As everyone knows, we at the MDCSPA received far greater response to our J-Day at the University of Maryland event than we expected. We anticipated a high of 175 registrants, but received requests to bring many more than twice that number. We worked with the university to accommodate as many of those attendees as possible. While we couldn’t register everyone who wanted to come, we were able to expand the event to around 300. We sincerely apologize to those advisers who put their groups on the wait list, but who did not get in. Please come back again next year.
Adjusting numbers upward, some changes had to be made. Specifically, we will now principally use four buildings on the campus for our sessions: The Stamp Student Union, Knight Hall (home to the College of Journalism), the Tawes Fine Arts Building, and the Mathematics Building. Knight and Tawes are side by side on Union Drive off of the top of Campus Drive. Stamp is about halfway down Campus Drive, and Math is at the bottom of Campus Drive just below the “M”. Anyone who is familiar with the campus can probably picture this, but if you can’t, visit the campus map at this link to see the relationship between the buildings: http://maps.umd.edu/map/ .
We have adjusted available travel times to make the walk between buildings doable, and the feeling of some teachers was that the distance will let students experience traveling from class to class around a large college campus. If, however, registered participants are concerned about your students attending sessions in distant locations, we are offering all groups the opportunity to bring one additional chaperone to the event at no charge. Please just send the person’s name to me within the next week so that I can register them. Personally, I can tell you that I have taken large groups to the CSPA Convention at Columbia in New York many times where sessions are held in buildings even further apart, and my students have never had any problem.
Late registrants to J-Day were unable to register for lunchtime tours. In lieu of that, we have added a Swap Shop to be held in the Stamp Student Union near the Food Court from 12:20–1 p.m. Bring copies of your staff’s newspaper, magazine or yearbook to the shop to share with other staffs (yearbooks will, of course, be returned) and help your students gain great new ideas by networking with students from other schools. The Swap Shop is also available to those schools that registered for tours if they’d rather send some students there. Talk to your students about the option.
I will be sending everyone a detailed email regarding specific plans for the entire event next week – including a digital version of the program so that you can pre-plan with your kids what to do at J-Day.
I look forward to seeing everyone on campus on November 6.
president, The Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association