Our annual international convention is the ultimate Sigma Tau Delta experience—a truly unique and amazing opportunity to spend four event-filled days with well over 1,000 students, faculty, and respected authors who share your love of English. To make it possible for chapters to send multiple attendees, convention planners work hard to keep convention expenses low and to offer a number of discounts and reimbursements.
Voting Delegate Reimbursement
Advice from Sponsors on Seeking Funding
Chapter members: How to take advantage of funding at the local and national levels
Earn the Voting Delegate Reimbursement
Each attending chapter will receive a reimbursement check of $300 ($600 for chapters outside of the continental U.S.) if the chapter sends a voting student delegate to 1) the General Business Meeting (Friday), and 2) the chapter’s Regional Caucus (Friday). Checks are mailed shortly after the convention.
To receive a reimbursement check, the official voting student delegate must complete a form provided at the General Business Meeting on Friday and return it at the Regional Caucus following the General Business Meeting. The official voting delegate (a) must be a student member and (b) must attend and participate in both the General Business Meeting and the chapter’s Regional Caucus. Chapters should decide ahead of time whether the $300/$600 should be used by the chapter’s student delegate for his/her expenses or whether the money should be returned to the chapter treasury. Checks will be sent from the Central Office shortly after the convention. It is customary for delegates to provide their home chapters with a report on the convention (the business, the sessions, etc.).
We encourage Sponsors to plan early to 1) solicit travel funds, 2) take advantage of Society discounts and reimbursement opportunities, and 3) explore cost saving strategies to minimize travel expenses. Chapter Sponsors can often solicit funds from their own English/related departments, but they might also consider
- approaching deans or provosts,
- student government associations,
- offices in Student Affairs,
- the provosts, vice-presidents, or president,
- the Honors College or Program,
- university foundations, or
- chapter alumni.
- Earn the Voting Delegate Reimbursement
- Each attending chapter will receive a reimbursement check of $300 ($600 for chapters outside of the continental U.S.) if the chapter sends a voting student delegate to 1) the General Business Meeting (Friday), and 2) the chapter’s Regional Caucus (Friday). Checks are mailed shortly after the convention.
- To receive a reimbursement check, the official voting student delegate must complete a form provided at the General Business Meeting on Friday and return it at the Regional Caucus following the General Business Meeting. The official voting delegate (a) must be a student member and (b) must attend and participate in both the General Business Meeting and the chapter’s Regional Caucus. Chapters should decide ahead of time whether the $300/$600 should be used by the chapter’s student delegate for his/her expenses or whether the money should be returned to the chapter treasury. Checks will be sent from the Central Office shortly after the convention. It is customary for delegates to provide their home chapters with a report on the convention (the business, the sessions, etc.).
- Longtime Sponsor, Dr. Robert Halli at The University of Alabama, recommends, “You increase your chances for success in soliciting funds from campus sources if you can convince these sources it is to their benefit to give you funds—that they will get more out of it in publicity and prestige than they invest in capital.”
We offer some suggestions for Sponsors seeking campus funding:
- Ask early! Even before you know how many of your students have been accepted to present, you will know how many students have submitted, so you can secure a pledge for support before other organizations request the funds.
- Prepare the way for your request by calling to the attention of potential donors if students from your chapter attended previous conventions and if they received any awards at the convention, thus garnering publicity and prestige for the campus.
- Be specific! Make an itemized spreadsheet listing the projected costs (e.g., food, lodging, transportation, registration fees, etc.). Donors want to know where their money is going.
- Subtract the amount of money your chapter has raised (or is projecting to raise through planned fundraisers) to show that your chapter is making a strong commitment to going to the convention.
- Let the spreadsheet reflect the individual contributions made by students (e.g., deposits in a chapter account, pre-registration payments, etc.) in order to demonstrate student commitment.
- Make it clear exactly how much money it will take to get students to the convention, and divide this out per person. The amount will look more reasonable when administrators and other supporters can see how much each person will require to attend the convention.
- Specifics help sell your request. As soon as you hear who has been accepted to present, make a list of students presenting papers or serving on roundtables; include paper/roundtable titles.
- Make a list of students who are chairing sessions and include these titles as well.
- You might also want to list details about the individual students (other leadership roles on campus, recent or impressive awards or honors, or officer positions within the chapter).
Deliver your requests in person, and consider taking a couple of chapter leaders along when you make the requests—it is much harder for your Dean to tell a student face to face that he/she cannot support student travel to present at an international convention or for Provosts to tell you that they will “look into it.”
Chapters and Individual Members
While fundraising is a necessary activity for every Sigma Tau Delta chapter—and although attending convention may not be the only (or even primary) use of your fundraising energies—the opportunity to attend and present at the convention can generate renewed enthusiasm and creativity for fundraising. Attendees also return home with exciting new ideas and resources for projects and activities that will bring in money for your chapter next year.
Our student leaders and convention planners have the following suggestions for obtaining funding for convention travel.
Apply for Awards
Sigma Tau Delta gives away thousands of dollars each year in project grants, service projects, and chapter awards for outstanding chapters and publications.
Hold a Common Reader Event
Each Regent offers $100 for up to 10 chapters in the region that host an activity connected to the Common Reader, Almost Famous Women. The application for these funds (Regents Common Reader Awards) is quick and easy to complete.
Plan Fundraising Events
Those annual chapter reports and conversations with past student leaders have provided numerous suggestions for effective fundraising events and activities. Check out Chapter Life: Fundraising for ideas.
Submit Your Strongest Works
More than $10,000 will be given in convention awards for the best submitted works. These awards are highly competitive, so enlist the help of Sponsors and faculty mentors as you select and revise submissions, or take the time as a chapter to help each other revise and polish before submitting.
Make Hotel Plans Early
Reserve your hotel rooms no later than March 1, 2017, and be sure to ask for Sigma Tau Delta’s special convention rates. These rates will be available until our room block is full. Make your reservations early so you can make sure your group gets the rooms you need.
Share a Room; Save BIG
If you have an odd number of people, consider finding roommates from other Sigma Tau Delta chapters. Sharing hotel rooms, whether or not you room with your own chapter members, can cut down on expenses and create lasting friendships. Contact the Central Office if you are looking for a roommate(s).
Use Early Registration Discount
Register before January 23, 2017 to take advantage of the early registration fee.
Explore Travel Options
- Consider whether the cost of driving as a group is cheaper than flying. Driving may not be the fastest way to travel, but it might make it possible for more of your members to attend the convention.
- Look at the possibility of traveling by train. If you have the time, you can take the train for almost half the cost of flying. Amtrak offers group rates and student rates.
- Explore websites devoted to discounted flights (Travelocity.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com, Expedia.com, CheapAir.com) often and early to find the best prices.
Apply for Awards and Scholarships
In addition to the chapter awards and the convention awards, Sigma Tau Delta gives away over $80,000 each year for individual awards and scholarships. Such awards may allow you to set aside money for attending the convention. Work with your Sponsor and other faculty in revising your applications.