USITT Student Chapters

USITT Student Chapter Formation Guidelines


What is a Student Chapter?

A Student Chapter is a group of peers, acknowledged by the national organization of USITT. Student chapters help to expand the reach of education beyond your school, to the world of theatre and the pioneers that continue to change our industry. 

USITT Student Chapters are established to provide opportunities for students wishing to further their experience in technical theatre, design, and management through education, outreach, and networking.

What do students get from forming a chapter? 

Examples of value 

What is the difference between being a chapter vs just joining the national?

  • Gives you access to knowledge on how to leverage funds and access to the national conference
  • Tech and design expo
  • Prague Quadrennial 
  • Building leadership skills and opportunities
  • Activities
  • Long term investment to maintain relevant in the industry
  • Access
  • Building a bridge between the university and USITT National
  • Community gatherings for fun of like minded folks
  • Friends, networking and jobs
    • Structure beyond the class work to work on these tools
  • Creates an Environment that facilitates student participation
  • Professionally rewarding 
  • Resume builder
  • Get hands on help to build opportunity 
    • Connection to work with the national educational outreach programing
  • Opportunities to connect with other students in your geographical area

Testimonials 

"When I discovered the wide range of professionals and organizations connected to USITT, I knew that this was an organization that I had to be a part of. Not only has USITT led to meaningful employment opportunities and connected me to amazing arts workers, I have found a "family" that encourages my growth and artistry. As our industry bounces back from the pandemic, I am confident in the future of my career because of the strong foundation and network that USITT has given me."

-Rachael Ellis 

Allegheny College BA 2019

How to start a Student Chapter:

  1. Bring together a group of your friends and classmates. 
  2. You must have at least six chapter members who are USITT national members. Students who are not USITT national members may also belong to the chapter.
    1. High schools only need the sponsor to be a national member.
  3. Identify a non-student national member who is willing to serve as sponsor and provide the chapter with active leadership and guidance. Many chapters have co‐sponsors (if so, both must be USITT members).
    1. Please check with your institution about required guidelines on forming a student organization.
  4. Hold elections to determine chapter officers or appoint interim officers. Required officer positions:
    1. Chair, Vice‐Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. The latter two offices can be combined into a Secretary‐Treasurer position.
  5. Write By‐laws for the chapter. Sample by‐laws are available from USITT.
  6. Complete the Student Chapter application online. (See red button above)
  7. The National Office and the Membership Committee will review. If all requirements are met, a Charter certificate will be mailed to the chapter sponsor. 
  8. Congrats, you are a student chapter of USITT!

 

Interested individuals may also attend a Student Roundtable meeting at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo or at an online meeting to obtain information. Individuals who wish to verify membership may check their account at usitt.org.

Now what? Below is a list of ideas that we have seen other chapters successfully do over the years. In addition to this list we review ideas at the annual Student Roundtable. 

Development:

  • Resume workshops
  • Master classes
  • Attending conference with a group
  • Registering a team in the Skills Challenge
  • Providing students with information from national and sections
  • Hosting events and monthly meetings
  • Young designers forum, tech expo, and design expo support
  • Create leadership opportunity to become an officer of a student organization
  • Host workshops such as rigging, mask making, historic painting processes. 
  • Hold a tech skill competition
    • Challenge a local school
  • Work with your school’s alumni association to connect for local opportunities for tours, workshops, guest artists, ect. 
  • Volunteer to help after a natural disaster or for community projects in your area
  • Working with another department in the school for a workshop. Example would be taking a mold casting workshop with the Art Department. 
  • Working with a local gear rental house to demo new and exciting gear the college may not have yet.
    • In some cases they will lend out this gear for a discount or even free for limited days. 

