April 21, 2020

As we stay home and practice social distancing, it may be hard to feel like our AIAS membership means anything. But it still does! Over the course of the next month, AIAS committees will be highlighting important things to remember as our lives become more physically distant. The MemComm is here to remind you that our membership is still valuable and has plenty of opportunities to stay involved!

What does AIAS mean to you? Could it be an opportunity to grow your leadership skills? A group that helps you serve your community? Or an extra chance to learn some additional design skills to help you excel in your academic career? Well, no matter what it is, AIAS is an incredible network of students all across the country and that network is how we make the most out of our memberships.

To all our chapter leaders out there, we know that it’s hard to have events when no one can gather in person. But we’ve seen an incredible amount of virtual tools pop up over the last few weeks and chapters have begun to use them to their advantage. Whether it’s conducting a virtual election via Google Drive, using Google Hangouts (with your official @aias.org chapter email) to broadcast a software tutorial, or planning a chapter movie night with NetflixParty.com, there’s plenty of opportunities to bring your members together! What are some of the ways that you’re bringing members together? Share and tag @aiasorg on instagram! Oh and don’t forget that multi chapter events are now more than possible! Wanna be put in touch with another chapter? Send your Quad Director a message and they can help you out. Maybe there’s a high school chapter that you could invite to a tutorial workshop? 

To all our members out there, we know you’re thinking about what else you can do to maximize your AIAS membership for the remainder of the semester. Here’s a few things that are still happening despite the changes that have happened:

Competitions – Many of our competitions are still going on. We recently concluded our InStudio Portfolio Competition but the InStudio Model competition has just launched! You might be thinking that you can’t build a model this semester so why not submit a past model that you built while in school? Or even a digital model? Think of ways to get creative with your submission while staying safe during the health crisis.

Honor Awards – Our window to apply for an Honor Award doesn’t close until the end of July but why not start on your application right now? Do you have a professor that has gone above and beyond in their dedication to education as we’ve shifted to online learning? Nominate them for the Educator Honor Award! Are you working on a design research project, a written dissertation, or some applied research or initiative? Then show us your work and apply for the Student Research Honor Award! We have 10 Honor Awards in total so there’s opportunity for everyone to apply. Go read more about each award and see if you know anyone that you could nominate. 

Hub Hangouts/ Quad Pods – Did you know that before the Health Crisis, your Quad Director held monthly video calls to connect multiple chapters at a time? Well now those calls have changed to become something we all need right now, a little bit of socially distant social interaction. For example, the Midwest Quad is having weekly Heartland Hangouts and we’ve seen a few virtual quarantine parties pop up here and there. Curious as to when the next hangout is going to happen? Drop a line in your Quad Director’s instagram or shoot them an email.

          Instagram – @aiasmidwest @aiasnortheast @aiassouth @aiaswest

          Email – midwest@aias.org northeast@aias.org south@aias.org west@aias.org

We know that times are hard right now but AIAS still means something to each and every one of us on the committee – we hope it still means something to you. Please stay healthy and follow the guidelines in place wherever you are physically located and remember that although we aren’t there in person, the AIAS is there in spirit! 

-The Membership Committee