April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
With the 2012-2013 IAS Executive Board elections coming this Tuesday, the final slate of candidates has been set. Here, you can access candidate responses to the designated candidate questions. They are categorized by position.
The IAS has been more to me than just an organization; it has been my home, my family. Within a family we accept one another; we do not set limitations or reject one another. As Chairman I would ensure that no one is excluded and that all feel welcome.
- From my first IAS potluck freshman year to the present, the International Affairs Society has served as much more than a student organization to me and has been my home at GW. I have had the honor of serving on the IAS Executive Board in two capacities: as Mount Vernon Freshman Representative during the 2010-2011 academic year and as Social Coordinator during the 2011-2012 academic year. In addition, I served as Chief of Staff for WAMUNC XV this past year. My different roles in the IAS have strengthened my leadership and cooperative skills as well as my ability to communicate with the Executive Board, the university at large, and outside organizations.
As Chair, I will continue to promote the IAS within the GW community and with those outside of the university. I will make this possible by strengthening our relationship with the Elliott School, continuing the Colonial Cadets MUN training program, offering plentiful conferences throughout the semester, and supporting the Academic, Outreach, and Social Coordinators in order to continue our high level of programming and foster a sense of community. Also, I will promote our MUN conferences, WAMUNC and GWCIA, to ensure that they are properly supported.
An IAS Executive Board member serves two purposes: to listen to the voice of the general membership of the International Affairs Society and to represent the IAS to GW administration and outside organizations. It is essential to listen to the desires of general members in order to execute programming that is in their interests and to also make any necessary changes for improvement in the future. The second purpose is to serve as representatives of the International Affairs Society to the Elliott School, university, other student organizations, and partner organizations outside of the GW community such as outreach’s charity. The IAS Executive Board members can only fulfill their duty by using clear and efficient communication while working together as a team.
My experience as an Executive Board member, a Secretariat member, and working with GW administration has prepared me to help achieve these goals. I will help continue the organization’s momentum by encouraging the programming officers and conference heads while working with them to uphold the IAS’s reputation.
- The role of the IAS Chair is not to organize events or manage finances. It is to facilitate the running of the organization by coordinating the members of the Executive Board and promoting the organization to those outside of the IAS. Thus, my goals as Chair go hand in hand with my goals for the organization as a whole this upcoming year. My goals as Chair for the upcoming year are to promote community and continued excellence. While my goals may be rather broad, I believe that they are essential to keep the nature of the IAS the same as it continues to grow.
While members initially come to the International Affairs Society for their love of international affairs and desire to attend events with prestigious figures, they stay for the community. This is based in the relationships that are formed during social interactions, but this sense of community is created through all types of programming, not just social programming. Thus, I would like to continue the efforts made and improve academic and outreach programming to foster community. This year, the academic coordinator hosted several events that achieved this such as the study abroad panel. This event gave younger members the opportunity to ask upperclassmen questions about study abroad and provided a medium by which upperclassmen could mentor freshmen and sophomores. The same sense of community can be achieved through outreach events in the local DC community. As Chair, I will encourage the programming officers to keep this as an important ideal so the IAS can continue to be a community despite its large size.
In addition, I will encourage all Executive Board members to strive for events that are bigger but also better than ever before. I will work with the Elliott School and GW administration to make sure that the IAS has the proper resources and contacts to continue to break down barriers and strive for excellence. I believe that a focus on community and excellence will make the International Affairs Society more successful than ever before.
However, being an IAS executive board member also has allowed me to work with some of the most exceptional and dedicated people I have ever met. Each officer possesses a personal drive that acts as a catalyst in driving the rest of the executive board members even harder to accomplish the organization’s goals. Seeing and being a part of this has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my undergraduate career.
1: Last year I set forth the goal of moving WAMUNC off campus on order to expand. In the last year and a half, we have made that goal a reality. I will continue in my capacity of Secretary General of WAMUNC XVI and Vice-Chairman of the IAS to ensure that this is the most successful conference yet.
2: In order to support this endeavour and to expand our MUN program as a whole, I believe that the Colonial Cadets program must be expanded to include all individuals who are interested- regardless of “skill”.
