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Caucus Chair and Caucus Coordinating Committee Chair Responsibilities
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The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is proud to continue its sponsorship of seven Caucuses. Caucuses are formed and maintained to provide fellowship and networking opportunities for their members, advocacy within SCMS, and outreach to un- or underrepresented persons and groups in other academic disciplines. Caucuses also support scholarship by, and about, those historically un- or underrepresented groups within SCMS.


To help to address some frequently asked questions about the duties of Caucus chairs and Caucus Coordinating Committee (CCC) chairs, the Board of Directors offers this set of guidelines. We understand that each Caucus may have duties that are specific to its desires and needs. What follows is an outline of the basic responsibilities common to all Caucus chairs.


Since some of these responsibilities are time-sensitive, please check the annual calendar posted on the SCMS Website for relevant deadlines for that year. You will receive reminders from the SCMS Office, but Caucus co-chairs should keep abreast of the annual tasks, as below.


The SCMS Web site URL is: The email address of the SCMS Office is:


You can locate information about your Caucus by going to the SCMS Web site and clicking on the left-side tab for "Caucuses/Groups/Orgs.” Then click on "Caucuses” to be taken to all of the Caucuses and links to their individual pages. If you click on a specific Caucus in the drop-down menu that also appears with "Caucuses,” you will be taken directly to that Caucus' page.



Caucus Chairs


Internal Organization and Membership


  • Update your Caucus mission statement and by-laws if and when necessary; changes must be approved by 2/3 of your members and by the SCMS Board
  • Recruit new members
  • Ensure that your constituents maintain current membership in the Society




  • Call elections for two co-chairs, each of whom serve staggered three-year terms
  • Hold elections at the conference, or arrange with the SCMS Office and Website Content Manager to have a space on the Web site to run elections; only members in good standing can vote
  • Report the results of the election to the SCMS Secretary and Office
  • Consider electing a graduate student representative (if you haven’t already) to a term agreed upon within your Caucus. Although it is optional, the Board has recommended that each Caucus and SIG have such a representative as part of their leadership structure; it provides the occasion for both inclusiveness and mentoring. Note: If you do add a graduate student representative to your Caucus, you must change your by-laws to reflect this and send the amended version to the Secretary and the SCMS Office.
  • Train and mentor incoming chairs


SCMS Conference:


  • Schedule an individual meeting of your Caucus at the conference through the SCMS Office
  • Request funding through the SCMS Office
  • Communicate with your members and then with the Office and Conference Program Committee Chair as to which workshops, panels, and screenings your Caucus would like to sponsor. A maximum of 8 panels and workshops (total) can be sponsored. There is currently no limit as to how many screenings a Caucus may sponsor. *Important: These are tasks undertaken once the preliminary program appears online, usually in December.
  • Send a co-chair or representative to one of the New Members’ Orientation sessions and to the Members’ Business Meeting at the conference
  • Encourage Caucus members who qualify to apply for travel awards




  • Submit annual reports to the SCMS Secretary and Office in the spring. A template for the report can be found on the last page of this document.




  • Ask questions or pose issues of concern to the Caucus Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs
  • Represent the mission and goals of the Caucus to the CCC Chairs and to the Board of Directors liaison (the latter is appointed annually)
  • Keep your Caucus Web page information up-to-date, forwarding any revisions to the SCMS Office
  • Appoint a member of your Caucus to receive training at one of the tutoring sessions that will be offered at the conference to maintain and update your Web page. We will be phasing in this model at the 2012 Boston conference. (More information will follow regarding these sessions.)





Caucus Coordinating Committee Chairs (The CCC functions as a formal networking group for all of the Caucus chairs and members)




  • The CCC chairs are elected by the Caucus co-chairs at their annual spring conference meeting or through online voting held through the SCMS Web site. Results should be reported to the Secretary and Office no later than June 30.


SCMS Conference:


  • Convene and chair a meeting of all Caucus co-chairs at the conference (to which the SCMS Board liaison may be invited)
  • Arrange a time for this meeting with the SCMS Office
  • Discuss with the Board of Directors each year whether the CCC co-chairs will be invited to the Board meeting at the conference to discuss Caucus matters




  • Write an annual report that includes the larger, collective initiatives of and requests from the Caucuses, to be submitted to the Secretary and the SCMS Office in the spring. A template for the report can be found at the end of this document.




  • Offer ideas for initiatives for the Caucuses
  • Facilitate communication among Caucus co-chairs during the year—especially in relation to critical moments in the SCMS calendar that involve the Caucuses (July/August for panel organization; December for panel, workshop, and screening sponsorships; the pre-conference period; and before and during the CCC and Caucus chairs’ general meeting at the conference)
  • Field questions from the Caucus chairs and members; when in doubt, contact the Board liaison to the Caucuses for answers
  • Maintain contact with the liaison from the Board and provide information about issues that the Caucus would like to bring to the Board

Template for SCMS Caucus Annual Reports to the Board of Directors >

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