Better Know a Section: H054 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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When was your section first chartered?
February 28, 1960
About how many members do you have? What is the (approximate) male to female ratio of you SWE members?
We have almost 300 people who have attended at least one event (they come and go), but we have 139 paid members and about 60 pretty active members. We have about…3 male members (if that).
How many officers do you have? Do you have an office on campus?
16 officers, Engineering Hall 110A is home to our spacious, colorful cubicle containing a large meeting table, 3 accessible computers, 3 large filings cabinets full of office supplies, outreach materials, etc, a mini-fridge, coffee pot, microwave, and cheap food/drink for sale!
Are you a commuter school, or do most students live on campus?
Most live on campus
How many students are in engineering?
~6,000 Undergrads and 2,500 Grads
What would you tell someone if they were first coming to your campus?
There is more to it than corn fields, really!! Our campus provides multitudes of entertainment such as basketball, football, hockey etc, games, concerts, sketch comedy shows, operas, hoppin’ nightlife, Curtis Orchards (apple and pumpkin picking), and a variety of cuisines all over campus -but if you DO enjoy the corn, the giant corn maze at Reindeer Ranch is a great fall event.
How often does your section attend a Regional or National Conference? How many members usually go for each?
Always attend both, approximately 20-25 members
Has your section hosted a SWE conference before, or plan to in the future?
Yes, Region H once awhile ago, but we are bidding to host the 2010 conference, as it will be national SWE’s 60th Anniversary, and our section’s 50th Anniversary!!!!!!!
What is your school and/or college of engineering known for?
In addition to a GIANT greek system, we are in the top ten of public universities to attend and have one of the top engineering and business colleges. Our Civil, Agricultural, and Materials programs are the top in the nation, and most other majors are in the top ten.

Section History

What are some of the things your section does to archive its history?
Each officer has a binder with updated information from previous officers (and a CD with additional/older information), event archives (information about each event must be electronically submitted to our “archives”-such as number in attendance, budget, suggestions, etc), updated alumnae database, keeping track of all meeting minutes and correspondences, filing newspaper clippings, etc regarding SWE, list of all awards received and given, list of all officers and beginning to compile information about past events and sponsoring companies, lots of old pictures and negatives of events.e
Do you have any suggestions on how other sections can keep track of their own history?
Track down alumnae for missing/old information, keep event archives to see how they went, and make sure each officer updates their binder before transitions.
Are there any unique stories about your section’s history?
The October 25th, 1959 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune (today’s Chicago Tribune) featured a photograph on page 29 titled “Engineers at U. of Illinois” with seven of the founding members of our section.
Has your section been the home of any famous SWE members or other people?
Paula Loring Simon, 16th SWE President 1978-79, M.S.E.E., Electrical Engineering, 1969, University of Illinois
We also have many awesome alumnae come to speak at our monthly general meetings on behalf of sponsoring companies!

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 hold Little Sister Weekend in the spring, where we invite accepted HS seniors to experience UIUC over a weekend—including a Q&A panel, nighttime activities, tours, classroom visits, eating at the dorms, performances from university entertainment groups, and of course guidance and fun times with their friendly local SWEster!
What kind of new events do you plan on starting at your section?
We have started SWE Dinners, Happy Hours, Study Break during finals, Grad student presentation practice.
Do you do anything special or interact with a nearby professional SWE section?
Yes, events like graduation celebration/member upgrade events.
Does your section interact with other nearby sections?
Not yet…

Section Strategies

What does your section do to attract and retain members?
Little Sister Weekend (described previously), Back-to-School Banquet for freshmen, SWE Dinners, and we stress scholarship and networking opportunities.
How do you reward members?
“SWEster of the Month” awards- basket full of goodies like school supplies, snacks, gift cards, Sudoku/fun activities (these are based on a participation point system).
Some states get cold in the winter. How do you get members out when it’s cold outside?
FREE FOOD, Enticing/Beneficial Events like Yoga, Rock Climbing, Ettiquette Dinner, heated indoor events! haha
How does your section obtain funds to help defray the costs of attending a conference?
We contact companies for sponsorship and do fundraising through concessions.
UIUCs Be Professional Conference 2008
UIUC's Be Professional Conference 2008
UIUC at National Conference 2008 with Gold OCS award!
UIUC at National Conference 2008 with Gold OCS award!
UIUC members at the Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop.
UIUC members at the Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshop.
UIUCs 2008 Relay for Life team.
UIUC's 2008 Relay for Life team.
UIUC rockclimbing at ARC, one of the recreational facilities on campus.
UIUC rockclimbing at ARC, one of the recreational facilities on campus.
UIUC- Our officer IDs at the entrance of our cubicle in Engineering Hall.
UIUC- Our officer ID's at the entrance of our cubicle in Engineering Hall.
UIUC 2008 September SWEsters of the Month!
UIUC 2008 September SWEsters of the Month!

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