Fun:

  • Pizza parties
  • Movie nights
  • Talent show (partnering with other campus groups)
  • Drag show (partnering with other campus groups)
  • Pumpkin carving design challenge 
  • Theater venue tours
  • Local or touring shows backstage tours

Fundraising:

  • Selling merch to students, faculty, and staff (be sure you have permission on any logos being used, such as your university's or USITT's) 
  • Offering clothing alteration services to community and school
  • Requiring dues from students
  • Yard sale by gathering donations from fellow students, staff, and faculty 
  • Haunted house
  • Do a online donation drive with your schools fundraising department
  • Work with your school’s alumni association to raise donations

Renewal 

  1. Charters run for one year — October to October.
  2. Plan activities for the year — a mix of service to the department/profession, fundraisers to support attendance at the Annual Conference and social events works well for many chapters.
  3. Follow through on your plans and have fun!
  4. In spring, elect next year’s officers and send the President's contact information to the VP‐MSC.
  5. In fall, re‐check for six current USITT members, plan a new year of activities, and submit a Charter Renewal form.
  6. There should be enough interested students to sustain the chapter beyond any one academic year. 
  7. Review your goals and don’t be afraid to change them. When looking at other chapters for advice keep in mind that each chapter is at a different place in their development and some goals may not make the most sense for your chapter. 

Succession Planning advice

  • Consider cross training on tasks between the officers
  • Have a first year rep officer who is elected in the Fall. This sets up a person to be a future officer.
  • Hold a meeting between the new officers and the past officers after elections to help pass along the knowledge. 
  • Check in with your advisor they will be willing or able to continue their support for your chapter in the upcoming term.
  • Document the process of your events. What works, what did you learn to avoid next time, what were the costs and needs. 
    • Who did you contact for the venue, talent, vendor, etc.
      • How did that relationship and communication work?
    • Keep track of plans, drawings, inventories
    • Who did you contact for resources
    • Did you use name tags to identify leaders for the event
    • What forms did you fill out?
    • Finances/money storage
      • Document how you pay for things?
    • Signage/logo/branding guidelines archive
    • Document your marketing process
      • What worked and what you feel didn’t have an impact
    • What is your school's policy on serving/selling food?
    • What platforms did you use for an online event?
      • What worked, login information, “how to” for users
    • Even if you don’t plan to do the same exact event, there is always cross over value. 
    • Post event review and document your discussion. 
  • Have a shared cloud or server file system that your advisor has admin privileges on
    • Many schools provide file space as part of being a club
    • Have a backup of your files
  • Social media: Make sure you document your passwords and transfer ownerships to the new officers, and ensure your advisor has admin as well
  • Reassess goals of the chapter at the beginning of each year. Don’t be afraid to change the format of what and how your chapter runs.

Sponsor/Advisor Guidelines 

  • Identify a non-student national member who is willing to serve as sponsor and provide the chapter with active leadership and guidance. Many chapters have co‐sponsors (if so, both must be USITT members).
    • Please check with your institution about required guidelines on forming a student organization.
  • We encourage you to have a co-sponsor for the student chapter whose schedule is offset as best as possible to yours. Often this means a staff and a faculty member share the workload. 
  • Make sure you are attending the officer and general meetings of the chapter
  • Be supportive and go to events. Encourage your colleagues to come as well. 
  • family:Arial">To ensure the chapter is following the institution’s policies
  • The chapter finances are properly handled and tracked
  • Conduit to opportunities that USITT’s offers year around
  • Help guide your students to know about and apply to the awards and programs USITT offers
  • You are encouraged to become a part of USITT!

Student Chapters of USITT are organized across the nation in our colleges, universities, and high schools.

Comprised of six or more students with a sponsor, these chapters work to promote learning among their peers and to support design and technology on campus.

If you are interested in starting a student chapter, download the formation guidelines and application form.

USITT Student Chapter Information:

 

2020-2021 Student Chapters

 

Allegheny College
Meadville, PA
Chair: Noah Stape
Sponsor: Miriam Patterson

Bear River High School
Grass Valley, CA
Chair: Ava Graham
Sponsor: Erin Beatie

Bradley University
Peoria, IL
Chair: Cierra Conrad
Sponsor: Chad Lowell

University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, NY
Chair: Rebecca Stock
Sponsor: Jonathan Shimon

Carmel High School
Carmel, IN
Chair: Zachary Waters
Sponsor: Andrew Okerson

Chapman University
Orange, CA
Chair: Rin Mizumoto
Sponsor: Don Guy

Columbus State University
Columbus, GA
Chair: Emma Wigington
Sponsor: Krystal Kennel

University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT
Chair: Morgan Shea
Sponsor: Edward Weingart