1: Constitutional Reform: The Constitution contains the guiding principles of this organization and is a lighthouse in times of question. However, in fulfilling my duties as vice-chair this year, I have come to recognize certain elements of the constitution are in need of dire restructuring. I wish to achieve this restructuring in the subsequent academic year with the assistance of the rest of the executive board.
2: Membership list: As chairman, I initiated a process of streamlining all electronic access points for the organization. In doing so, I also initiated a pilot program for a centralized membership list that contains all necessary information. This system has been expanded substantially but it is not perfect. I wish to continue this refining this system.
I understand what the IAS’ academic and social events mean to not just our members, but to the Elliott School at large. After three years of experience staffing MUN conferences, traveling the collegiate MUN circuit, participating in GWUPIE, and as a Media Associate for Best Delegate, I have the necessary leadership skills and a greater understanding of the ins and outs of Model UN from both the organizing and delegate perspectives. With your support as Treasurer, I will ensure that the finances of the IAS are utilized in a responsible and effective manner, giving each facet of our organization the proper consideration and ample funding to grow and innovate. A strong organization will enhance the IAS membership experience and strengthen our reputation within the Elliot School and GW.
As a rising senior, I would go above and beyond to complete all of the duties necessary to be an exemplary Treasurer and Executive Board member. I have shown dedication to the IAS, as evidenced through mentoring the younger members and being at every General Membership meeting and nearly every academic event that didn’t conflict with classes. I am confident that I can help lead this organization to another successful year.
Secondly, although I hope to see 100% involvement in staffing MUN conferences and traveling, I understand that it’s not everyone’s passion. Our academic events this year have been high quality, and I would also like to see our social programming improve to that same level. That is why more emphasis on social events throughout the school year, especially second semester, is an important and attainable goal for this next E-Board. To do this, the Social Coordinator should work closely with the Freshman Committee to foster an even stronger link between the new and senior members of the organization.
Secondly, one area that can be improved upon that is tangible for membership is the notification/payment process for Model UN conferences. While I understand that extenuating circumstances sometimes prohibit timely decisions regarding selection of delegates, I would make every effort to work closely with the MUN coordinator to present the general membership with a tentative schedule of conferences for the year, along with estimated prices for attendance. I understand that we are all college students and that money can be tight. This is why I would like to keep the membership aware of the costs they may incur throughout the year so that they can plan accordingly. This way, the IAS will be better able to field our strongest, most competitive team possible for each conference.
Finally, as a member of the WAMUNC XVI Secretariat, I understand that there may be concern that the Executive Board might lose focus on other areas of programming within the IAS, since WAMUNC is undergoing some major logistical changes, specifically the move off campus. I firmly believe that the International Affairs Society is greater than the sum of its parts, and only focusing on one part would be detrimental to the organization. As an active member of the travel MUN team, a member of WAMUNC Secretariat, a member of the IAS as a whole, and hopefully your next Treasurer, I guarantee that no part of the organization would suffer due to lack of attention, focus, or funding on my watch.
For me, the IAS is much more than an organization, it is a place that I can truly call home. It’s provided me countless opportunities from the great programming it has to offer, and has also given me some of the best friends that I could have ever asked for. I am running for E-Board in order to give back to the organization that has given me so much, and facilitate the most efficient and quality programming that I possibly can through the role of Treasurer.
Being an executive board member of an organization is a lot of responsibility, being an IAS E-Board member requires so much more. As the E-Board of the largest non-partisan organization on campus, each E-Board member not only has an enormous amount of responsibility, but also requirement, to ensure the continued success and ever-increasing achievements of the IAS.
Being on the E-Board of the IAS means being a leader, and in many cases it means being a leader who not only does their best at the role that they have been elected for, but going above and beyond what is required of themselves in their job description. Leadership is a very fluid concept that has many connotations; It means that the e-board member should be charismatic and flexible enough to accommodate any issues that may crop up during the running of an event, it means that the e-board member not only excel at their own role, but be there to help any other member of the executive board with a task that they may need aid with. Above all, it means being there to listen to the voice of the membership and represent them to the best of the individual’s ability.
One goal of mine is to increase the appeal that we have as the IAS, to a broader segment of the student body. Currently, the overwhelming majority of students in the IAS are members of the Elliott School who are likely to be International Affairs majors. However, there are so many more aspects to the IAS that could be enhanced if we increased our appeal to a broader section of the student body, from business majors to science majors to journalism majors. Additionally, international affairs is not just relevant to those interested in policy or governmental work, it has an impact on every individual regardless of what they choose to study, therefore I believe that working to accommodate more members of the student body can only increase the IAS’ appeal on campus.
