So a question, would the the CMU student chapter of the IDSA have any more or less support and validity if it was just the CMU Student Design League or some such? Would it be a smaller or bigger deal?
There are a few benefits, being included in IDSA regional and national merit award winner competition perhaps? Any others? Weigh that against time spent dealing with national that could be spent creating a better org and content for your students?
The thought has run across my head many times. Right now we have the minimum number of IDSA student members to qualify as an "official" student chapter. However the majority of our students (50+ of them) only pay our CMU IDSA fee that we place in order to help pay for design trips and food. Take away the IDSA part of it and we almost remain the exact same organization.
The benefits I can see for students right away:
- The ability to participate in national merit award competitions (the determining factor for most of our students)
- Being able to put the nice official sounding "IDSA student member" on your resume
- Discounts on regional conferences (although they end up being too expensive for us anyway)
All the other "perks" they advertise don't have too much resonance with our students. Newsletters, quarterly publications, and discounted recordings of designers talking don't exactly stir excitement in college students.
What I'd love to see happen, and which our organization is trying to achieve on it's own, is IDSA really leveraging social media to help get student chapters connected with other student chapters and to help us get JOBS. We want to use IDSA to see what other design schools are up to, what ID firms are hiring, and to showcase our school's work. Right now we use Coroflot, Fast Company, and NotCot, etc. to do those things informally. An IDSA blog or podcast would be great. Student Chapter mixers/visits would be even better.
I guess the main thing our chapter is trying to achieve, that we find lacking in IDSA, is just rejuvenating the fun back into design. It's refreshing to visit and see all the cool stuff that IDers end up doing in the real world. And it's nice to get together with friends and do silly competitions to design laser-enabled walrus medicine cabinets. The last thing we want is to sit down at a meeting and discuss how national is still working on the website and that a conference irrelevant to our interests is occurring 6 hours away if you pay $250. IDSA just needs to be fun again.