By Christina Chen, Binghamton University
Binghamton SASE’s growth and development would not be possible without constant communication and dedication from each and every member. Every week, the executive board meets to reflect, discuss, and plan future events. Each meeting has a clear, established agenda of what needs to be accomplished during discussion. Events are planned weeks in advance for chairs to brainstorm, plan, and organize their event. Binghamton SASE is able to host an event every single week because of proactive planning, time management, constant communication, and member dedication.
We make sure to have a minimum of two cultural, two professional, two community outreach, and four fundraising events every semester. This is to ensure that our events touch every one of SASE’s pillars, and that we have enough funding to bring members to national and regional conferences.
In the weekly meeting before an event, the responsible chair will delegate responsibilities and roles for each board member and create a detailed time schedule of how the event will run. After every event, we reflect on not only the success of the event, but also what can be improved on. The collaboration of the entire board is key in the success of SASE, so we also plan days for our board to bond with our members from grabbing dinner together to road trips to neighboring SASE chapters.
In the spring, Binghamton SASE Executive Board takes on four freshmen or sophomores interns who can add to the SASE community. The transitional program, is an opportunity for young members to learn more about the inner workings of a collegiate club and the different executive board positions, and demonstrate leadership within a larger community. They work as their own executive board to plan one professional event and one cultural event. Transitionals not only prepare members for greater leadership positions, but also increase our member base by involving underclassmen.
“SASE National Conference in Dallas was a huge success! Why don’t we bring that momentum back to Binghamton University?”
We kept this question in mind as we planned our first professional luncheon, #DareToEngage: SASE Banquet. The primary goal of the event was for students, professors, and local professionals to interact on a different- more casual- level of formality. We provided a unique opportunity for students and professionals to interact and connect over lunch. This event was important for SASE members to build and learn the importance of networking. With the help of our dedicated luncheon committee volunteers, this event turned out to exceed our own expectations.
After two long months of countless emails, meetings, and marketing, the committee and executive board planned a professional luncheon that attracted 150 attendees. The #DaretoEngage: SASE Banquet was an absolute success because of our student run team that planned everything from table decorations and food menu to guest speakers and recruiters. The new friendships made within disciplines and connections established between students and professionals made the months of hard work worth it. One committee member responded, “It was definitely one of the busiest times of my college career, but it was worth it as I saw my team’s efforts flourish.”
The #DareToEngage Banquet was our biggest and most successful event to date. The great turnout of attendees has increased event interest, presence on campus, and membership base and retention. Those who attended the professional luncheon came out to smaller events like our end-of-the-year de-stressor event. Our name as a pre-professional organization has reached companies outside of Binghamton University like IBM, Stantec, NYSEG, P&G, and the US Air Force. This professional luncheon not only increased our members’ networks, but also ours. A surprising response was the interest of other SASE chapters in attending, but could not because of the snowy weather. Overall, this event has helped us:
· Increase membership base and improve retention
· Increase interest in future events and the SASE community
· Increase our presence on Binghamton’s campus and other campuses in the NE Region
· Establish connections with science and engineering departments on campus and companies in the local Binghamton area
This past year, Binghamton SASE was able to improve so much as a chapter because of all the members who want to make SASE grow. We were not afraid to step outside of our comfort zone, and come up with bigger and better events that we have never held before. Being able to win the Honorable Mention award for Most Improved Chapter is such an honor for us. We strive to continuously create opportunities for our members and welcome them to our SASE family.
SASE Binghamton Chapter was awarded the 2016 Most Improved Honorable Mention award at the 2016 SASE National Conference in Dallas, TX.
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