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President's Fall 2023 Message

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Hope you have all had a wonderful summer.

Since the June Scholarship luncheon, the annual meeting was held via Zoom on June 29th and officers were elected for July 2023 – June 2024. They are: President - Lynne Rogerson; Vice Presidents, Program Co-Chairs - Karen Weis and Ellen Ptalis; Vice President, Membership - Anita Meritt; Vice President, Finance - Jackie Wetcher; Secretary, Recording - Lorene Connolly; Treasurer - Janice Hartman; Assistant Treasurer, Dues - Hedy Tukey.

In addition, our committee leads are: Publicity - Lorna Ness, Coordinator; Scholalrchip Committe - Marylou Motto & Ellie Redington, Co-Chairs; Yearbook - Committee.

For the Summit College Club Foundation: President - Lynne Rogerson; Co-Vice Presidents - Anita Meritt, Ellen Ptalis, Karen Weis; Finance - Jackie Wetcher; Treasurer - Janice Hartman; Secretary, Recording - Lorene Connolly. SCCF Director, 2022 - 2024 - Susan Abely; SCCF Director, 2023 - 2025 - TBD.

An Appreciation Get-Together for Leslie Carson was held at my home on August 6th to thank her for her invaluable forty-eight years of service to AAUW and Summit College Club prior to moving to Seabrook Village in Tinton Falls, NJ. You should have received an e-blast from College Club Summit with her thank you.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Fall Luncheon on Saturday, September 23rd from noon to 3pm at Canoe Brook Country Club and hearing the presentation by Linda Stamoto of the NJ State Policy Lab at Rutgers University. I hear she is a dynamic speaker. Also, some upcoming programs are listed in the newsletter so take a look.

I have just returned from a two-week vacation at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York where it is always inspiring. The theme for the first week was “Freedom of Expression, Imagination, and the Resilience of Democracy”. We were reminded of the importance of this topic since it was the one-year anniversary of the frightening knife attack on Salman Rushdie on the Chautauqua stage. We heard an excellent speech from Bob Woodward, and a moderated discussion by Karl Rove and David Axelrod who, despite differing political views, have formed a friendship based on similar family tragedies. Pamela Paresky, Ph.D. in human development and psychology from the University of Chicago, gave a fascinating talk comparing communication needs in a marriage to those needed in a democracy. Obstacles in both can be lack of communication, neglect, lack of trust, lack of knowledge, contempt, and a crisis of meaning. Some things needed are candor with consideration, courage, curiosity, and compromise. All speakers emphasized how important free speech is, especially since democracies are fragile. This can be difficult at times when social media provides a means for all sorts of commentary, both good and bad, but what fundamentally must be kept in mind is that censorship is a slippery slope and censorship of one group can lead to censorship at will by those in power.

As an example of free speech, the policy group of AAUW-NJ had a Zoom meeting on August 30th, with Christopher Hall, Legislative Director for House Representative Tom Kean. The goal was to ask for a vote for the discharge petition to bring H.J. Res. 25 (which is to remove the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment) to the floor. Our views will be brought forward to Rep. Kean and, even if not accepted, it is good to know that our views have been expressed and listened to in a meeting.

As always, I hope that you will continue to support the AAUW mission of “gender equity and economic security” through “research, education and advocacy”.

Lynne Rogerson, President

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