Information for Delegates

Delegate, Alternate, or Observer?

Convention delegates and alternates are selected by DSA chapters. Members not in chapters may register as at-large delegates to the convention; see the FAQ for how to qualify as at-large.

An alternate may be seated as a delegate at any time during the convention when a delegate from the same chapter is absent, provided that the delegation informs the National Director (acting as Convention Secretary).

YDS members are considered part of a chartered DSA chapter if their campus address is within the DSA chapter’s jurisdiction. Otherwise, YDS members are at-large.

Any DSA member may attend the convention as an observer. Non-DSA members may attend space permitting or upon the judgement of the organization.

Upon request, the DSA national office has created this table to show the current amount of allotted delegates and current delegates for the 2017 National Convention.


Financial Support

DSA chapters should fundraise to lower costs for delegates. Financial aid and childcare information are available from DSA.

Applications for scholarships have closed as of Monday, July 10th. Scholarship applicants will be notified on a rolling basis.


Travel Share

Delegates (not observers) to the convention participate in a mandatory travel share program that is intended to equalize or offset transportation costs. Attendees are expected to pay their travel fees upfront, even if they receive a scholarship.

Delegates may choose which travel share option to use:

  • One pool is for people who fly. The average cost will be calculated at convention and the travel pool funds distributed accordingly. In other words, if you spend more than the travel share, you will receive a refund after the convention. But if you get a flight that is below the travel share, you are expected to pay into the travel share fund to subsidize others.
  • One pool is for people who commute locally, drive, take the bus or train, or use frequent flier miles. They will cover their own expenses and pay an additional fixed travel fee of $75 to the convention.

Observers may not participate in the travel share program, as it is only for those who can vote on convention matters.

We have obtained a 10% discount for travel on Amtrak to and from the Convention. To get the discount, you must call 1-800-872-7245 to make your reservation and give them the following fare code: X73E-969. This code is only good for travel to and from Chicago between July 31 and August 9, 2017, and it is not available when booking online.


Guidelines for Managing Convention Attendance

Upon the request of locals, the National Political Committee has passed this guideline to help make convention attendance more manageable and affordable for delegates.

Limit alternates delegates to one per ten delegates a chapter is allotted. For example:

  • 1-10 delegates: one alternate
  • 11-20 delegates: two alternates
  • 21-30 delegates: three alternates

And so on. You vote for as many alternates as you like, but you can only send this many to the actual convention.

DSA members can be observers, space permitting. But observers will only be seated after all delegates, alternates, officers, and NPC members have been seated; that is, space is not guaranteed.

Non-DSA members need permission to attend as observers.

Chapters may intentionally reduce their delegate size proportionally. Under our rules, delegates can have up to three votes depending on the size of their delegation apportionment. For example, chapters may send 10 people if they are allotted 30 spots. (Reducing the number of delegates attending from a chapter not only will make the convention size more manageable, it will also reduces the amount of fundraising a chapter must do to enable low-income members to run as delegates).