My second goal would be to increase the partnerships of the IAS with other organizations on campus. As the largest non-partisan student organization on campus, the IAS should be able to have every student at the university attend at least one of its events at some point during their time at GWU. One of the ways this can be achieved is by partnering with different organizations for events.
I believe that the ultimate goal of the treasurer is to work to facilitate the best programming that the organization has to offer in the most efficient manner so that resources, specifically time and money, can be spent on creating more opportunities for the members of the IAS to engage in.
My first goal in this regard would be to work on MUN on both sides of the coin, from the conferences we host to the conferences we attend. Attendance at GWCIA and WAMUNC is rapidly increasing, and in order to facilitate this increase there are a lot of logistics involved with regards to budgeting for space, technology etc. WAMUNC is also moving off campus for the first time, and the change will involve a plethora of new costs ranging from hotels and accommodations to travel etc. As the move off campus will inevitably cost more money, it is my goal to budget for the move without detracting from the quality of the other events offered by the IAS so that members can continue to enjoy the wide variety of events that the IAS is known for. Because of my experience as treasurer of two large student organizations this year, I believe that I have the knowledge and the skills to facilitate the increase in size of the conferences hosted by the IAS without losing the quality of events that we, as members, enjoy. I would also work to lower the cost of MUN trips and hopefully be able to facilitate one trip in the year that would be free for students to attend. Our MUN program has never been stronger and as a result I am confident that with a bit of work, we would be able to obtain co-sponsorships and other sources of funding so that IAS members interested in going on MUN trips can experience at least one for next to no cost.
Another goal would be to distribute funds and budget so that the events members most desire are reflected in our programming. I would also be in favor of working to provide funding to more IAS community building events. After all, the strength of the organization is directly affected by the strength of the relationships between its members, and therefore I would work to help provide the members of the IAS the same environment that it has provided me; a home away from home.
Director of Communications
My name is Fon Tipanun and I am your candidate for Director of Communications. I believe my experience and involvement in the IAS and other organizations will allow me to serve this position well. As Assistant MUN Coordinator not only helped run Colonial Cadets but worked for the organization as a whole in terms of reaching out and retaining members who did not make Cadets and MUN teams, and increasing accessibility to compete in conferences. I have also become better acquainted with competitor schools in the MUN circuit. I currently serve on Program Board as Cultural Affairs Chair and learned advertising, and communication skills with various GW and non-GW organizations. I have also been involved in political programming, especially during the elections. If given the position of Director of Communications, I will make sure to maintain connections with various future PB E-board, and various cultural and media organizations (Hatchet and GWToday) for collaborations. I have Photoshop skills and will exploit social media to the fullest to put forth the best face of the IAS. I intend to be a productive and fair E-Board member and to increase the IAS’ popularity throughout the DC area.
Being on the IAS E-board means being able to represent the IAS as an organization, even in general, at any occasion and to know the inner workings of the organization. They must present the best face of the organization to the public and maintaining professional conduct. Each E-Board member must make themselves easily accessible to the general body at all times and make constant efforts to reach out to those on the periphery of the organization. It is necessary that E-Board members encourage all general members to be proactive participants in the IAS. E-board members should be good team players and be as supportive and productive throughout the busiest of agendas. E-Board members must be supportive of each others’ programmings and constantly provide input, and be able to ask for help when needed. The interests and success of the organization must come ahead of personal feelings or biases, and realizing when it is necessary to make difficult decisions. Most importantly, E-Board members must continue with their jobs with the same vigor throughout the year regardless of their position in the organization the following year, and encourage other E-Board members to follow suit.
I believe working on the MUN program will feed into the success of the organization as a whole. I will work for the MUN program under the IAS to become more structured supported. MUN trainings and debates should be more predictable so that increasing participation and planning can be feasible and successful. If a routine is established, it would only be necessary to reach out to those who are not aware of regularly occurring debates and trainings available. Increased participating will foster a stronger GW team that will rise in Best Delegate rankings. Regular meetings of talented IAS members would also provide advertising opportunities for other programs such as WAMUNC.
