Previously known as SIASS (the Society of International and Area Studies Students) the International Affairs Society announced its formation in August, 2002. The organization just recently changed its name to International Affairs Society (IAS) (click here to find out why). IAS is a student organization created to promote international scholarship and global engagement and awareness at the University of Oklahoma. Although it is affiliated with the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, membership is open to all OU students.
As stated in its constitution, IAS seeks to:
• Encourage international awareness and engagement at the University of Oklahoma.
• Foster international understanding in general.
• Provide student input into the curriculum, activities, and goals of the Department of International and Area Studies.
• Coordinate communication and events with international and other OU students.
• Unify and represent the IAS student community.
Administrative authority over IAS is vested in the Executive Committee, which consists of volunteer representatives from each area of study within CIS, although representatives must not necessarily be pursuing the major in the area they represent. The head of the committee, known as the Executive Chair, functions as the equivalent of president for the organization. The Executive Chair is elected each Spring semester, and other decisions in the Executive Committee are reached by consensus.
Duties of an executive committee member:
Provide ideas and feedback
Work with the Area Chair to promote the Area
Attend meetings regularly (contact Area Chair or Executive Chair when attendance is impossible);
Monitor e-mails and respond to calls for volunteers and help, when possible; and
Help with publicity (especially flyer distribution and chalking).
The number of positions available in each area is determined proportionally by the number of students enrolled in the major, as follows:
(Number of students / 10) + 1 = number of slots on the executive committee
Also, there is one position for Africa and one for the Middle East, although currently only minors in these areas are offered. The area corresponding to East Asian studies includes all of Asia, except the Middle East.
From the executive committee members in each area, an Area Chair is elected each Spring semester to manage the area they represent. Among other duties, Area Chairs are responsible for contacting professors and other professionals with expertise in their Area, keeping track of the professors' research and publication activities, and watching for events and visitors to campus that are relevant to their area. Area Chairs are encouraged to take initiative on ideas in their Area, especially through contact with other appropriate student organizations (European Student Organization, Pan-Am, etc.)
The Chairs of other committees are appointed by the Executive Chair as needed. Current standing committees of SIASS include:
Academic Affairs: This committee works with the Department of International and Area Studies to provide feedback and student participation in the international academic arena at OU.
Service Learning: This committee promotes international education through service-oriented activities.
Social: This committee plans social events, often in conjunction with other organizations.
Dr. Mitchell Smith, Faculty Sponsor