“Pea-corn. Pop-nuts. Chewing gars. Ci-gum. Magazettes!”
While my Dad (and my Grandfather before him) often belted out this line as if a food vendor at a ballpark, this column isn’t about peanuts and popcorn, but rather about numbers! In baseball, there are lots of numbers to keep track of. Balls, strikes, outs, innings, and batting averages, to name just a few. As for our society, we’ve been focusing on some numbers too.
As Ana Ebrahimi shared in the Secretary’s section , we’ve hit 1000! No, that isn’t our batting average (which would be amazing). It’s our number of members (also amazing). For a society that started less than 50 years ago with a small group of individuals, we have certainly grown.
And with that growth, we have maintained a high rate of participation. Many of our members volunteer with ASB by serving on committees, sponsoring new members, and seeking leadership roles. Volunteering is a great way to participate and share your skills, ensure our current success, and shape the future of our society. Even our elections have a strong turnout with half of our members voting. The perfectionist in me often wonders where the other half were, but the realist in me knows that most societies struggle to achieve the 20% often required for the vote to count.
But that growth also brings some challenges for us to overcome. Our conference attendance is increasing each year, and along with it, our need for space. Just like baseball teams replace quaint ballparks with bigger stadiums, we’ve shifted from the intimate university-based meeting spaces to larger conference centers. Our operations have expanded as well. We’ve partnered with Podium Conference & Association Specialists to help manage the society and our Annual Meeting. With their help, we continue to streamline our efforts to increase our impact. We have done all of this while maintaining fiscal responsibility. A huge thanks to Maria Pasquale for overseeing the complexities and preserving our financial health. You can review the details, including our budget and actuals, in the Treasurer’s section.
Gone may be the days where everyone knows everyone in the society by name, but I am confident that we can maintain our tight-knit community. As our student rep, Anna Bailes, highlights in the Student Corner, multiple opportunities exist for our student members to connect, both in person at the Annual Meeting and virtually. I would also encourage each of you to take a moment to introduce yourself to someone you don’t yet know. Unlike in a baseball stadium, you can be confident we’re all cheering for the same team – Team Biomechanics – for it is our love of the game, or at least biomechanics, that brings us together.