The IAS could benefit from more collaborative efforts with other student organizations. Academic programs could expand to co-host with other organizations, such as professor and student debates in College Democrats/Republicans. Social programming include more cultural events such as sessions in learning to ballroom dance or cook Korean food. I do not the IAS will be diluted as an organization because it has its own trademark events, but could diversify and increase presence in GW instead of being an isolated organization mostly attributed to Elliott School students.
I would like to see the IAS have access to other student organizations. There are many student organizations that have members who could be interested in attending our events and participating in IAS programmings. I put a year effort into establishing connections with cultural organizations at GW and will be able to use these contacts for the IAS next year. This would make programming for other E-Board members much easier in terms of aiding in attendance and publicizing events. During my position as Director of Communications I would form even deeper connections, representing the IAS, in various cultural organizations, to pass on to my successor for future programming. For student organizations that I have not been able to establish connections with, I will reach out to IAS members who are involved in such organizations to direct me to said organizations’ Executive Board. I will sign up for all student organizations necessary in the beginning-of-year student organization fair for points of contact and form the necessary connections. I will have said contact points ready for programmings by any other E-Board member.
I believe it is important for the IAS to not only retain members but to maintain actively-participating members. I intend to draw as large a freshman base in the beginning of the year and to retain half of those who show up for the first General Member Meeting. I will work closely with other E-Board members, especially with the future MUN Coordinator, to present opportunities by tweaking training routines for those who were not selected for Colonial Cadets, to participate in MUN debate simulations and receive advice/training. Likewise, I will work with other E-Board members with any selective programming and events that occur on a regular basis (ambassador events, professor lunches, social events) to give more equal opportunities and accommodate more members in activities. I will make myself as accessible as possible and personally reach out to individuals to ensure grievances are heard as an intermediary. Upperclassmen involvement is very important in assisting and running events such as staffing in WAMUNC, and I hope to set an example for future Directors of Communications in maintaining the health and success of the organization.
My name is Kalli McCoy, and I am your candidate for Director of Communications. I am best qualified for this position for three reasons. Firstly, I have a history of public relations responsibilities. These include being high school student council Secretary, high school yearbook staff, PR duties at my internship in an energy companies’ Environment department, the IAS Freshman committee, successfully organizing the IAS Affinity Housing, and I am also the Associate Director of Public Relations for WAMUNC 16. Secondly, I can bring more than the necessary technical skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and pretty much every social media outlet ever created. I can bring a passion and dedication to this position. I’m hardworking, devoted, and innovative. I love to tweet as much as I love to talk, which makes me especially qualified. And finally, I have a vision for the IAS, a vision for how such an incredible, inspiring organization should be portrayed; as professional but fun, intense but inclusive.
A vote for Kalli McCoy isn’t just a vote for some of the best hashtags you’ll ever see, it’s a vote for letting GW see the IAS the way we see it.
Retention is an important goal for next year. In such a diverse student population, it can be difficult to reach out to members and ensure they’re aware and enthusiastic about continuing their participation. This is essential because broadening our core base of students can bring so many positive things to the organization. The IAS is not just for Elliott students or MUN delegates, it is a place for everyone with a passion and interest in International Affairs to come together. Social Media and partnering with other organizations are ways to facilitate this goal successfully.
A second goal is increasing recognition of what the IAS does. While the IAS might be the largest nonpartisan student organization, there is still much that can be done to make sure the student population knows what the IAS actually does and what it means to be a member. Getting people to understand this can lead to greater participation and could bring some pretty incredible people to our IAS family that we would otherwise have not reached. They may not mention it in the IAFF 1005 student panel, but people should know that joining the IAS can change your international affairs experience in the best way.
There is already a significant social media base that I would expand upon. As a collaboration with the academic coordinator, we could build upon what we did this year in freshman committee with short videos to be shared through social media. These would be weekly or monthly videos interviewing professors, members, or outside experts over pertinent IA topics. Social media is a phenomenal tool to reach out to students, and efforts should be made to ensure students and members stay actively engaged. This could be accomplished by posting weekly IAS or international affairs related trivia questions and giving a prize to the first people who correctly reply. Activities like this not only facilitate discussion amongst student but also allow for them to make connections to the IAS on a personal level.
