June 4, 2011 at 12:25 am #162451Jennifer de GraafParticipant
So many good points have been made so far, I have only a little to add:
When I lived in Texas, I was very involved in my state and local chapters, and I had a great time. Since moving to California, I have not found the same opportunities I enjoyed in Texas, but I was not looking for them, either. I let my ASLA national membership lapse and did not miss it one bit. I felt that the only benefit I enjoyed was the magazine, but that’s not enough to justify a $400. membership fee.
In the last few years, the economy and technology have combined to make me a more network-y person. Because of BOTH of these things, I plan to attend the ASLA conference for the first time in several years this October.
The point? With my non-member attendance fee for the conference, I will be forced into being a member once again. I will be sent the magazine, and I have no option to attend the conference and skip these add-ons. I have to wonder how many of those “strong membership numbers” are from people who will attend the conference because they feel the need to network, maybe visit the marketplace, and attend the Job Link booth…but who would opt-out of the “perks” if they had the chance. I know I would.June 4, 2011 at 1:24 am #162450Jason T. RadiceParticipant
They used to offer admission just to the marketplace show floor and JobLink (at least to leave resumes, you have to make appointments for interviews for jobs that don’t exist) as a separate admission without being able to attend the education sessions. I think you could attend the keynotes, but don’t quote me on that. I’m a member and I find the show to be a bit steep admission wise, especially some of the hotels if you must travel. I got one of the floor passes and an inexpensive hotel in downtown Philly i’ve stayed in several times before for a night (it even had free parking) and it worked out great. I was able to network just fine with that. If I didn’t live here, I would probably not have gone to the DC show…the hotels are REALLY expensive here, especially anywhere near the convention center. I know a bunch of the vendors stayed way out in VA and MD and drove in every day. Haven’t made up my mind on San Diego yet. I did find some reasonable hotels within walking distance.June 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm #162449Barbara NazarewiczParticipant
If you want ASLA to change, then become a Trustee.
Did you know about ASLA Advocacy effort?
They have a lobbying team that goes to the Capitol Hill to gain support for legislature (i.e. green infrastructure) that would bring more jobs for LAs… it is a long term plan.
Notice, that if this kind of action doesn’t take place now, in 10-15 years architects and civil engineers will take over the services that landscape architects can provide (i.e. storm water management).
I can understand your frustration, I am graduating in 7 days, time will show how my career will play out, but I see ASLA as one of the best ways to network and I feel that there is nothing that can really substitute live person-to person interaction.
Finally, I agree with Andrew G. that “[o]ur careers are in our own hands” and by expecting ASLA to mold it for us we are setting ourselves for disappointment.
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