Better Know a Section: H080 University of Wisconsin – Madison

Section website:
Section contact email:


About how many members do you have? What is the (approximate) male to female ratio of you SWE members?
We have over 160 paid members and even more than that who aren’t paid. At our last meeting we had about 12 males attend out of 90 attendees. We are really trying to recruit more male members!
How many officers do you have? Do you have an office on campus?
We have 22 officers. We currently have an office that actually is more like a closet. Thankfully we have been given another office in a temporary union, so we will be working out of two offices.
Are you a commuter school, or do most students live on campus?
I would say about 99% of our students live on campus and don’t leave very often.
How many students are in engineering? ?
What would you tell someone if they were first coming to your campus? ?
I would tell them to go to a football game, visit the farmer’s market and come to a SWE meeting!
How often does your section attend a Regional or National Conference? How many members usually go for each?
Our section is lucky enough to attend both the Regional and National conferences every year. We usually send between 5-8 members to Nationals. It varies for regionals. This year we are bringing 31 members to regionals!
Has your section hosted a SWE conference before, or plan to in the future?
We have held a few conferences before and are making a bid to host regionals in 2010. Vote for us! 🙂
What is your school and/or college of engineering known for?
We’re known for having a good time! 🙂

Section History

What are some of the things your section does to archive its history?
We have binders for each of the committees where everything goes and it is constantly updated.
Do you have any suggestions on how other sections can keep track of their own history?
The binders are nice because if your hard drive crashes you will still have the information. We do need other ideas on how to archive our history.

Event Highlight

Describe an event that your section does that relates to (pick one): outreach, your unique section, a social activity, technical learning, professional development, joint events with other organizations, etc.
We just held a new event that went really well and has formed bonds with the other engineering organizations. We call it the Engineering Officer Bash. We invited all of the officers from the 50 Engineering Organizations on our campus to a grill out at the beginning of October. We had over 150 people attend. We formed a lot of relationships with other organizations and are able to combine our forces for many events.
What kind of new events do you plan on starting at your section?
We’re planning on having a student and professor “bar night” so that we can get to know our professors better. We also started a “Spirit Day” in which we devote a whole day to many different non-for-profit organizations and then celebrate with a dinner afterwards. It was a huge success and we plan on making it an annual event.
Does your section interact with other nearby sections?
We try to keep up a relationship with UW-Platteville. We keep the communication lines open and try and attend each other’s section meetings once a semester.

Section Strategies

What does your section do to attract and retain members?
We do a lot of advertising with posters. We also talk to the freshman classes.
How do you reward members?
We have a Distinguished Member system where we award a point to each event that a member attends. The top 10% with the most points are invited to a banquet at the end of the semester where we recognize their dedication.
How does your section obtain funds to help defray the costs of attending a conference?
We apply for every grant we can. We also keep in close contact with our industry representatives who help us out a lot. We also do our own fundraising.

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