Tuesday, 6 September 2005

SPSA to members: grow gills

Via PoliBlog: the Southern Political Science Association thinks it will hold its annual convention in three months in New Orleans. Steven Taylor is unconvinced:

I certainly would not want the association to make a move that would take money out of the city, if, in fact, the meetings can take palce in January. However, I really don’t see that happening. The hotel, given its location and pictures I have seen is probably largely fine. However, what about the electrical grid, the phones, the water system, the roads, the police, the general support struture for tourists (restaurants, other hotels, etc.)? I just don’t see the city being able to host any events by the first week or so of January.

Considering that all that’s likely to be close to functional in New Orleans in three months (and, more than likely, for the forseeable future; the SPSA can only be delayed so long before it becomes moot) are the higher parts of the Jefferson Parish suburbs and some of the downtown area—bear in mind the Hotel Intercontinental, while on high ground, is only a few blocks from areas that are still flooded around the Superdome—I am forced to echo Steven’s skepticism.

A conference the size of SPSA should have no trouble finding suitable convention space elsewhere in the southeast, but these decisions need to be made sooner rather than later.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.


I’m afraid that the association will wait around and then end up being in a bind for the meeting.


Is the organization often this indecisive? Seriously, what about airplane reservations? I know I will not be making any reservations to New Orleans any time soon.


I’m probably the wrong person to be saying much about this (seeing as I worked for the former executive director and his assistant when the association was at Ole Miss), but I think they would have had a definitive plan by now.

Then again (and hindsight is 20–20), I wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of having the conference four straight years in New Orleans—or four straight years anywhere, for that matter. Midwest in Chicago works because it’s Chicago (you’re not going to run out of stuff to do in your lifetime, unless you just insist on going to the Berghoff every year); every year in the same place pretty much anywhere else in the country gets boring, whether it’s Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah, or anywhere else, and even APSA, for all their faults, knows that.


And, yes, I just alleged that the sight of young women baring their breasts in public is boring. I really am getting old.


I don’t think New York could get boring. ;-)


Well, I did say “pretty much.” And political scientists never seem to meet in New York City anyway.

And political scientists never seem to meet in New York City anyway.

Sounds like someone needs to shake them out of their stupor. Another association I’m in meets in New York every spring. Great trip.

[Permalink] 8. Scott wrote @ Wed, 7 Sep 2005, 7:20 am CDT:

1) SPSA should move…pronto. The airport might not be open for 60 plus days and then service will be questionable and spotty (exactly WHY would a large number of people need to fly into NO…those that NEED to be there will be flown in on military aircraft, etc.) Also, as Chris notes, an infrastructure is needed…not just a building. For example…Chris’ head would explode if their internet wasn’t up in the hotel.

2) NYC is TOO big…Chicago is the perfect size for an endless number of things to do plus enough things concentrated in the loop to keep the geeks together most of the time (a conference IS supposed to be about getting together to exchange ideas as well as drinking, right?). If the conference were in NYC, people would walk out of their panel and disperse to the four corners of Gomorrah…I mean Gotham.

3) It’s NYC. As a born and bred Southerner, I would have to break a solemn vow to never set foot in NYC. Yes, this has been a sacrifice…I WANT to see the museums…I WANT to go to the theater…I WANT to hear the concerts…but damnit, sometimes you have to make sacrifices for principle!

4) I don’t want to be arrested. Given the fact that if I went to NYC, I would HAVE to go pee on Yankee Stadium, arrest is likely and I just don’t want that….

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