Secondly, the IAS needs to have more of a presence in GW news sources. This is essential to broadening our member base, especially across other disciplines and schools. I would invite GW Hatchet and other news sources to all of the events, write press releases about how our events go, and produce/send a report on IAS activities, plans, and successes twice a semester.
Thirdly, increased communication and participation of alumni. So many IAS alumni have careers in the international community, and by reaching out to them and inviting them to give speeches, attend events, and by creating a database with their information, we could continue to increase the IAS network. This network would not only ensure continued IAS participation of graduates but also allow for connections to be made between the ‘real world’ and the IAS.
Finally, I would reach out to incoming freshman immediately to give them information about programs like Colonial Cadets and IAS Welcome Week. The first few weeks as a freshman can be chaotic and terrifying, and the IAS is a wonderful way to get involved on campus and make new friends.
As Director of Communications, I would dedicate my time to making sure these goals happen and happen in a way where they can easily be continued and improved through the years. I would also ensure that, through posters and social media, there is a high level of transparency opportunities for participation by all the members. I would also do my best to work with all the E-board members so that every event is fully publicized and successful.
Model United Nations Coordinator
I view Model United Nations as part of the lifeblood of the International Affairs Society. It allows us to hone the leadership, interpersonal and critical thinking skills that we came to GW to master in the first place. It pushes us to learn more about compelling topics ranging from imperial warfare to modern day economic institutions, all while experiencing life long memories with some of the closest friends we will ever make in our lives. My name is Jared Greenspan, I view the IAS as my second family, and I would be honored to serve as the organization’s MUN Coordinator.
Our MUN team’s camaraderie is what separates GWMUN from that of any other program across the country. My goal is to continue to foster this team unity, all while making our already competitive traveling program even more formidable. The plan to do so is simple: renovating the Colonial Cadet application process, adding more public training opportunities for those new to MUN and adding a secondary level of training to keep our upperclassmen members on top of their game. I plan on involving former Cadets and upperclassmen more than ever before, and know I have the fortitude to make this happen.
To me, being an IAS Executive Board members means being responsible and it means being a leader. An IAS Executive Board member does whatever he or she can to further the interests of the International Affairs Society and when necessary, puts the welfare of the organization before his or her personal desires. I’ve served as the USG for Crisis Committees of the Secretariat Board of WAMUNC XV as well as the Chairman of the Campus Development Committee for the RHA. In both of these situations, consensus building and supporting my fellow board members made not only each executive board more productive, but also bettered each respective body at large. It is this type of positive energy and team oriented approach I would wish to bring to the executive board.
My goal as MUN Coordinator would be to serve as a stabilizing presence on the executive board. I have strong professional relationships with all of the other candidates through my experience on GW’s Model United Nation’s Team and WAMUNC XV’s Secretariat, and would support the work they do in the IAS. I would be honored to work with such quality individuals to coordinate logistics for the programming the IAS offers.
Two goals I have for the International Affairs Society at large are member retention and a successful WAMUNC XVI. I have seen the effect GWMUN’s flagship program, Colonial Cadets has had on freshman involvement within the IAS and how it is has positively impacted the organization’s recruitment and retention rates. With that being said, it is no secret that there are still promising members who seem to lose interest in the organization after the first several GMM’s. As MUN Coordinator I believe I can be part of the solution, by adding more public training opportunities to involve non-Cadets and integrate them into the IAS family. In addition, I would be more than happy to collaborate with the Social Coordinator or Chairman to devise more programming ideas that would keep as many members as involved as possible.
I also have high hopes for our annual high school Model United Nations Conference WAMUNC XVI, which is moving off campus in a venture to become even bigger and more prolific. As a former USG, I know the work that goes into coordinating a successful conference and am extremely impressed and excited by the work that next year’s Secretariat has already put forward.
My first priority as MUN Coordinator will always be the safety of the delegates on the traveling team. With that being said, my main focus has to be on the two foundations of collegiate Model United Nations: team continuity and competitiveness. As members of the GW Model United Nations Team we are just that, a team. It would be my goal as MUN Coordinator to bring everyone together and rally them around the program and each other. Whether it is someone who has already attended ten collegiate conferences and won multiple awards, or someone who is competing for the first time, everyone has something they can learn from one another. This is why I would include public training as part of the GW Model UN Program in order to include and improving upon the skills of all of our prospective delegates, and to more closely integrate non-Cadets into the GW Model United Nations family. In addition, I would combine the two tiers of Colonial Cadets into a single tier, so that everyone gets the opportunity to know each other on a personal level, which would increase not only the intensity of training, but the camaraderie of the group as well.
