SAA Board Statement Concerning the 2022 Annual Meeting
Aug 13, 2021
The SAA Board of Directors recognizes the rising COVID 19-rates from the latest variants are a cause for concern about the 2022 SAA annual meeting and its format. Our commitment to member safety remains firm and unchanged, and for this reason, we are closely monitoring the situation.
We do not know what health and safety protocols will be in place in Chicago or Illinois as of March 2022, which is seven months from now. Given current guidance for large, indoor gatherings, it is likely that people will be required to be fully vaccinated, show evidence of recent testing, and/or use masks as part of their attendance. If member safety warrants shifting to a virtual meeting for March 2022, then SAA board will act accordingly and work with our advisory committees to manage the increased costs without removing this important member benefit.
We are also evaluating the costs of a meeting with virtual options. Reduced participation rates and increased audio-visual costs for virtual and hybrid options require careful consideration of the impacts on members and the Society’s financial stability. For more information about these considerations, see our letter, and a detailed analysis will be published soon in the September issue of the SAA Archaeological Record.
The safety and well-being of our members and staff are of uppermost concern for the board. We ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate these challenges—and overcome them—together.