Starting An ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter
*** Please note: These instructions are intended for Professional Chapter inquiries - a Student Chapter page will be up soon - but many of these items do apply for those interested in starting a Student Chapter so feel free to use this page as a guide for that purpose as well. ***
Thank you for your interest in starting an ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter. The ACM SIGGRAPH Professional and Student Chapters Committee (PSCC) is here to help and support you through this process.
First, a bit of background on the structure of ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH. ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery and it is the parent organization of ACM SIGGRAPH. "SIGGRAPH" is one of ACM's many SIGs, short for Special Interest Groups. SIGGRAPH stands for Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. ACM charters all of the ACM and ACM SIG chapters but joint oversight of the ACM SIGGRAPH chapters is held by ACM and the ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC) which has in turn delegated this responsibility to the ACM SIGGRAPH Chapters Committee Chair. Currently, that position is held by Scott Lang. Your other main point of contact is the ACM Local Activities Coordinator. Samantha Goldberg holds this position at ACM.
ACM has streamlined the chapter chartering process a great deal over the last several years. In fact, everything that you need to submit to get chartered can be done online at http://www.acm.org/chapters/sig/sigstart
But before you jump in and fill out this online application, we ask that you review the following information. We also ask that any prospective chapter founders send an e-mail to the Chapters Committee using the Start A Chapter Contact form before you fill out your chapter application. To ensure that each chapter is given the best possible chance to succeed, we ask prospective chapter founders to give some thought to what starting and running a chapter will entail.
You should begin by asking yourself the following questions:
By working through these four questions you should be able to create an outline which will help you to start and maintain a successful chapter.
you have answers to these questions, you need to think about how you plan
to get the group started. The following suggestions come from years of experience
working with new chapter start-ups:
1) Start meeting informally with individuals that you know to be interested or that have replied to e-mails and / or phone calls you have made to them. Establishing a working group of individuals will help you to not only recruit others to help with the work of starting the chapter but it will also give you a chance to evaluate those that may become part of the chapter's leadership team. Discussing your vision for the chapter with others - and learning their goals and interests - will help you to determine whether the desire and personnel is really there to charter (and maintain) a chapter. You probably want to do this over a 1 - 3 month period so that people do not lose interest.
2) Brainstorm with these individuals about a possible first event for the general public. This could be as simple as bringing people together for a discussion about the chapter or it could involve actual "content". This might include a speaker or speakers from the local area addressing a particular topic, it could be a screening of local computer graphics work, or maybe it's a meeting which takes place after another event in your area. In the past, we have found that local organizations are often quite willing to help other groups get started by letting them piggyback on their own meetings. This meeting probably happens within the first 1 -2 months after your initial chapter meetings from Step 1).
3) Begin identifying people
willing to serve as the core leadership of
your group. This nucleus must consist
ten people ready to petition
chartering as a Chapter. This group should designate four acting
officers: a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and Treasurer. These
interim officers must be
members of both ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH. (Once your chapter is formed, your
general membership need belong only to your chapter. However, the officers
of your group must always belong to ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH.)
4) The proposed leadership group should give some thought to their programming plans for the first year of chapter operation. Specific dates are not necessary but information such as possible topics and example presenters, approximate timeframe (for example, late-November, early December OR February are okay; sometime in 2011 is not), possible venue, etc. This additional information is not intended to slow things down but rather to get the chapter leadership to think about what activities they will be taking on once they are chartered. Our suggestion to new chapters is to keep it simple the first year. Chapters are required to produce at least four events a year; this is what we suggest to all our new chapters. Do not kill yourself and your leadership trying to do 15 events the first year. This usually has the undesired effect of burning out individuals who might not be prepared for such a time commitment.
5) The core group and its interim officers can now fill out the online chapter chartering forms at http://www.acm.org/chapters/sig/sigstart. When submitting your petition, please keep in mind that ACM SIGGRAPH has a policy which requires its Chapters to have names of cities or regions, not countries or states. Also, ACM SIGGRAPH requires its chapters to have FOUR officers from the time they are chartered. Please make sure you have four individuals willing to serve in these officer roles.
When your documents have been approved by both ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH, you will be officially chartered as an ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter.
Responsibilities of a Chapter
There are a number of responsibilities, expectations, and benefits available to an ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter. Once your chapter has been chartered, you and your leadership will receive full access to the ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter Leaders web site. However, there are some basic responsibilities and expectations you should be aware of even before you get chartered:
- A chapter must hold a minimum of four meetings per year to be considered active
- A chapter is required to set up AND maintain a chapter web site
- Each chapter is expected to keep in regular contact with the Chapters Committee Chair via e-mail or phone
- Each chapter must complete and return the ACM Annual Report
- Each chapter is required to establish and maintain a current chapter profile through the ACM Chapter Administrative Interface
- Each chapter is expected to add their leadership volunteers to the chapter-leaders mailing list
- Help publicize ACM SIGGRAPH and ACM events