Friday, July 10, 2009

****************Organization of AACAQ****************

by Douglas Jeffers

Regarding formal organization, we have two coordinators for AACAQ that process our various logistical tasks. These coordinators work with the Assistant Director, Marcel to train and form the group. This includes planning the meetings, and reminding everyone about them by e-mail, as well as preparing the talks. At the beginning of the semester they must divide the members into groups of three, and compile a master list of which groups meet where and when. In general we have found it easiest to put people in groups, and let each group work out its weekly time, rather than trying to have the coordinators take in everyone’s schedule and plan the groups on the basis of that. Invariably there are one or two groups that simply cannot find a time in common, and then small changes to the group assignments have to be made. The coordinators also head up some efforts at recruiting at the beginning of the semester. We have consistently found there are people who express an interest in joining while a semester is in progress, and the coordinators try to fit them into an existing group or else form a new one (taking care to add someone to the new group that has some experience).

Though the norm is to have every group go out for one hour, there are some people who choose to take more than one group, and there are some groups that stay out for more than one hour (especially if they are engaged in a good conversation and to not have to hurry off to somewhere else).

Each three-person group has a designated leader, which coordinates the schedules and finds a time everyone can meet. For a brief period of time we tried to keep records of type and number of questions asked, and at what places and times. The data was not incredibly useful, so we abandoned the project. While this project was on-going, we had two additional officers in charge of the data collection and tabulation.