Sharing Our Stories: The 84th ACUI annual conference, Washington, D.C.

Sharing Our Stories: The 84th ACUI annual conference, Washington, D.C.Alison Richardson and Patrick Bailey2003-09-0138Association Newsfalse

Fireside Chats

We wanted to allow you the opportunity to hear the stories of others in our association. We have developed a comfortable environment for you to hear several of your colleagues share their "stories." These Fireside Chats will be included in the educational program of the conference and will appear in each one of the session blocks. We will feature past presidents of the Association, graduate students, and even the mother of Host Team Chair Jeanni Winston-Muir (Winston-Muir's mother worked in the White House and has wonderful memories of a city that she knows and loves). Each chat will also feature an introduction by a member of the Conference Program Team or Host Team. We hope that you will enjoy this special feature of the conference.

Pin Trading

Beginning at our Chicago conference promotional lunch we started presenting you with lapel pins. At your regional conference you will get the second pin and more information about this exciting new conference program. We are encouraging you to bring several pins from your home campus, home state, local sports team, or point of interest. Wear them on your nametags and see how many you can trade and collect with other delegates. Several special-edition pins will be distributed at the conference. We hope that you will enjoy meeting others while collecting pins.

Did ya know?

Washington, D.C.

"The residents of the District of Columbia have never been given full representation in American politics, as they have no senator (Until the 23rd Amendment of 1961, they could not even vote for president—the 1964 election was the first in which they took part).

"In 1967, with people clamoring for a greater say in local government, President Lyndon Johnson replaced the system of three commissioners, set up by Congress in 1871, with an appointed mayor and a city council who were given greater responsibility in policy and budget issues. The result was the city's first elected mayor in over 100 years, Walter E. Washington. Residents were permitted to elect a nonvoting delegate to Congress in 1971, and the Home Rule Act of 1973 allowed the people to elect both mayor and city council.

"In 1995 Congress stripped the mayor of much of his power and appointed a five-person 'financial control board' to oversee the city's affairs. The election in 1998 was won by Anthony Williams, an outsider who offered a fresh outlook and financial stability. Congress returned to the mayor much of the authority it had taken away. Within months of taking his new office it appeared that Mayor Williams was turning the city around. The budget was operating with a surplus, the population had stabilized, and unemployment was down.

"The new millennium augurs a smoothly run government and a capital city renowned for an efficient transportation system, a rich cultural life, and a community that is proud of its diversity. The new administration under Mayor Williams has transformed the city's image. No longer dubbed the crime capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., has once again become a mecca for tourists and a safer, cleaner place for its residents." ÊÊÊÊÊÊ —Submitted by Jodie Nealley


Source: Folkard, C. et al. (Eds.). (2000). Travel guides: Washington, D.C. (p. 23). New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.

Air and ground transportation to conference hotels

When traveling by air to the annual conference in the Washington, D.C., area, it is best to fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ACUI is pleased to announce that STA Travel will offer a 10-percent discount on roundtrip fares to Reagan National Airport for all ACUI members traveling on an STA contract-partner airline. Individual airlines will not offer the 10-percent discount directly; to receive the discount, reservations must be made through STA Travel by calling (877) 777-8717 or going to

Both the Crystal City and Crystal Gateway Marriott properties provide free shuttles from Reagan National Airport. Go out to the curb and look for the "hotel shuttles" sign. The Marriott vans are either green or red. Know which hotel you are staying at and be sure you get on the correct shuttle for either Crystal City Marriott or Crystal Gateway Marriott.

Lodging information

Lodging for the 2004 annual conference is provided at the Crystal Gateway and Crystal City Marriott properties. These two hotels are connected underground by a walkway and function in many ways like one property. Both properties offer the outstanding service and style of Marriott International at special conference prices.

Prices at either property during the conference dates are $139 for single occupancy, $170 for double occupancy, and $179 for junior suites. There are a limited number of suites, so book early!

Marriott will book conference lodging requests at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (unless specifically requested otherwise) until the room block is full, at which time all reservations will be made in the Crystal City room block.

ACUI members may make reservations at or by calling Marriott Reservations at (800) 228-9290. You may also directly call the Crystal Gateway at (703) 920-3230 or the Crystal City at (703) 413-5500.

