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News & Press: Announcements

2020 In-Person Annual Meeting Cancelled; Plans to Move to a Virtual Conference

Friday, March 6, 2020  
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LSA 2020 In-Person Annual Meeting Cancelled 

LSA Plans to Move to a Virtual Conference

 Check out our FAQs at the bottom!

AMHERST, Mass. – We are very disappointed to report that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to cancel the in-person 2020 LSA Annual Meeting. This decision did not come lightly, but the LSA Board decided that cancellation is the only reasonable way to ensure that the event does not contribute to the spread of the virus. Sanctions on large gatherings in Denver would also have made the event impossible. The health and well-being of our attendees, members, staff, and citizens of Denver and beyond is of utmost importance to our association.
 
The good news is that the Program Committee Co-Chairs and the Executive Office are in the process of planning a virtual meeting. We are working to ensure that the meeting resembles the vibrant intellectual program that the Committee has worked hard to assemble for us, and we want you to be a part of it! 
 
If you have registered for the in-person Annual Meeting and you choose to join the virtual meeting, we will honor your registration and you will not need to register again. However, if you wish to request a refund of your registration fee and not participate in the virtual meeting, we will provide a full refund and your paper will be dropped from the program, but you must fill out the refund form by April 15th. The link to the cancellation form is below -- you will have to login to your LSA profile first to fill out a form.
 
Canceling the in-person meeting will have serious financial consequences for LSA, leading to a substantial budget shortfall. Your willingness to keep your registration and participate in the virtual meeting will help tremendously. For those who do not wish to participate in the virtual meeting, we hope you will consider converting all or part of your registration fee into a tax-deductible contribution to LSA to help mitigate the financial losses that we will sustain. You will have this option when filling out a cancellation form.
 
Moving Forward
 
1.     We will be in touch soon about the LSA’s First Ever Virtual Program. Keep a watch for the messages. We hope that many of you will stick it out with us virtually as this will provide a great opportunity to try something a little bit different this year.
 
2.     We are committed to run the Graduate Student and Early Career Workshop virtually and will send details soon. To that end, we invite the 50 selected participants to continue to save the regularly scheduled date of Tuesday, May 26, and be on the lookout for a follow up email from the workshop organizers. 
 
3.     We also plan to hold the Annual Awards ceremony as a virtual celebration, as part of the larger program.
 
We appreciate that you are all facing unprecedented challenges, and we hope that the cancellation of the LSA program will not exacerbate those challenges. We also hope that the alternative virtual program will allow us to continue to nurture our intellectual community, of which you are an important part. As more information becomes available, we will update you on the date(s) of our virtual conference, the structure and platform to be used, and other relevant details. We wish you all continued good health.
 
Thank you for your understanding.
 
Sincerely,
 
Penelope Andrews
President
 
Steven Boutcher
Executive Officer
 
Anna-Maria Marshall
Program Committee Co-Chair
 
Jonathan Klaaren
Program Committee Co-Chair

 

Cancellation Formhttps://lawandsociety.site-ym.com/general/custom.asp?page=LSA2020CancellationForm

 

FAQs

Can I automatically just convert my registration to the virtual meeting?
Yes. If you do not want to cancel your participation in the virtual program, you do not need to do anything. If you do not cancel your registration by April 15th, you will be placed on the virtual program and no refunds will be given after this date.
 
Will I need to register again when the Annual Meeting ultimately takes place?
No. If you registered for the 2020 Annual Meeting, we will continue to honor your registration, and you will not need to register again.
 
What if I already cancelled but would now like to participate in a virtual conference?
If you cancelled your LSA 2020 registration and already received a refund, but would now like to participate in a virtual conference, you will need to contact the LSA Executive Office at lsa@lawandsociety.org.
 
When will the virtual meeting take place?
We are in the early stages of planning a virtual conference. We will follow up with attendees to confirm the dates of our virtual meeting, but we are hoping to host it around the same time in May.
 
Which virtual platform do you plan on using? What will presenters and panelists be required to do ahead of time to prepare?
The LSA Executive Office, in coordination with the Program Committee, will be in contact with CRNs, speakers and panelists to provide steps in advance. Additionally, we will provide step-by-step directions for logging in and sharing content, in addition to providing information to inform participants of virtual conferencing etiquette and procedures at the start of each session. With many of our members moving to online teaching and virtual meetings, we hope the learning curve will have declined considerably by May.
 
What about time zone differences?
We will actively consider the geographic distribution of the participants before we determine the best time zone for the virtual sessions.
 
What if I prefer to have a refund?
We have decided to provide a full refund to those who request it, rather than the 50 percent refund that would be available under our regular refund policy.
 
How do I request a refund?
Please fill out the LSA 2020 refund form no later than April 15th. You will be asked to login to your profile and complete the form here: https://lawandsociety.site-ym.com/page/LSA2020CancellationForm
 
Can I donate my registration fee to LSA to help offset the financial damages the Society will incur?
Yes. You can convert your registration (or even part of your registration) into a tax-deductible contribution to the LSA, where allowed by law. You can select to donate the refund form: https://lawandsociety.site-ym.com/page/LSA2020CancellationForm
 
Will the graduate and early career workshop be part of the virtual conference?
We are committed to holding the Graduate Student and Early Career Workshop virtually and will send details soon to those participants. We invite those accepted into the workshop to continue to save the regularly scheduled date of Tuesday, May 26. A separate email will go out with details.
 
Will there still be an awards ceremony?
We will still award prizes this year. We plan to hold an awards ceremony virtually as part of the larger program.
 
I booked a hotel room through the LSA room block in Denver. Can I get a refund?
We are working with the hotel on the cancellation and will ask them to cancel all room block reservations. To be safe, you can also contact the hotel directly to cancel your reservation.
 
Will I be able to reschedule or cancel my flight?
Some airlines are permitting cancellations without a penalty, but you will need to contact your carrier directly.
 
What if I can’t log into my LSA profile to fill out a cancellation form?
The username for your LSA profile is most likely your full email address. If you are having trouble logging into your profile, please select the “forgot password” link: https://lawandsociety.site-ym.com/general/email_pass.asp and follow the prompts to reset your password. If you don’t receive an email to reset your password right away, be sure to check your spam or junk folder and try other email addresses that may be associated with your LSA account. If you are still having issues logging in, please contact the LSA Executive Office at lsa@lawandsociety.org.
 
What if I don’t have an LSA profile, but would like to fill out the cancellation form?
Please contact the LSA Executive Office at lsa@lawandsociety.org and we will work with you.
 
Please contact our Executive Office (lsa@lawandsociety.org) if you have additional questions.

Law and Society Association

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

240 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003

e-mail: lsa@lawandsociety.org