A Community Affair: “Year of the Student Member”

A Community Affair is a new series here on STC’s Notebook of postings from the Community Affairs Committee. Today’s post is by Bethany Bowles and Dan Voss, CAC Student Outreach co-leads.

2012: “Year of the Student Member” in STC!

Two-thousand twelve is a great year to be a student member of STC. “Why is that?” you ask. Well, here are four major reasons that spring to mind.

  1. STC has given students voting rights in Society elections via a vote at the annual open business meeting last May at the international conference in Sacramento, recognizing the vital role students play in the future of STC. Students will now have a say in the management of STC at the highest level.
  2. A significantly reduced New Technical Communicator Professional membership fee of $160 for the first three years after graduation makes it easier than ever before for students to continue their STC membership after they graduate. In the past, too many students were unable to afford to renew and enjoy the benefits of STC membership while job-hunting.
  3. STC Community Affairs Committee (CAC) has two members to co-lead a Student Member Outreach: Dan Voss, a member of the Orlando Chapter, and Bethany Bowles, a student member of the Orlando Chapter from the University of Central Florida. We would be pleased to work with you to sustain and strengthen your student communities.
  4. The STC Board has demonstrated its commitment to its student constituency by forming a special task force to foster and nurture the student communities. The task force—which understands the importance of open communication between students and the STC Board, the CAC, and the staff at STC headquarters—is opening a dialogue with established and newly formed student communities. Through a survey of students and advisors, we will identify the major struggles that student communities face, and determine how the Society can help.

As an example of the commitment of senior STC leadership to assist the student communities, task force member Steve Skojec, STC’s director of community relations, is currently working successfully with certain student chapters that lost their tax-exempt status to help them regain their good standing with the IRS. And another task force member, STC treasurer Aiessa Moyna, is committed to helping student communities develop annual budgets so they can receive funding from the Society.

A key part of the strategy for the Student Outreach initiative is forming mentoring partnerships between student and professional communities (both geographic and SIGs). The experience and advice from the professionals synergizes with the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of the students to benefit not only the student chapters and other STC communities but also the Society as a whole. It is a win-win-win situation, and both the task force and the CAC are committed to help establish and sustain such partnerships.