ACMA 2013: Entries, Concerns and Suggestions

"Goin' Fishin'" by Tattau
“Goin’ Fishin'” by Tattau
MONTICELLO — Thank you to all of the Arkansas colleges and universities who entered this year’s contest. You can see the participants in the upper tab.

I apologize for the sausage-making displayed in this year’s contest. Thank you to whomever rated the website info on the contest as poor. I admit I couldn’t stand it and rated it as average to pull it up from a one-star; that raised the overall from a F to a D. You’re correct; you deserve better than the last-minute effort to pull the contest together online.

Emails and the posts to the blog and facebook did not keep everyone informed; perhaps in conjunction with the milestone widget at the right of the page, the contest will cease to be a surprise. No matter when held, the milestone widget can be used to start the countdown to the next contest deadline on the day after the convention. I hope my successor does a better job with keeping everyone alerted to the upcoming deadline.

Thank you to those who worked through the kinks of making online its own contest category. Society is turning to the Web either through computer or smartphone. Acknowledging this change brings our contest into the 21st Century.

Thank you to everyone for making the best of change. The good news: you’ll never have to look for categories again. They’ll always be online, available whenever you want to see them. You can start filing entries throughout the year if you wish. I updated the individual contest breakdowns to include subtotal sheets for future use, i.e. I didn’t think anyone would want to look back through old posts to find it five years out. Putting tables into the html fixed the wobby right columns exhibited in the original post.

Advisers considered moving this year’s contest to fall. While that would have negatively impacted seniors, it could be useful to start for next year. For at least the last four years, entries have been due the Friday before Spring Break at Conway. This allows advisers to sort entries and mail them to the judges.

If the contest remains in spring, setting this in stone would allow students to know the contest would annually run from Spring Break to Spring Break. If the contest moves to fall, I suggest a similar calendar marker be chosen, i.e. it’s easier to remember a holiday-to-holiday contest than trying to look at dates on a calendar.

Some advisers made suggestions to run the entire contest online. I will contact the SPJ Arkansas Pro chapter and the Arkansas Press Association next week to gauge interest in shouldering the costs. It would make it easier on judges and lower ACMA’s postage costs.

I’ve enjoyed working as ACMA’s director over the past four years. Although my tenure will be marked as one of more than a few changes, I believe incremental change is better than none at all. Hopefully just like my predecessors, I am leaving this position in a better place than I found it.

If you are a student, please approach your advisers about volunteering to take my position after the 2013 convention. If you are an adviser, please send me a roster with the correct spellings of staff names and positions for each contest. I will not be able to fix incorrect certificates after the Arkadelphia convention as I will be packing to move by mid-May.

Thank you everyone for the opportunity to serve. Good luck on the contest!


Ronald Sitton
ACMA director 2010-2013

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