Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

From State Associations to Affiliates: A Look Back to 1925

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

From State Associations to Affiliates: A Look Back to 1925

Article excerpt

This article is reprinted from a 1925 issue oí Journal of Home Economics and offers a glimpse of how "state associations" operated. The key elements of success - though presented in different terminology - are not much different from those we emphasize today: effective communication, networking opportunities, and advocacy.

WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION

WHAT MAKES A GOOD STATE ASSOCIATION

In this day of standardization, it is natural that the state home economics associations should be asking what is a standard form of organization. This is not easy to define and anything one may say today will undoubtedly need to be modified before long. Nevertheless as one looks over the excellent results now being obtained by many states, one finds factors which seem to contribute to their success.

In practically all the live associations, at least one professional meeting each year is held, with a program of sufficient significance and breadth of interest to bring together a large proportion of the home economists of the state and cause the others to regret their absence. Such a program includes a report of the annual meeting of the American Home Economics Association given by a person sufficiently discriminating to make it comparatively brief, yet sufficiently comprehensive for each individual to know what happened in her particular field as well as the main features of the general program of work adopted and the plans for the next annual meeting. Affiliated clubs are represented and report their activities.

The successful state association each year adopts a program of work based upon that of the American Home Economics Association, but including also items to which it wishes to give particular emphasis. This forms the basis for programs of meetings as well as for the work of committees and sections.

At most meetings, provision is made for a social time when members have an opportunity to become acquainted with one another. Other parts of the program vary in character but there seems always to be one speaker who, formally or informally, gathers up the varied interests, shows their interrelation, and points the way toward a larger usefulness in the improvement of homemaking.

In general, such committees and sections as are formed parallel those of the American Association, but the interests thus represented depend largely on local conditions.

Another factor in a good state association is some method of keeping each member in touch with its own activities and those of the American Association. Sometimes this is done by a circular letter issued once or twice each year, sometimes through a printed or mimeographed bulletin issued monthly. It tells each member something of the progress of her profession, what the program of work is, and how it is being put into effect so that she can make her contribution to it.

A membership representative or committee is active in devising and carrying out plans for increasing the membership. It keeps an up-to-date list of potential members, teachers, homemakers, institution managers, women in business, and the rest. It knows the requirements for membership, is familiar with the graded membership plan, and the plan for affiliation of student clubs; a special person may be designated to promote such affiliation.

There is a state news gatherer, or a news gatherers' committee under a responsible chairman, who is responsible for sending to the JOURNAL at specified tunes, brief, well-written reports of significant happenings within the state. Someone is also appointed who works actively for the increase of JOURNAL subscriptions.

A legislative representative or committee keeps close tab on state and federal legislation of interest to home economists and joins with representatives of other endorsing organizations in promoting constructive legislation. Some states have legislative councils through which various organizations, our own among them, carry on legislative work. …

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