The International Affairs Society takes great pride in the level of competitiveness of its Model United Nations Team. GW MUN is currently ranked 8th in the nation, and I currently see no reason for that to not improve even further. We will have our third group of Colonial Cadets next year, making us more competitive at larger conferences such as NCSC and UPMUNC. I would also add an advanced level of training for are more experienced members. This would allow our upperclassmen to continue to refine their MUN skills against each other, and increase their chance of winning drastically. In addition, the training program itself can be improved upon by adding more content oriented lessons as well as an increased number of various types of simulations. This would diversify our current training program and make our incoming freshmen much more competitive on the circuit. I would also create a much more personalized conference application and committee/partner application to ensure that all team members are set up with the best chance of possible to win awards at every conference.
The International Affairs Society inspires change, encourages debates, discussions and helps build responsible, informed and active global citizens. Looking back on our college years, I believe that we will find that some of the most valuable lessons we learned in this time were outside of the classroom, in IAS events with ambassadors, policy-makers and experts in international affairs as well as in discussions with each other. My name is Manuela Kurkaa, and I am running for academic coordinator of the International Affairs Society because I want to help the IAS make these unique experiences possible. I believe that with my international background, experience in this organization, ambition and dedication I can put together high quality, dynamic and interesting academic events.
For the past year I have had the honor of serving as Freshman Representative and as Faculty Liaison for WAMUNC XV. In these positions I have gained valuable experience and have helped organize events with the IAS Executive Board, the Freshman Committee, and the WAMUNC Secretariat. I am grateful for all the mentoring that I have received in these positions and believed that it has prepared me to be academic coordinator.
Being a member of the International Affairs Society’s Executive Board is a great honor and responsibility. An honor, because you get the privilege of working alongside talented and passionate people to achieve a common goal. A responsibility, because you are representing one of the largest and most active student organizations in GW and must constantly work towards its success.
In my time in the Executive Board I have found that a successful E-Board requires commitment and dedication to the organization from all its members as well as good communication and support between officers. To be a member of the E-board means collaborating with other members, moving beyond personal differences and disagreements and being a united force that can attract new members to the organization and ensure that those who are already members remain active and engaged. An IAS E-Board member must be willing to go beyond the duties of his position as stipulated by the constitution and assist other officers in their events and projects as well.
The membership of the IAS is increasing each year, and one of the goals I have is to continue this growth and ensure that students remain active in the organization. This year, alongside the Freshman Committee we worked hard to ensure that we had a large number of freshmen in the organization who remained actively involved throughout the year. As academic coordinator, I would work as well towards attracting and retaining a larger number of students through the creation of interesting and dynamic events.
A second goal I have for the IAS is having greater cooperation between E-Board members. The IAS has a large variety of programming and each officer has many great responsibilities. Nevertheless, it is essential for the success of the organization that all officers increasingly work together and support each other throughout the year in all their events. Whether it be in Shenandoah Meadows, in a MUN conference, the Elliott School or an embassy, collaboration is extremely important. Programming officers should as well explore the potential for cooperation in the creation of some events. An event can be both academic and social, it can be both social and outreach. The possibilities are endless.
The academic programming of the IAS plays a key role in promoting greater understanding and interest in international affairs, politics and current events among its members. As academic coordinator I would focus on three main goals: taking full advantage of the location and resources of the university, engaging students more actively in academic events and finally, creating a one afternoon multi panel conference on international affairs.
GW is located in one of the most politically active cities in the world and therefore, I would work towards taking as much advantage as possible of the location and resources available to us. Through detailed planning, good communication, dedication and persistence I would bring to the university key policy-makers, ambassadors, and experts on international affairs and foreign policy to the university. In addition, I would take advantage of the expertise, and valuable resources we have in our professors as well as organize trips to embassies, cultural institutes and think tanks in D.C.
My second goal is to organize events that engage students further and are more dynamic. By organizing debates and panels with several speakers, different perspectives on issues can be presented and add to the diversity and quality of academic events. I have been fortunate enough to discuss foreign policy issues with members of the IAS and believe that there is great potential for them to contribute to a conversation in some events in a way that goes beyond Q&As. As a student organization, our mission is not only to provide for the students but also to make them more active and engaged with the issues at hand.
