So our AIAS president, Evan Lepore, in conjunction with the NYIT Manhattan Campus Architecture Chairman Professor David Diamond, organized an introductory/recruiting meeting today. I'm not currently a member, so I and several other upperclassmen decided to attend.
I have to say, they have quite a few events planned out, but I wonder about the productivity of these events. True, there is an enormous potential for networking, but at what cost?
Personally, I would defer membership until it has been proven to me that we can achieve more transparency for students looking in at the administration, both budget- and policy-wise. Also, some collective leveraging of the group dynamic for the purpose of fulfilling student demands would be nice. At times, I feel that, as a student of an accredited architecture school that operates on two separate campuses (one in Long Island, NY and one in Manhattan), we who choose to study at the Manhattan campus are practically second-class citizens. Aside from complaining about this, I've chosen to personally branch out to find my own resources (shop tools and peer networking). Others are either not as fortunate as I to find said resources OR they choose NOT to seek out other avenues. So, what can AIAS do for me?
I mean, all I hear is that the other, nominally more prominent architecture schools in the area do not even foster, much less maintain an AIAS chapter.
So, before I send in my $50 membership fees and sign on, I would like to know, has anyone else benefited from AIAS membership as a student?
On a related note, I can imagine that students at other school are pining (whining?) away about resources all the time. From an administrative standpoint, I can understand that the economics of the situation certainly prevent the administration from fulfilling requests. However, I truly feel at a disadvantage in terms of resources. We have a limited wood shop with limited hours. We have no CNC, no hot-processing (welding) facilities, no laser cutter. We have 4 plotters for a campus dominated by undergraduate architecture students. The only dedicated studio space is for thesis students, but that is a recent development implemented for this semester. And, we can stay overnight in open studios, but only with a sign in and 48 hours notice. Anyone else feeling the pinch of resource withdrawal at their school?
To the credit of our AIAS, we *did* get one new plotter at the end of last semester right before finals. However, it wasn't calibrated and couldn't be used on final drawings. So much for that.
So note to AIAS: when you organize students and actually take a political stand on issues like this with a genuine student response, I'm all in. That's all it would take. GET OUR ATTENTION.