you must live in the local area to run for an elected office--thevoice of a decision maker. But what if you are the spouse of a student? You will probably rotate in the summer, after Club Spring elections and before the program begins. As such, you won't be in the local area during the election cycle, so you can't be a member, so you can't run for office. Therefore, do you agree that it appears then that the Club has created a legal ability to exclude (upwards of?) 80% of the eligible population from being an elected Board of Governors member of the organization? Wanna Be A Minion? Sure. We'll gladly take your brain and brawn, just don't expect to be allowed to be in-charge of "our" club.

Chaps my butt. So in essence, these Posts/Bases have big clubs run by the permanent party few. The student spouses become catalysts and veritable dynamo's to keep from going crazy for the9-11 months they live in a semi-TDY condition. And the Club prospers and ... stays content knowing they may have created a perfect caste system within a Chartered Club recognized by the JAG for having a Constitution that isadhering to all DOD standards.

Solution? Change your Constitution to allow all wholive in your local area OR HAVE ORDERS to the local area, to participate if they're willing to pay their dues to become "members in absentia."

So, again my apologies - I did say I'd leave this Spouses' Club relevancy issue alone but ... what do you think? At these locations wouldn't it make sense to make allowances? AmI out to lunch on this one? Over&Out, MaintenanceToadOne

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