My university has frozen my travel budget. Will there be funding available for members in this situation?
Yes! Many of our members are in a similar situation. We don’t want the registration fees to bar anyone from attending. Remember, we do have the GSA Community Fund which can help defray membership and registration costs. We are also in the process of creating a fund to help with travel costs for participants from North America that will mirror the Travel Fund for those traveling from overseas.
Why can’t we just “zoom” in participants from our meeting room?
Our official policy remains the same: we are not permitting members to arrange informal "hybrid" panels with a separate Zoom/FaceTime or similar call for the following reasons:
- We are extremely concerned about bandwidth, as in all years, especially in conference rooms (which run on a different system than hotel rooms in most chain hotels). Although we pay a considerable fee for public high-speed access in conference rooms, hotels are just not equipped to handle the kinds of internet usage in those spaces that most of us are used to on our campuses. We would therefore like to ensure that we are not affecting bandwidth for those conference rooms that need it for the level of internet usage that we normally have, such as streaming brief video clips as part of a paper presentation, or even members' emails, texts, and phone calls trying to connect with each other or check in with colleagues or family members back home.
- Informal arrangements with Zoom calls and the like don't offer much of a satisfactory experience for participants, whether panelists or audience members. Ad hoc Zoom calls without adequate dedicated bandwidth and technical support staff can interfere with a presentation to the extent that audience members cannot understand the presenter.
Where’s the beef?!? Why no meat in the banquets?
This decision was taken for two reasons, both having to do with costs of a different kind. We are all living through the ongoing climate emergency. Forgoing meat for these meals is a gesture towards developing environmental best practices for the German Studies Association. Additionally, this keeps the banquet prices as low as possible.