Greyhound Club of America Membership Statistics
The Greyhound Club of America, like most breed clubs, does not publish announcements when it rejects applicants to the club. However, some members have reviewed the minutes of the GCA Board and the official club news pages published in the newsletter, and have discussed the history of applications to the club with members of long standing. The following tables provide twelve years of statistics on approvals and rejections of applicants for club membership.
From the year 1990 through 2000, only three applicants for membership in the Greyhound Club of America were refused. However, in 2001 through the first 9 months of 2002, there have been 11 refusals.
Of the 2002 applicants, the majority of those accepted for membership had sponsors who were officers or Board members of the GCA. All of the rejected applicants were sponsored by members who have objected to the Board's vote to close the stud book to Greyhounds registered with the National Greyhound Association
The GCA Constitution and Bylaws require that membership applications be discussed at board meetings, but the recent rejections of applications were done without any discussion at a meeting. The votes were conducted by email, and the actual vote tallies have not been disclosed. The GCA Board voted in 1994 to keep their meetings open during the discussions of prospective members. This was done to prevent someone from being blackballed by rumor or innuendo that could not be substantiated if subjected to public scrutiny. The current GCA Board has chosen to ignore this rule and has conducted their discussions and voting on new members in private.
The current GCA Standing Rules include the following:
It was suggested by one club officer that the current year's number of applications was unusually large. There is some irony in that claim. There have been 17 membership applications voted on by the GCA Board so far this year. By way of comparison, GCA board member Shari Mason, her husband, and her daughter were all welcomed into the club in a year when 20 new members were inducted. Treasurer Herman Leider, as well as Board member Mary Ellen Gorske and her spouse joined the GCA in 1994, when 22 new members were accepted. And club president Sue LeMieux was accepted in 1995, a year when 13 new members joined.
GCA Membership Details
The following information is taken from GCA Newsletters held by the GCA Archives and cover the years 1990 through 2002. Policy was instituted by the Board in February of 1990 to print the names of all applicants for membership in the GCA Newsletter.
A few years back, a GCA committee proposed altering the club constitution to add a new class of "associate members" and to impose more stringent requirements for full membership. This proposal was intended to limit full membership to what the committee considered to be "the most serious fanciers of the Greyhound breed." The general membership voted against these changes. Now it seems that the directors of the club have imposed barriers to membership that are even more restrictive.
Most of the applicants rejected in the past year have considerable experience in the breed. All owned show champions and many owned coursing champions as well. Some rejected applicants had over 25 years experience showing and breeding Greyhounds, and in many cases, the applicants turned down in the past year had more experience in the breed than the GCA directors who were voting on their applications.
There appears to be a bias among the GCA's directors to reject applicants who may favor keeping the stud book open. It is a violation of the Greyhound Club of America's duty to the breed to reject experienced, qualified fanciers of diverse opinions solely because of their views on a single controversial matter.
In October 2002, the Insights Document came to light. This document was secretly used by the GCA Board to evaluate recent candidates for club membership. It's worth noting that the membership criteria used in 2002 are considerably different from those listed in the GCA bylaws. Oddly, the applicants for membership were judged as worthy or not based on research done by a club officer without directly asking the applicants or their sponsors for the data sought. Although the club was advised in 2000 that earning a show championship could not be used as a criteria for membership, this document not only tries to count the number of Greyhound show champions finished by each applicant but it does not accept all show champions as equal. It counts championships separately depending on whether the dog's pedigree includes NGA dogs in the most recent four generations.
Revised, 4 November 2002, S. Pober
© 2002 S. Pober