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 November 2007 • NIRSA news and information
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Leadership Notes

Keeping Austin weird in 2008

Diane Sylofski

The NIRSA Board of Directors recently met for their mid-year meeting at the 2008 Annual Conference site in Austin, Texas. During the meeting, representatives of the Host Committee from The University of Texas at Austin met with the Board to discuss plans for the Conference, including social events and attendee lodging. The Host Committee is working assiduously to plan one of the most exciting Annual Conferences yet. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and Conference attendees will be able to experience some of Austin's most popular acts. Attendees will also be able to enjoy Austin's unique cuisine in addition to a bit of its heritage.

Here are some facts about the city of Austin:

  • The entire city is wireless. So don't worry about not having Internet access. Austin's got it.
  • It is the sixteenth most populous city in the United States, with almost 700,000 residents.
  • The average high temperature in April is 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There is live music seven nights a week.
  • Texas is the home to Dell computers. The Make a Child Smile fundraiser will support the Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, which opened June 30, 2007. (Contact your Regional Student Representative if you are interested in donating.)
  • The city is located on the Colorado River.
  • Each dusk between April and October, the world's largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats (about 1.5 million) emerges from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge (over Town Lake on the south side of downtown Austin) to feast on insects that fly above the city.

A student rate will be available at three hotels this year in order to allay some of the conference costs for students hoping to make it to Austin. Parts of the conference will be held at the Hilton, the host hotel, while many other activities, including educational sessions, will take place at the conference center just across the street.

If you are unsure of how you are going to fund your attendance to the 2008 Annual Conference, consider applying for a NIRSA Foundation Scholarship (due January 15, 2008). The foundation scholarships cover the cost of a student registration to the conference. Check out the NIRSA Foundation Scholarships page for more information about all of the scholarships and awards available to both students and professionals. Talk to professionals at your institution and in your area to find out what fundraising and financial aid opportunities are available to you.

If you have a Facebook account, join the recently created group "NIRSA Austin 2008." Find out who's going to the Conference and how they are getting there, or use the group to find a roommate (or five).

The Career Opportunities Center (COC) will run strong again this year to aid students and professionals in the application, interviewing, and hiring processes. However, there are plenty of opportunities available to students not applying for positions this year. The COC is a great place to volunteer; or pick out one of the sessions you are excited about, and volunteer to be a session monitor. Think about co-presenting with a professional at your institution who will be leading an educational session.

From bats to bands to barbecue, Austin certainly is inimitable. Help keep Austin weird, and attend the NIRSA Annual Conference in April 2008. For more information on all aspects of the Conference, please visit the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Exposition webpage. Don't hesitate to contact your Regional Student Representative if you have questions about the Conference.

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