It seems to be a seasonal tradition to have someone write a poor imitation of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" as a way of making their messaging seasonal. Let me be one of the early contenders as we encourage people to submit early and submit often to present at SeaChange 2018, the joint CACUSS/ARUCC conference to be held in beautiful Prince Edward Island this year:
Twas the night before <a seasonal feast> and all through the house
The only creature stirring was my computer mouse.
A new presentation on collab'ration and change, so accessible and clever.
Only 4 weeks to go, miss a deadline? me? never!
Seachange 2018 brings CACUSS and ARUCC to the Island of Anne
Ideas and Inspiration I crave so I'd not walk, I ran!
So won't you join me on this grand adventure
Check out our website and launch into this venture
Clearly a career in poetry isn't for me. But I'm hoping that this light-hearted rhyme (poem seems a little too grand) will stick in your head (can it be an earworm if it doesn't have a tune?). My experience talking to all the great folks I meet at CACUSS is we have way more people with great ideas worth sharing than we have presentations every year. If you haven't presented before and/or if no one (or very few) from your institution/region/community of practice tends to present - then you are especially who we'd love to hear from.
My hope is that Prince Edward Island will be a little different as a conference experience. PEI is small and rustic, there's no denying that - you won't confuse this with a city experience (according to Statistics Canada, there are no urban areas in PEI). But we're more than confident that we can make up for that with a warm welcome and a comfortable experience (and maybe some foolishness thrown in, if that's what you like). What better place to try something new - present for the first time; submit a proposal to explore a new idea that you'd like to flesh out; or partner up and compare your work with colleagues in other departments, other institutions, or other parts of the country (this year's partnership between CACUSS and ARUCC also provides an opportunity to bridge between matters traditionally student affairs and matters traditionally registrarial).
We'd love to see your proposals early. Planning to present early actually gives presenters more time to prepare than planning to put something together at the last minute. It also gives all our volunteers who have offered to help with the review process. We already have over 90 reviewers who have offered their time to help make the SeaChange 2018 program a great one - isn't that amazing! So while it might seem self serving for a committee member to post his silly rhyme and ask for your help (and it is), it's also good for everyone involved. And despite my rhyme, I hope you can enjoy the holiday season without thinking about work - but that doesn't mean you can't work on it now.
And if you're worried about some part of the process - how to shape your submission, how to maximize the impact of your presentation, questions about who to partner with, or something I haven't thought of yet - you're in luck. The conference community forum is just the place to find help. Conference committee members and experience CACUSS presenters are all here to help you. We commonly here people talking in the halls of a CACUSS conference about how they wished the good ideas, networking and collegiality of the conference could carry over into the rest of the year. This is a chance to contribute to making that happen. Whether you have questions or answers, post and share your thoughts - they'll make us all better.