Did ya know?

"The U.S. Capitol is one of the world's best-known symbols of democracy. The center of America's legislative process for 200 years, its neoclassical architecture reflects the principles of ancient Greece and Rome that influenced the development of America's political system. The cornerstone was laid by George Washington in 1793, and by 1800 the Capitol was occupied, although it was unfinished. With more funding, construction resumed under architect Benjamin Latrobe, but the British burned the Capitol in the War of 1812. Restoration began in 1815. Many architectural and artistic features, such as the Statue of Freedom and Brumidi's murals, were added later.

"[The U.S. Capitol is] not only representative of the legislative heart of Washington, the Capitol marks the precise center of the city. The city's four quadrants radiate out from the middle of the building."

—Submitted by Jodie Nealley

Source: Folkard, C. et al. (Eds.). (2000). Travel guides: Washington, D.C. (p. 23). New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc

My story

by Jeanni Winston-Muir, 2004 Conference Host Team Chair

In 1990, as a public servant working for the mayor of Frederick, Md., I volunteered to assist in his bid for re-election. As a key campaign volunteer, I'm sad to say I was successful in "helping him out"—out of office, that is. Hence the search for a new career began, which led to my employment at Frederick Community College (FCC).

In my interview for the position of college activities specialist, I danced, I sang, and I left the search committee speechless. This could be interpreted as both good and bad. However, during the interview I was wise to credit my little formal knowledge of student development theory to Don Moore, the Lane Center director and my College Activities Board advisor at Frostburg State University. As my first mentor in the field, Moore tried to encourage me to consider student activities and union management as a career path. I had dreams of inheriting Barbara Walters' crown and paid little attention to his idea.

During my first week at FCC, I received a call from Lois Geib, director of student life, at nearby Hood College. She welcomed me to FCC and to ACUI's Region 4, which I understood at the time to be some kind of unusual cult of activities professionals in the area. Not hours later, I received a call from Jay Boyar, dean of student life services at Prince George's Community College, extending an invitation to participate in a student leadership retreat at the Pocono Environmental Education Center, a "PEEC" (pronounced "peak") experience, as we called it. Like a moth drawn to the fire, I accepted the invitation and immediately fell in love with Region 4 and this ACUI group. These new colleagues, in turn, introduced me to their supervisors, friends, and colleagues in wider circles. Within months of my association, I was hugging and kissing Marsha Herman-Betzen (and her mother), and a host of other well-known members. I was oblivious to the titles and prestige of these folks until much later, but their warmth, acceptance, and interest in me as a member of their group genuinely captivated me. Every year, these new relationships developed into new opportunities. With each experience, I grew personally and professionally.

Last month, I celebrated 13 years in this profession and much has changed in my life during that time. What has not changed, however, has had a more fundamental role in shaping my personal and professional development. The people and the passion of ACUI, the educational and social leadership of the volunteers that serve, and the investment of trust and faith and friendship these colleagues have placed in my skills and abilities continue to shape my passion for this accidental career. As Host Team chair for the 2004 annual conference in my hometown, Washington, D.C., I hope to give back to each of you the same wonderful feeling you have continually extended to me through your friendship and welcome. I look forward to seeing you in D.C.!

Career Development Institute

by Jeff Hoffman and Helen Wood

The Career Development Institute for graduate and undergraduate students is an innovative, exciting new program for all students attending the annual conference to explore or prepare for careers in college unions and student activities.

The institute will address skills needed for successful college union and student activities professionals—communication and marketing, leadership and community development, community service, global economics and ecology, facility design and operating technology, programming and the arts, and international students and culture.

Allowing for students to both experience an ACUI annual conference and learn about the profession, the institute will integrate new programs and incorporate existing annual conference components to create a comprehensive career development-related series packaged to have broad appeal to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Special features will include a daylong preconference seminar for graduate students, a graduate school fair, social activities, and panel discussions. The institute begins with the daylong preconference workshop for graduate students on Feb. 26. For undergraduate enrollees, the institute will begin on the first full day of the annual conference (Feb. 28).

Updated Nov. 9, 2012