Late last year the Society of Biblical Literature imposed new restrictions on student paper presentations and participation at the SBL annual meeting. These changes did not come without controversy. Indeed, a number of students registered their displeasure with the SBL Council’s decision. You can find my own disagreement with the Council’s decision here. In light of my earlier concern, I was pleased to get an email today from John Kutsko, Executive Director of the SBL, notifying student members that the Executive Committee of the Council had suspended the earlier changes implemented by the Council. I am very glad to hear that student concerns are being heard and am appreciative to the SBL Student Advisory Board for representing the interests of student members. The issue will be up for further discussion at the spring meeting of the Council. Full participation of student members is in accord with the agreement for membership in the SBL and provides important opportunities for student advancement, professional experience, and valuable feedback. It is my hope that the changes will be permanently revoked and that students will continue to enjoy full rights as members of SBL.
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