When we say we have learned a lot from this year, we mean we learned A LOT. Not only because that is what we are supposed to be doing in school, but because of everything that has been going on. As you all know, it is difficult to make plans when you do not know what obstacles will get in your way. With that in mind, when the 2020-2021 AIAS SD board was elected in April of 2020 we did not know how the year was going to go. Will we plan events? Will we have to bribe students to meetings with virtual cookies? How could we make AIAS a worthwhile experience if we are to do it all over Zoom? We can tell you, it has been working out in the best way.
First, an ideal scenario would be to create a calendar of events and stick to it, right? Our calendar of events and scheduled social media posts turned into a “go with the flow” kind of scenario. Before school began in August we as co-presidents decided to have monthly meetings with the board to discuss business and potential events we could hold during meetings. Knowing we would conduct all of our meetings on Zoom, we came up with events like:
- Student panels
- Career fair prep
- Architecture competitions
- Professional lecturers
- Faculty panels
- Portfolio workshops
- Habitat for Humanity
Except for Habitat for Humanity, everything could be done through Zoom. We have all become well-versed in the virtual world, so conducting meetings this way was almost like muscle memory. The question may be “Did you get to all those events?” We would answer with a very content “No.” Although it would have been great to have gotten to do all that, school comes first. That does not mean we did nothing.
Throughout the Fall and Spring semesters we conducted all meetings via Zoom, like we planned. Powerpoints were made for weekly meetings and we did accomplish a few events listed above plus others! Looking back at last semester, there was a lot more adapting and learning that presided over a rigid schedule. We may have been a bit too optimistic with all the events we thought we were going to accomplish, which is not a bad thing! It was our gift to future presidents. It is all a balancing act and the school year is not done yet. We are in the midst of a mentorship program and planning for elections and our DoArch Day.
Currently, South Dakota State’s AIAS chapter is trucking right along. With about four weeks left in the semester, many students are looking at the light from their computer screen wondering, “How much longer?!” However, AIAS meetings are not over yet…in fact, we have a few key events up our sleeve, including elections and our very own DoArch Day. We are meeting with our mentors, learning from presenters, and most recently we gathered for a walk around Brookings. It was Wellness week in the AIAS community last week, which reminded us how good walks, or breaks in general, are for our health and productivity. Essentially, we are doing our best to continually supply members with opportunities to grow, whether in school or outside of it.
What we have done/are doing:
- Portfolio workshop
- Revit Presentation
- Advocacy Lecture Series – Allison
- Mentorship Program
- DoArch Day
- Habitat for Humanity
- Modeling and graphics programs workshop
- Fun with faculty – Kahoot
- Student Showcases
- High school/middle school recruitment sessions
- T-shirt/mask design competition
- Blueprint blog posts
- Parliamentary Procedure
- Midwest Quad Conference
- Forum Chicago
As we look ahead to the future, we are confident that no matter the circumstance, AIAS will always find a way to make their memberships valuable. We have heard from chapters across the country, throughout the entire year, of the ways they have strove to ensure that students are receiving a truly remarkable membership. Nonetheless, it is still amazing to hear chapters and national leaders speak with such passion about the changes they want to make both in their local chapters, and for the whole organization. After this year, we can honestly say that the future of the AIAS as a national and international organization is only getting brighter and brighter. The conglomeration of adverse experiences has curated a body of knowledge in individuals across the globe which only strengthens us for tomorrow.
By: Jocelyn Rothmeier and Autumn Schlomer
Jocelyn is currently a fourth-year architecture student enrolled at South Dakota State University. She is a Co-President of SDSU’s AIAS chapter, and has learned so much from her leadership role in the organization. She is graduating with her BFA in architecture this spring, and plans to continue on a path towards her M.Arch at SDSU in the fall of 2021
Autumn is a 4th-year architecture student at South Dakota State University. She currently resides as a co-president of AIAS SD and is looking forward to graduating in May 2021. Autumn will continue her education at SDSU as she pursues her Master’s in Architecture in the fall of 2021. While her love for studio arts runs alongside her architecture, she’s excited to connect her passions in residential design.