From time to time a SEMM member asks why they were skipped on the birthday list or not recognized when they reach a Mensa Membership Milestone. These (and the Directory Updates) are fun regular features in M-Pathy brought to you by John Senko and Toby Berger, our Editor.
Each month, John goes to get the long SEMM information list and slices and dices to make these features that so many members enjoy. He is another of those “behind the scenes” volunteers that without which we would not have the benefits of a large Mensa local group that we too often take for granted.
However, he only has available to him the information that you, the member, agree to release to the local group. If you have not checked that box on your Communication Preferences, we have no way of knowing when it is your special day, or when you achieve one of those important milestones. This is similar to not knowing your email address to notify you if something happens last minute, or a new activity is added after the newsletter deadline.
If you have not seen your name in print, but would like to get your proper recognition, go to www:us.Mensa.org and select “Membership Profile” under “My Mensa”. Click on “My Communication Preferences” in the “My Account Links” box in the upper right.
Edit if necessary to check “Release Internal” under “Releases”. Check things you wish to share under “Member Directory”. The format is clear on the webpage and easier to do than it is to tell about. If you do not have access to the website or have any trouble, phone the National Office at817-607-0060.
If you check the box “Release the above email address within the organization” you will share your information with us, but this will NOT result in your receiving M-Pathy electronically unless you want to. In “Publication Preferences” you check the box that about whether you want M-Pathy in paper form or electronically.
American Mensa’s website will experience some brief, planned service interruptions in the coming weeks. For example, there will be a short period where payments, such as event registrations, will not be able to be processed onus.mensa.org.
The interruptions are an unavoidable side effect of the organization’s transition to a new Association Management System (AMS).
“The new AMS will be fantastic at making easier some tasks performed by volunteers and the National Office, so we can offer more and better services to members and improve the Mensa experience,” said Trevor Mitchell, American Mensa’s Senior Director of Membership and Strategy, who is leading the AMS changeover. “Unfortunately, the transition is not as easy and instant as flipping a switch, and there will be short periods where some functionality on Mensa’s website will not work.”
The parts of the website that will be affected are primarily related to functions that involve payments, logging on to the site and uploading information. The interruptions are expected to last only a few days, notwithstanding unforeseen technical glitches, and will be timed during low-traffic periods on the site. Members can expect periodic updates, primarily via email, on the exact timing and services affected. And Local Group leaders and other Mensa volunteers will receive communication informing them if and how their work will be affected.
Because the new AMS will operate using member email addresses for login, members are encouraged to check their contact information and make sure theirs is up to date. This can be done by visiting us.mensa.org/profile. After the website’s transition to a new AMS in early November, membership numbers will no longer be used for login purposes.
Updates on the AMS transition, including affected services and their timing and the answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at goo.gl/9aFOlB, which will be updated regularly.
Pamela Donahoo, CAE
Executive Director, American Mensa
First of all, yes that title is a Star Wars reference. Secondly, guess what? Mr. Mensa 2016 is one of your very own, and I’m very proud to say that he in fact the writer of this article. What or who is “Mr. Mensa,” you say? Well, I’m glad you asked me that! Mr. Mensa is a fundraising event (for the Mensa foundation) that is held every year at the Annual Gathering. It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek “beauty” pageant with all male participants. Much like other beauty pageants, there is a talent portion, a formal wear portion, Q&A, and a “sexy legs” portion, which is basically the equivalent of a swimwear competition. It’s all in good fun and, extremely entertaining to watch and participate in, bribing the judges is encouraged, and the winner is crowned Mr. Mensa. But not so uneasy lies the head that wears this crown!
Since the theme of this year’s AG was “Mensa-con” (San Diego, where the AG was held, is famous for having the biggest “Comic-Con”), my love of comic books and things came in handy. For the introduction, I came out dressed as Spiderman, removed my mask, and announced that I was from SEMM, where with great brain power come great responsibility. I followed this up with sexy legs wearing Batman socks and briefs and a Darth Vader workout shirt. I later learned that I tied for first with a gentleman in scuba
gear. Then it was talent. In Batman t-shirt and jeans, I played my version of the Rolling Stones tune “Sympathy for the Devil.” It was a crowd favorite, as was evidenced by getting a large number of votes in the form of donations. Next was the formal wear competition. I wore my Irish kilt and used this opportunity to bribe the judges. I gave out little bottles of Jameson Irish whisky, and said “Water of life, shed for you” in an Irish brogue as I handed out each one. The Gaelic word for whisky means “water of life.” This worked, as I later learned the judges gave me first on that portion. The last was the Q&A. I was faced with a difficult decision between boobs and bacon. The details of my answer are a little long for this forum, but suffice to say the judges enjoyed it enough to score me second on that portion.
Shortly after this, the winner was announced…and it was ME! I was mostly just glad to have had fun and entertained the audience, but the crown and sash they gave me were pretty darn gratifying. All the contestants were auctioned off for a date (I took my date to the zoo!), raising even more money for the Mensa foundation. I spent the rest of the weekend wearing my “royal vestments,” (as was more than suggested by other former Mr. Mensas), and generally enjoying the modicum of celebrity afforded by my victory. It was a great time, and I’m proud to have brought the title home to our very own SEMM!
We know about what is going on in our local group through M-Pathy, our website (MensaDetroit.com), facebook pages (SEMM and SEMMantics) and occasional special emails if American Mensa has your current email address and you have given permission to share it within AML. (See https://mensadetroit.com/notification-help/ to see how to do this.)
But do you think about connecting with Mensans when you travel? Thanks to the internet, that is much, much easier than it used to be.
If you have a question about something where you will be travelling, don’t forget the SIGHT Program. Most American Mensa groups also have SIGHT coordinators. Go to US.Mensa.org/Connect/Local groups to find contact information for local group officers across the country. Also see US.Mensa.org/Connect/SIGHT for additional information on the program. If you need more help, our SIGHT Coordinator is John Voymas (see inside the back cover for contact information for all the SEMM Officers).
If you just want to see if anything is happening when you are going to be somewhere, go to us.Mensa.org/Connect/Read/Local group Newsletters for over 140 newsletters from A-Q-Men to WoMensa. You can do the same in over 45 countries by going to US.Mensa.org/Connect/Mensa International, where you simply click on the country to get their contact information. Ed and I have met with Mensans on every continent buy Antarctica, which has led to unforgettable experiences.
And how many of you have discovered the fantastic possibilities of US.Mensa/org/Connect/Member directory? Want to know who else shares your name? No problem. How about who lives around you? Fill in a zip code and hit search. Maybe you need the email address or phone number of someone you met at a Mensa event. You guessed it—two clicks and you can find it if they have given permission to display their information. You can even search for others who share your interests from a huge list that runs from accounting to Yoga/Pilates.
One of the primary benefits of Mensa is networking. Here’s hoping you will make good use of that ability soon.
Jean K. Becker