SIGs used to be an active part of the SIETAR structure. SIETAR USA had several lively SIGs such as the Simulation Gaming SIG that organized Simulation Games Night. This SIG also developed a Code of Ethical Debriefing for Simulation Games. The Pride Across Cultures SIG had as their mission to provide a forum for LGBTQAI+ and straight members of SIETAR to educate each other and the wider SIETAR community about issues related to LGBTQAI+ culture in the workplace and across cultures. There was also a SIG for LatinX members and a SIG comprising language educators who explored the nexus between language, culture, and worldview. All the SIGs made sure that there was at least one concurrent session at each conference that addressed their issues.
The compelling reason to bring back SIGs is because they offer a time and space in which SIETAR USA members and guests at the conference can come together in small groips to discuss common interests, issues, and goals. One important element in forming and maintaining a SIG is to have a champion who is willing to step up and be a communication conduit for the SIG. The SIG leader makes sure that their SIG is represented within SIETAR USA’s conference planning. Some SIGs meet at various times throughout the year. Others choose to meet only at the conference. It is truly up to each SIG to decide what kind of structure and activity level fits them best.
At past conferences we have had a SIG lunch when people could sit together to discuss their shared interests. This can be challenging with all the other discussions going on around them so, we know that more dedicated time and space are needed. Therefore, this year, the Conference Planners have included a SIG Hour in the schedule for people who are interested in forming a SIG to find each other and make preliminary plans. Consider attending this lively hour prior to the Opening Ceremony to find old and new friends and be creative as you put together a SIG of your choice. Next year, we will find a way to have the SIGs meet virtually since the whole conference will be virtual. And at the next in-person conference, you will find we’ve reserved a room of your own for you to meet again. Watch for more information on SIGs in September prior to the conference.
To make this work, SIETAR USA seeks a Volunteer Coordinator to help plan and coordinate SIG meetings, formation, and registration. If you would be interested, please contact the Conference Oversight Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.