August 6, 2018

Dear Success Seekers,

Welcome to a new year of AIAS! Based upon the energy, passion, and excitement at this year’s Grassroots Leadership Conference, it is clear this year will be monumental. Here’s an overview of what’s happened and what is yet to come:

OUR CHAPTER LEADERS SPOKE, AND WE LISTENED!

During the Council of Presidents Meeting on July 22nd, and our chapter leaders made BIG DECISIONS for the organization! They called attention to the importance national and local transparency with regards to fiscal information; they stressed the value of strengthening our alumni network; and they challenged sustainability initiatives at an international and chapter level. Further, the CoP discussed the future of Studio Culture and explored ways AIAS can ensure healthy academic environments for architecture students.

Our delegates also recognized the criticality of the Freedom by Design Advisory Group to our mission as an organization. This resulted in the formation of the Freedom by Design Advisory Committee, an official standing committee. As a standing committee, FBDAC is formally emitted into our bylaws, allowing it to exist year after year. Freedom by Design will now have the support to continuously empower all chapters, well into the future.

LET’S GET STRATEGIC!

Last year’s Governance Committee worked diligently to craft a 2018 Strategic Plan we are eager to dive into. The development and approval of the Strategic Plan caps three-years of reevaluating how the AIAS defines its work, values, and future. In 2015-2016, the Governance Committee led the creation of a new mission statement, which defined what the AIAS does. In 2016-2017, a new vision statement and six values statements were created, formally defining why the AIAS performs its mission. The 2017-2018 development of the Strategic Plan defines how the board can drive the AIAS towards the fulfillment of its vision.

This year also marks significant turning point for architectural education, with the NAAB Accreditation Review Forum coming up in 2019. It is our duty as student leaders to take advantage of this opportunity to USE OUR VOICES to impact the future of accredited architecture programs! AIAS and our four collateral organizations have 3 representatives per organization on the steering committee. They will be guiding this initiative, and we cannot wait to speak UP and speak LOUD throughout this process on what you find most important.

LOOKING FORWARD

Our mission this year as your officers is to remain dedicated to you — our members — both individually and collectively. As officers, we recognize how imperative it is to balance the complex array of passions and perspectives of our membership. By understanding and celebrating our differences, AIAS can become a centered force for radical yet respectful discourse and action. We intend to grow our relationships with other student organizations in the design realm like NOMAS. By doing so, we hope to find new ways to expand our understanding and our influence on diversity and equity in education and beyond. Throughout the year, we will also have the opportunity to travel across the world, to visit many of your chapters. This travel will continue to highlight the distinctiveness between regions and schools, and will aid us in formulating a variety of resources and relevant advocacy platforms with you all in mind.

So DON’T HOLD BACK! We want to hear from you, and we want to inspire you to find your own individual avenues for innovation that can strengthen your local community. Together, we can impact the world around us in profound and powerful ways.

Cheers to another incredible year of AIAS!

With humility and gratitude,


                  

Amy Rosen                                                   Brigid Callaghan

AIAS National President                               AIAS National Vice President