How we became the First Student Affiliate Chapter
In March 2008, Cuyamaca College, in conjunction with the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA,) established the first Student Affiliate Chapter in the United States.
Student chapters have long been the province of four-year institutions with accredited Landscape Architecture Programs. During 2007, with the assistance of the Cuyamaca College Landscape Design Instructors, Kathryn Fulhorst, Nick DeLorenzo and Steve Copley, student John Herr spearheaded a campaign to change the ASLA National Bylaws to allow Student Affiliate Chapters.
The local ASLA Chapter supported the effort and moved the agenda forward at the national level. This allowed Cuyamaca College students to form the first-in-the-nation Student Affiliate Chapter.
10 Reasons to Join the ASLA Student Affiliate Chapter
The following is an excerpt from a personal letter by Tim Smith of Wynn-Smith Landscape Architecture, Inc., to a student wanting to know the benefits of ASLA membership.
- Students will have the opportunity, like no other, to meet practicing professionals who are potential employers.
- Students will meet other students with similar interests and challenges to overcome.
- Students will learn more about the profession by being around other students as well as professionals. The profession is so broad that it takes a long time to understand all of the opportunities available to landscape architects. A student's (or professional's) choice of professional direction could be dramatically changed by being exposed to a type of work they did not know about previously.
- Opportunity to promote one's profession. This could be considered a responsibility.
- Greater opportunity to be informed about the profession as well as the community in which one is working. I have personally benefited from that recently.
- Opportunity to discuss ideas with peers.
- Make good friends. I have found that most people that are attracted to landscape architecture tend to be very friendly and are caring people.
- I have heard, lately, from a couple of non-members of ASLA that they do not join because they are not "joiners". Well, I believe that many, if not most, landscape architects would think of themselves as independent thinkers and that is why they are drawn to a creative profession. Perhaps that is why some might think that they are not "joiners". Perhaps it feels like a Union of sorts where we all become followers but frankly, it is the opposite. By joining, we put ourselves in a greater position to lead.
- By putting out good work in your office, you may be leading your clients but it remains a small group that you are leading. By taking advantage of all of the thinking professionals in ASLA and utilizing individual skills of each member, as well as their time to volunteer, one has a much greater opportunity to make a difference - and learn more at the same time. Frankly, it is not about wanting to be a leader because that is just ego. It is about wanting to use our knowledge as landscape architects to care for our communities - our land, our society and the future. This may sound mushing to some, but I mean it.
- I have been in my small office for 18 years and have not had the opportunity to participate in ASLA for a number or reasons until recently. I always wanted to be able to bat ideas around with others because I think talking helps me clarify or modify my own opinions about a subject. Now that I am participating, I have had so many more opportunities to discuss such ideas with people I respect and I have definitely grown from these discussions.
To learn more about our chapter, our school, and the local ASLA San Diego Chapter, go to Cuyamaca's Horticultural Department web page, http://www.cuyamaca.edu/ohweb/, and follow the links to all of the information. Come join us!
Join the Student Affiliate Chapter of ASLA Today
Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture Department