Finally, I hope to create an interactive multi panel academic conference that would consist of a few presentations, debates and panel discussions that would for one afternoon engage students, professors and speakers in a variety of manners. The purpose of this conference is to allow for students, professors and experts in different topics to interact and to discuss with one another in an unprecedented manner.
In addition to adding even more excellent tours and trips to the calendar, I would also like to add as many high profile speakers as possible. I will use resources within the Elliott School as well as those available through other members of the IAS in order to find relevant discussions for members to attend. Making next year’s agenda as exciting as possible will be a top priority if I am elected, so please seriously consider casting your vote for Thomas Davies as next year’s Academic Coordinator.
Better Events, Clearer Coordination, Greater Participation
Students who invest in the International Affairs Society should benefit from their membership. I, Charles Santiago, am seeking this position as I feel I have the connections and skills to properly perform and further improve the academic services of the IAS. With both my internship with former world leaders (LEND and the Community of Democracies) and my experience with embassy officials, I will be able to organize multiple memorable events for the academic benefit of our organization. One of the most important focuses I will have is the issue of available time slots, which has unfortunately prevented many members from enjoying the activities of the IAS this past year. With more interesting and educational events and speakers, better coordination with students, and better execution of plans, I hope you will choose me as your Academic Coordinator.
- More participation: Those who were in the IAS’s first few meetings can note that there was an immensely larger amount of students. Within a month, saying that number diminished would be a severe understatement. While it is unavoidable for there to be significantly more students intending to be involved than those actively participating, i think it is important for the IAS to look into solutions so that we maintain our participation and benefit all members.
- Expansion of Membership-Specific Benefits: Among people talking about the IAS, I’ve noticed some complaints regarding “VIP” membership. This may seem off, focusing a small part of the IAS community, but I believe it speaks volumes for the IAS when people benefit from what they input. VIP members contribute a significantly larger investment in the IAS’s funds with the expectation of having it returned in notable benefits from the organization’s growth. At first, this higher cost membership seemed promising, however, as the year progressed, these benefits became less and less tangible. I would look favorably upon more noticeable benefits for VIPs to convince other members to invest more in the organization.
- More Diverse Scheduling: As I mentioned in the general goals, one of the notable issues that I think should be addressed is the low membership to participation ratio in the Society. Students invest in the IAS expecting to be able to actively participate and benefit from our events. However, many students lament their unavailability on the consistent scheduling of events. While a trip at 3pm on a Friday may have the most students capable to attend, consistently choosing that time alienates the membership which has classes interfering with that slot. While there is no absolute solution to this, this can be significantly improved through communication with students. At the beginning of the semester, as part of the listserv there can be a form asking for time slot preference from each students. With this data, the Academic Coordinator, along with many other Executive Board members, can better diversify event timing so that all members benefit.
- More Keynote Speakers: Embassy visits and other smaller academic events are a vital part of the academic activities of the International Affairs Society. However, Keynote Speakers are the events which gain significant attention not only within the Society, but in the university as a whole. Similar to how Ron Paul’s speech and the GWU Republicans gained considerable attention from their member’s ability to meet and chat with him, Keynote speakers would not only be especially interesting for current members but would also encourage many non-members in the University to join the Society. While this may seem to be a stretch, with the University’s position and with the proper connections and efforts, I have a strong belief that we can make some of the most memorable events GWU.
My name is Sreya Vaidyanathan and I am a freshman in the Elliott School. The International Affairs Society has been a significant part of my freshmen year. The IAS heightened my perception of professionalism, internationalism, and ambition. The IAS has facilitated some amazing first year experiences, from my first Model UN Conference to the insightful academic programming. This year I played an active role in GWUPIE as a consistent mentor for students at The School Without Walls. I also participated in WAMUNC XVI as vice-chair. Through the IAS I have had the opportunity to make lifelong friendships and enrich my academic passions. I am eager to give back to the IAS as your 2013-2014 Outreach Coordinator. I believe that I am capable of handling the responsibilities of this position with my experiences as Scholarship Chair of the Indian Students’ Association on campus, I have learned several valuable lessons on communication and fostering relationships within and outside the University. The skills I gained through other experiences, I intend to use as Outreach Coordinator, to foster relationships within the University, in D.C. , and internationally. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the dynamism of The International Affairs Society.
