Student fees

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    • #264
      Darren KriticosDarren Kriticos
      Keymaster

      If we are going to have a special class of membership for students, how much should we charge?  There has been a suggestion for a complete waiver.  Personally, I’m not in favor of that option, simply because there is plenty of evidence that if you don’t pay for something, you don’t tend to value it.  Membership of this group is something special, and it should be valued.

      If a student is going to attend a meeting, it is not going to be out of their own pocket.  They are going to have to find financial support from some benevolent source if they are going to raise the airfares and accommodation, etc.  An extra $50 on top of the $1000 or so minimum is neither here, nor there.  I think I’d prefer to charge at least $25.  We could also then allow a discount on the meeting registration fees for special financial circumstances.  If a student can find a grant to cover the entire cost of attendance, then great.  If not, they can ask us for help.  That requires the student or other member (e.g., those from developing counties or retirees) to make the case that they are financially challenged, and wouldn’t be able to attend without some form of fee relief.  In budgeting for a meeting we could inflate the number of mouths to feed by 2 or 3 before averaging back down so that we give ourselves some breathing room to cover these deserving cases.

      What do you think?

    • #277
      Jennifer PannellJennifer Pannell
      Participant

      As a poor student myself, I have no problem with paying for membership. $25 to $50 seems very reasonable to me and is substantially less than some other groups charge. Even if I did have to pay that out of my own pocket it would be OK (obviously I can’t speak for others), though much more than that and it might be more difficult.

    • #279
      Kylie IrelandKylie Ireland
      Participant

      Similar to my comment about student representation on the committee, I would perhaps recommend a membership for Early Career Researchers – or discount to the student price – especially if they are unemployed or casual/part time due to funding issues.
      I agree that membership should come at a cost – just be ready to be flexible and perhaps accept special cases, such as developing country scientists or people on volunteer assignments, for membership fee reductions or waivers.

    • #286
      Frank KochFrank Koch
      Keymaster

      I’m OK with fee reduction on a case-by-case basis. The constitution will have to include procedures for members to apply for the reduction and the Executive Committee to approve, and probably the anticipated size of the discount. None of this is a big deal, unless there is a sudden swell in the number of applicants.

    • #290
      Amy MoreyAmy Morey
      Participant

      For non-discounted cases, $25 seems reasonable, and similar to other organizations I’ve been apart of. $50 seems steep. From personal experience, some funding sources for meeting expenses will not cover membership fees.
      What will the student fees be used for (and if they are put with the pool of other membership fees, what are those used for)?

    • #312
      Darren KriticosDarren Kriticos
      Keymaster

      Thanks everyone for you thoughts. Amy, technically, all the group funds get applied for the benefit of the group according to the decisions of the committee. We have been, and continue to, run entirely on the charity of members. We have realised that this is unsustainable. The most obvious financial issue concerns our web presence (domain name, web hosting, website software, web services, etc.). In the past we have also encountered minor problems in not being able to pay a deposit for venue and equipment hire. In the past we have also provided travel sponsorship for some participants, though this was based on generous external sponsorship. We could offer small prizes for papers and presentations (especially for students). The committee will be responsible for deciding on the amount to be charged for the fees, adjustable annually. The point you raise about granting bodies not supporting membership fees is why many societies provide a members discount for their meetings, which exactly matches, or is slightly larger than the annual membership fee. I expect that this is what we would do here.

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