Living, having class and working in Savannah’s Historic District, we all should have an understanding of preservation on a local and global scale. The Student Preservation Association (SPA) takes initiative to bring awareness to the SCAD community regarding these issues.
Being one of the first student organizations at SCAD, and sponsoring Preservation Week, the longest-running student-sponsored event at SCAD, SPA prides themselves in educating, unifying students and pushing collaboration as keys to their success.
They describe themselves as a forum for students to get together to give and receive ideas regarding the preservation field. By encouraging such interaction, they are able to be more knowledgeable about the subject, and can help those in the future.
A typical meeting could consist of watching a movie or documentary, lecturers from within and outside of SCAD, and demonstrations. These interactive forms of education, allow students to digest this information and react to it in a positive manner.
With a mission of unifying graduate and undergraduate students, SPA looks to attract a more diverse following than they have in the past. By breaking the non-physical divide, they will take strides towards more collaborative efforts.
According to SPA President Virginia Siegel, a fourth-year historic preservation major from Piqua, Ohio, “we are looking to foster more of a collaboration between our organization and the American Institute of Architecture Students.”
Currently, one of their major events is Student Preservation week, held annually in May. By collaborating with SCAD Style this coming year, it has been revamped to reach out to more people outside of the School of Building Arts.
This year, they hope to do more workshops and hands-on experiences for students to promote their further understanding of the subject.
Getting involved with the community, SPA participates in Earth Day and gives suggestions to members of the community on how to preserve their items.
“We wanted them to repair their historic windows, rather than prepare new ones,” urged Siegel.
Aside from building your resume and social calendar, being a part of this organization has its perks. Being an officer on the SPA Board, you are able to attend the Historic Savannah Foundation meetings and sit on the committee.
Although there are mainly architecture, historic preservation, architectural history and many others from the Building Arts discipline involved with their organization, SPA wants to open this up to all majors.
Yearly, there is an organized trip to various buildings within the United States, taking tours and exploring buildings first hand, to absorb more from each experience.
Siegel gives energy to this organization stating, “I am excited about the program, as we are a close-knit department, and it’s a fun way to get involved outside of the classroom.”
Their ICC Representative and blogger is Caitlin Callahan, a fourth-year historic preservation major from Rochester, Minn. advises all, “Be more involved. Benefits from attending include opportunities to meet great people in the field.”
Whether you’re a historic preservation student or someone who’s simply interested in learning more about this field, head to a meeting. Meetings are held bi-weekly at Thomas Center for Historic Preservation.Chantelle Emery.