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The New York State Section holds its semi-annual meetings throughout New York State at locations were an active nucleus of interest in physics exists. The aim is to bring its meetings particularly to those communities which might otherwise not have the opportunity of profiting by the presence of representatives of the American Physical Society. The advantages of the personal contacts possible in relatively small meetings are important. For practical reasons the meeting locale must have an adequate lecture hall and other physical facilities to conduct a meeting of up to 300 persons. It must have an energetic group who will constitute a Local Committee and who are willing to carry out the numerous details necessary for a smoothly operating and successful meeting.
Invitations from institutions (academic, industrial, or government) interested in the State Section conducting a future meeting in its community are carefully considered by the Officers and Executive Committee of the Section. Such interest should be expressed to the Secretary/Treasurer of the State Section or to any member of the Executive Committee.
Each year the Section holds a spring symposium, usually in April, and a fall symposium, usually in October. The program is a symposium of 10-12 talks on a topic of timely interest in physics. The program topic is determined by the Executive Committee, and the interests of the local physics community inviting the State Section are given careful consideration in selecting the topic. No contributed papers are sought or will be given at the symposium; papers are delivered by invitation only. The Vice Chair of the Section is the Program Chair and his or her goal is to seek the most eminent authorities in their fields who are at the same time creditable speakers. There are no geographical boundaries on the selection of speakers. Normally the symposium occupies all day Friday, and Saturday morning.
Local Committee Responsibilities
The Local Committee meets with State Section Officers in the meeting location about four months ahead of a proposed meeting to visit the local facilities. This generally means a thorough preliminary examination of items listed under Local Arrangements, Local Committee Duties, Icebreaker Session, and Local Financial Support (below).
The Local Committee may make suggestions to the Program Chair (the State Section's Vice Chair) for the Friday Evening speaker (or program). Anyone, registered or not, is welcome to attend this program. Under special circumstances the lecture may be replaced by an appropriate function, such as a concert.
Local Committee Duties
Through its Chair, the Local Committee provides the General Information data to the Secretary/Treasurer in the format used on the back page of the printed programs. The program format below indicates the items for which details are needed and the attached sample program shows final printed form.
Important details which must be done with care for a successful meeting include arrangements for:
The Local Committee should provide secretarial services for accounting of advance mail registration and funds and ticket sales. These services should prepare name tags and prepaid tickets for advance mail registrants and have them ready to pick up on pre-registrant arrival. They should also prepare name tags and complimentary banquet tickets for all invited speakers and spouses. It has been expedient to assemble such materials in individual envelopes.
A Registration Desk must be staffed on Thursday evening, preceding the symposium for early arrivals. It is generally best to do this at the Headquarters motel. The registration desk must be staffed on Friday and Saturday at the symposium. On Friday morning at least two desks are needed, one with badges and prepaid tickets ready for those who have preregistered, and the other for new registrants. It is up to the Local Committee to set up its own system of accounting at the Registration Desks, but certain guidelines should be observed:
No meeting Proceedings are published. The State Section has accumulated much experience in recording the talks on tape, film and by reporters for subsequent use, and may continue to experiment along these lines. It can, in general, be said that the more successful experiments required elaborate preparations and editing, and were very costly in time and effort and often in equipment. The counsel and experience of the State Section officers are at the disposal of Local Committees who contemplate such an undertaking. Sometimes students are asked to report some of the lectures as seminar assignments, but these arrangements are made on a local basis. Photos, newspaper clippings and the like can be given to the Secretary/Treasurer for transmittal to the Sections Archives, and they are welcome.
Local Financial Support
The meetings are frequently not self-supporting and financial sponsorship may be solicited from local industry and organizations which feel that a special benefit is derived from the presence of a meeting in their area. Often the host institution provides the coffee breaks. Sometimes a meeting cash deficit is divided among several patrons each contributing an equal amount up to some pre-meeting agree-upon limit. Appointments to the Local Committee are sometimes influenced by these factors. Any such financial arrangements are handled jointly by the local Chair and the State Section Chair. It must be emphasized theat the State Section is not dependent on local financial support, however welcome, and lack of it will not be a deterrent to holding a meeting. Any request for sponsorship must be coordinated with the Section Chair or the Secretary/Treasurer.
An average meeting will have 50-150 preregistrations; 100-200 registrants, and 70-125 at the banquet. Generally plan for 70 at the banquet unless there are special considerations that suggest a larger number (example: Isaac Asimov is the speaker).
The Secretary/Treasurer is responsible for printing the programs and advance registration forms and mailing them. Also, it is desirable to print the program and general information in the APS News. That requires that all program and general information be complete and given to the Secretary/Treasurer by May 31 for the fall symposium and by November 30 for the spring symposium. Program and general information, as well as a registration form and maps are placed on the World Wide Web home page at http://www.aps.org/NYSS as soon as they are available from the Local Committee.
Accounting by the Local Committee
The Local Committee is responsible for receiving and accounting for all funds. However all receipts will be deposited by the Secretary/Treasurer and all bills, upon proper documentation, will be paid by the Secretary/Treasurer. This is necessary to satisfy auditing requirements of the American Physical Society. A check for advance operating funds may be issued to the Local Committee by the Secretary/Treasurer.