February 24, 2020 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

Welcome to Spring Membership Month, AIAS! This year’s theme is Amplify. During #AIASmem20, the national office will be focusing on how WE can AMPLIFY OUR:_______. This semester’s theme is focusing on OUR membership benefits at the national level. Week four is all about Advocacy! 

“What is advocacy and why is it significant to me, as a future architect?” 

Advocacy is having the ability to speak up for oneself or on behalf of others regarding issues that affect our lives. Architects are often involved in current issues of varying scales that have a large impact on the lives of many. We are trained as problem-solvers and, therefore, should demand that our voices be heard. Advocacy allows us to be the voice of many different people from varying perspectives; this allows us to stand up for what we believe in and to play a part in bettering our world. Advocacy is also a way to serve a community or group you identify with or care about.

“Advocacy is super important, but how exactly is the AIAS being an advocate?” 

Have you ever heard a conversation in your school surrounding Studio Culture? Did you know that the term was developed by the AIAS a few decades ago and continues to advocate for it today? We’ve changed the phrase to be a bit more holistic to our education. The AIAS is developing a Universal Learning and Teaching Culture policy that our members can take to their administration in order to start a productive conversation about the culture of their learning environment. 

“Is Studio Culture the only topic the AIAS focuses on?”

Being healthy and happy in school is super important and studio culture is only one part of that. In recent years, the AIAS has taken action on matters of student debt and climate change. We even have three dedicated advocacy working groups: The Health and Wellness Task Force, the Equity and Diversity Task Force, and the Sustainability and Resiliency Task Force. Each year, we adapt these groups to be relevant to the issues we will be facing as we look towards making a positive future! The passionate members that serve on these task forces even put together a month of programming for our very own Advocacy Month in March of each year! In addition to their work, we also have our AIAS Advocates Program. The program is geared towards showcasing and providing national platforms for you, our members, to speak up about niche advocacy topics and initiatives that you’re passionate about! Be sure to follow @aiasorg and @aias_advocates to see all the hard work our members are doing! 

“How can I get involved at my chapter with advocacy?”

The most important thing to do is just start talking about what you’re passionate about! After that, you could start a chapter level advocacy committee, or host an advocacy focused panel discussion. We even have some resources to help you get started

“This organization is fantastic! How does the AIAS recognize all the hard work that members do?”

I’m so glad you asked! This organization is only fantastic because of the leaders, designers, servers, and advocates that are a part of it. And every year, we celebrate them and their hard work through the AIAS Honor Awards. The AIAS Honor Awards were developed to publicly recognize outstanding achievements by students, educators, and practitioners who have exhibited an exemplary commitment to the enhancement of the educational experience and the development of architecture students. Recognition means visibility – Visibility means relevance – Relevance means value. Make an impact, leave a legacy, join OUR community. Amplify!

Are you ready to Amplify Our: Voice, Ideas, and Actions? Then join the AIAS today and advocate for what you care about!