Cornish College of the Arts
Seattle, WA
Chair: Amber Granger
Sponsor: Pinky Estell

Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL
Chair: Braeden Ingersoll
Sponsor: Robert Coleman

State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, New York
Chair: Meredith Platt
Sponsor: Todd Proffitt

Guildhall School of Music and Drama
London, England
Chair: Ben Hagle
Sponsor: Andy Taylor

GW Carver Magnet High
Houston, TX
Chair: Zavion Milburn
Sponsor: Jabari Raul Collins

University of Idaho
Moscow, ID
Chair: Erin Henkhaus
Sponsor: Ginger Sorenson

Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
Chair: Danielle Bergman
Sponsor: Trish Hausmann

Jesuit High School
Portland, OR
Chair: Luke Motschenbacher
Sponsor: Jeff Hall

Lake Travis High School
Austin, TX
Chair: Luka McNamara
Sponsor: K.J. Bartosh

Logansport High School
Logansport, IN
Chair: James Zinsmeister
Sponsor: John Vales

University of Maryland Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD
Chair: Kirsten Jolly
Sponsor: Adam Mendelson

McKinney ISD High Schools
McKinney, TX
Chair: Isabella Suarez
Sponsor: Bethany Moczygemba

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, CO
Chair: Bradley Iroine
Sponsor: Laura Love

University of Minnesota, Duluth
Duluth, MN
Chair: Andrew Hienz
Sponsor: Scott Boyle

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN
Chair: Josh Koser
Sponsor: Jason Allyn-Schwerin

University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Lincoln, NE
Chair: Grace Trudeau
Sponsor: Michelle Harvey

Newman Smith High School
Carrollton, TX
Chair: Lydia Carter
Sponsor: Abby Kraemer

University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Winston-Salem, NC
Chair: Kelly Lemos
Sponsor: Pam Knourek

University of North Texas
Denton, TX
Chair: Blake Murrell
Sponsor: Adam Chamberlin

Northwestern State University
Natchitoches, LA
Chair: Je’Breanne Morgan
Sponsor: Karn Richoux

Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City, OK
Chair: Kelsey Bouma
Sponsor: Jason Foreman

PCPA-Pacific Conservatory Theatre
Santa Maria, CA
Chair: Cagney Herrick
Sponsor: Jeff Allen

Ramon C. Cortines School For Visual and Performing Arts
Los Angeles, CA
Chair: Lucia Venegas
Sponsor: Joel Daavid

Reedy High School
Frisco, TX
Chair: Casey Pitts
Sponsor: Benjamin Shurr

Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ
Chair: Rebecca Fritz
Sponsor: Thomas Fusco

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Winona, MN
Chair: William Scannell
Sponsor: Jason Underferth

San Juan Hills High School
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Chair: Jadyn Fox
Sponsor: Cambria Graff

Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah, GA
Chair: Bailey Hunt
Sponsor: Ruth Hutson

Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA
Chair: Maya Bhatnagar
Sponsor: Andrew Carson

Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO
Chair: Ben Arrigo
Sponsor: Amber Cook

Southern Arkansas University
Magnolia, AR
Chair: Stephanie Blasé
Sponsor: Wally Eastland

Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT
Chair: Kianna Casey
Sponsor: Brian Swanson

Texas A&M University
Commerce, TX
Chair: Aaron Gibson
Sponsor: Andrea Williams

Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
Chair: James Camp
Sponsor: Cheri Prough DeVol

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX
Chair: Meagan Pierce
Sponsor: Joshua Whitt

The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
Chair: James McDougal
Sponsor: William Kenyon

University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
Chair: Josephine Coyle
Sponsor: Annmarie Duggan

University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX
Chair: Brooke Ford
Sponsor: Laurie Land

Webb Schools
Claremont, CA
Chair: Shelby Mokricky
Sponsor: Alex Valdez

Tomball Memorial High School
Tomball, TX
Chair: E’Lante Allen
Sponsor: Tanner Holley

Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
Chair: Casey Duke
Sponsor: Jane Stein

Westfield High School
Westfield, NJ
Chair: Cas Malak
Sponsor: Matthew DiFabio

UPDATED: 12/07/2020