[Air-L] conference fees, aoir membership, etc.

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Wed Jun 29 10:41:02 PDT 2011

I am wondering what people think about internet research conference fees.  I personally think that since Milwaukee costs have been too high for many members and most graduate student members.  I have talked with some members of the exec on this and while I'm sure they are active and care about the matter and they are trying to resolve the matter, it is unclear to me that they know what the members want beyond that many people tend to pay for the conference and thus the fees must be reasonable in some light to those that pay for them.  I'm more concerned about those that can't or choose not to pay for them and how they are hidden in the system of 'voting with dollars' and likely how they are possibly alienated from participating/becoming members of an organization in which they can't afford to participate.  I'm wondering if other people have that concern too.  If you do have that concern, then perhaps we should propose a working group to investigate the capacities of the membership to pay the conference fees.  I grant that I could be entirely off base too, perhaps everyone is happy with the fees and no one is having any problem paying them, I suspect though that we are creating and/or reifying a two class system in aoir, where the less well off are just members of the listserv, don't join the organization, can't vote in the elections, because they can't go to the conferences, and the well off are joining, going to the conferences, and able to take advantage of all the organizational benefits.  In any case, if you'd like to engage in this discussion, send me a note to jhuns at vt.edu with the subject 'fees' and we can petition the exec to form a working group.  If we don't get enough people, I'll just assume I'm wrong and that what I suspect is happening... is not happening.

Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech

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