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News & Press: Conventions

First Annual "Business" Clothing Swap and Discussion Event

Tuesday, December 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Maria Blevins
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By Benny LeMaster, Christina G. Yoshimura, and Jenna Hanchey

Both those newer to WSCA and those who have been with us awhile might have seen our standing guide posted on the Association website to assist in identifying conference norms and typical conference processes:

http://https//cdn.ymaws.com/www.westcomm.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/newcomer_convention_info.pdf This has been published on our site for many years, in the hopes that it might be useful information to first-time or newer conference attendees. However, this guide has always been meant to be a helpful means of reducing uncertainty, and has not been intended to be restrictive or prescriptive.

We recognize that we make suggestions or suppositions that do not fit all association members, and we urge you to use our posted information as suggestions rather than rules. Particularly, we would like to recognize in this moment that we suggest business or business-casual attire for the convention. Yet we also understand that this suggestion is imbued with significant sociohistorical norms for “business” attire, including racist, sexist, sizeist and economic assumptions regarding what bodies and what clothing combinations have historically signified “business.”

At the WSCA convention our primary interest is in your ideas, whether that is through your formal presentations or through your other forms of participation in panels, preconferences, or other events. We want to emphasize that our regional convention tends to be more casual than international or even national conventions, and that WSCA in particular has long emphasized substance over style.

This year we would like to open conversations especially focused on convention attire in two ways. We will be offering a panel on Friday, February 21st, from 3:45-5:00 pm in the convention hotel in the Mt. Colombia room. We welcome formal and informal conversations regarding public presentation, assumptions, resistance, and choice. We will simultaneously facilitate a clothing swap during this time for individuals who might like to let go of “business” attire that no longer serves them, and also for those who would like to peruse new options from donated attire that might serve them for our convention, as well as for other professional endeavors.

This panel occurs purposefully at the start of the convention, so that attendees might use their newfound freedom or newfound clothing to kick off their convention. This event runs concurrent with the grad open house, and we hope people will feel comfortable dropping in to both events throughout the 75 minute block. Throughout the day on Friday, February 21st ANY INDIVIDUAL may donate clothing items at registration check-in (regardless of their participation in the panel or swap). If individuals would like to donate clothing but do not anticipate being at the convention at kick-off they are welcome to mail their clothing in advance to the Grand Hyatt Denver, C/O Christina Yoshimura, 1750 Welton St., Denver CO, 80202. Any unclaimed clothing will be donated to a not-for-profit in Denver.


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