Posted June 5, 2014 by Mandi Bryson 

Why Haven’t You Submitted an Educational Session Proposal Yet?

This post was written by 2014 Conference Program Team Member Jennifer Zamora.

Presenting at an ACUI conference is a wonderful professional development experience, so why haven’t you submitted a proposal yet? Here are some of the most common reasons people hesitate to submit an educational session proposal:  2015 Logo 

  • “I don’t have anything to present on.”
    Of course you do! Have you been through a renovation lately? Trained student employees? Planned a unique program? Read some good books that you want to dive deeper into? Have an interest that you share with a colleague in the field? Your peers want to know more about what you’re doing and what you’re learning, so take this opportunity to expand your reach beyond your campus! 
  • “It takes too much time to put together a proposal.”
    You’ll be surprised by how much you know and how quickly it comes together once you carve out 30 minutes of undistracted time (which hopefully you are able to get on your campus post-commencement). You can also invite a colleague to present with you; it cuts down on the time commitment on your part and is a great excuse to reconnect. 
  • “I submit every year and never get accepted.”
    All sessions are reviewed by a jury of 15–16 peers, including Conference Program Team and Education Council members. One piece of advice is to not just “show and tell” your school. Put some theory in your proposal. Think about how to use your experience as an example and follow-up with some brainstorming time about how people can use what they would learn in your session to take action on their campus.
  • “I’m scared to present in front of a group of people.”
    Public speaking can always be a little intimidating, but there is not better place to do it than amongst friends—and your ACUI colleagues are just that! In fact, you’ll probably walk out of your session with more friends. The rewards always outnumber the hesitation when the educational session is complete.
  • “What if my session doesn’t get accepted?”
    It’s true that not all sessions will get selected for the San Antonio conference; however, submitting a proposal is not only a great way to get some practice with the submission process, but it is also allows you to let the Conference Program Team know what topics are important to the Association and will help guide the educational content of the conference overall. You really have nothing to lose!
  • “Someone else will do it …”
    So? If everyone thought that way, we’d never have any educational essions! ACUI needs you! Your ideas, your energy, your expertise, and your passion for college unions and student activities are what make this Association what it is, and we want your perspective!

What are you waiting for? The deadline to submit is tomorrow (June 6).


Mandi Bryson

Mandi Bryson is the Associate Director for Events & Operations at College of Charleston.

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