How AMSA Makes Policy


What follows is a quick overview of the AMSA policy-making process. You can get involved in almost every step of the way. The most exciting, of course, is to debate the policy when it goes before the HOD at convention, but there are some important steps that happen before that.

1. Think of an idea for change
Any member can write a resolution to create a new policy, change an existing policy, delete an old policy, change the Constitution or Bylaws, or direct the Board of Trustees to take certain actions.

2. Look in the PPP to find the current policy (if there is one) 
The Constitution & Bylaws and Internal Affairs are the documents that define how AMSA works. The Preamble, Purposes & Principles (PPP) is the document that defines what our beliefs are on a wide range of issues. It was written entirely by members who wrote resolutions that passed in the HOD. Contact AMSA’s Vice President of Internal Affairs at for more information.

3. Write the resolution! 
A resolution has two parts. The PREAMBLE explains why the change should be made or why the actions need to be taken. The RESOLVED section is the new policy statement or what specifically you want AMSA to do.

4. Submit your resolution to the national office
This is important! Resolutions must be submitted online to the national office by 60 days prior to the House of Delegates. All resolutions received after this date will be considered late and will not be accepted for the current year’s convention. Exceptions to the deadline have to be approved by the BOT and must be of an “emergent” nature. If you believe you have a resolution of this nature, please contact AMSA’s Vice President for Internal Affairs at

5. Resolutions are made available to the chapters 
All resolutions submitted by the deadline will be made available online on the AMSA HOD website one month prior to the House of Delegates.

6. Chapters meet to decide how their delegates will vote 
The Most Important Step: It is extremely important that chapters meet and discuss resolutions prior to convention. Chapters should arrive at a consensus on each resolution and identify any changes they would like to see.


7. Regional Meetings
Regions meet to discuss the resolutions. Several members will record the opinions of the region and then report to the reference committee during the open session.

8. Reference Committees–Open Session
The Reference Committees have an open session to hear testimony from all of the regions, Board of Trustees, chapters and individual members who want to give testimony.

9. Reference Committees–Closed Session
The Reference Committees have a closed session to assemble all of the testimony and to make a formal report and recommendation on each resolution.

10. House of Delegates
The Reference Committees make recommendations to the HOD. Delegates can extract specific resolutions for specific discussion, amendment or debate on the floor of the HOD Resolutions can be amended, and each change is voted on. Then, a final vote is taken and if the resolution passes, the resolution is implemented.

New AMSA Policy!