As stated previously, the IAS is the largest bipartisan organization on campus, and consequently possesses a large membership body. Obviously, this is in our favor, however, given the large membership it also easy for students to feel disenfranchised from the organization. This is an issue we should address as an organization. For this purpose, I want to coordinate efforts with other executive members to engage the larger membership body with more social, academic, and philanthropic programming. The purpose of our organization should not only be to cater to the loyal core, but to consistently pursue those not as involved, and to strive for their increased participation as IAS members.
My second overall goal is for the smooth expansion and success of WAMUNC XVI. I understand the enormity of this venture for the organization, and I want to help facilitate its smooth transition off campus. Apart from contributing as Associate Director of External Relations, I would like also like to further facilitate the overall campaign to spread awareness of the conference , and ensure that every possible resource that the IAS and GW can provide is garnered. Like most of our members, I am quite eager too see WAMUNC XVI unfold.
The primary responsibilities of the Outreach Coordinator as a Board Member is to spearhead fundraising initiatives, create co-sponsorships with other student organizations, foster relationships with philanthropic causes, and to overall increase the culture of volunteerism within the organization. Every Outreach Coordinator is also asked to pick one philanthropic cause to donate funds to. This past year’s efforts through Winter Gala Date Auction raised a considerable amount of funds for our charity, Fonkoze, a micro financing institution in Haiti that empowers women entrepreneurs.
Causes I would like to address through our chosen charity include child literacy and womens’ empowerment. Next year, my goal is to pick a charity that we not only support monetarily but also through more interactive efforts. For example, some charities that peaked my interest include Africa Book Development and Asha Foundation, which endeavor to promote literacy in rural Zimbabwe and rural India, respectively. Another organization we can partner with is The Afghan Writing Project, which empowers Afghan women to write freely and speak out against injustices. Apart from donating monetarily, we can spread awareness about these charities on campus through book drives and speakers events.
I believe that the overall culture of volunteerism within the organization must increase. To do so, the organization must take a more interactive role in the philanthropic cause by participating and engaging with those it donates to but also to volunteer at local charities in D.C. Generally, just as there exists an academic and social wing to the organization, a philanthropic wing must expand to involve the time and effort of more members. As outreach coordinator, I also understand the importance of communicating with the GW community. I believe that philanthropic causes are often where various organizations find common ground. It is a good medium for the IAS to expand outreach within its own community, and thus increase opportunities for co-sponsorships.
As outreach coordinator, I would like to expand the number of fundraising events we hold to support our charity. Apart from Winter Gala, and fundraising efforts at WAMUNC among delegates, the IAS should spearhead other fundraising initiatives periodically throughout the year. This could include, fundraisers at various restaurant locations on campus, partnerships with embassies and non-profits in the area, and other collaborative efforts. There are several specific measure that can be taken, but the overarching goal for next year is to make philanthropy a more interactive part of IAS programming.
My name is Grace Mausser and I would be honored to be chosen as your next Outreach Coordinator.
Second, I would like the IAS to encourage active participation among more of its members. Though the IAS is a huge organization, it can sometimes feel small because a core group of students are extremely active in the organization, while many of our members are only peripherally involved. I believe that the IAS may be able to fix this by creating more events that appeal to a broader spectrum of students and that can accommodate more students.
Another goal that I would have as Outreach Coordinator, is to increase awareness of IAS’s philanthropy by hosting more charity-focused events and using media to advertise our chosen charity. I think it would be relatively easy to incorporate our chosen charity into many of the events that are already set in the IAS schedule. I believe that students will, in general, be willing to commit either more time or money to a philanthropic cause if only they are more aware of the cause. The IAS can increase students’ awareness of our charitable efforts by utilizing all media to educate students about the charity. Additionally, the IAS can host more charity-orientated events; as Outreach Coordinator, I will try to expand the IAS’s traditional charity events as well as create new ones. I will strongly advocate for the IAS to become more actively involved in our chosen charity by organizing volunteer opportunities as well maintain donation efforts. By become more directly involved with our charity, I believe that we can encourage greater student participation in both the charity and the IAS as a whole.