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RE: QUERY: What Are The Practical Benefits of Joining An "S.E.A.xx."?

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I actually thought of joining another SEA chapter as I believed that they
are independent. I decided against joining another chapter until I am able
to see how the unification of SEA chapters in the NCSEA affects the
organization as a whole.
I do agree that chapters which are not as politically active in the creation
of code for the IBC will have less political ambitions and may focus more on
the needs of their local members.
With that said, I still believe that SEA is not the only professional
organization in need of members to help further their research and
development of professional and industry standards. If you only have one
check to offer, why would you feel any less a member of the profession by
joining CSES, NSPE, ASCE or any of the other organizations.
Interestingly enough, my dissatisfaction with SEA of California is much less
with the local chapter than with the unified state chapter. While Southern
California has historically adopted the philosophy that the organization
should represent the members, the other chapters (San Diego, Central
California and Northern California) have been unanimously opposed to
Southern Chapter and have adopted the believe that SEA should "lead" the
members. Therefore, in this case the unification of a state organization has
overpowered the basic ideology of one chapter with the largest number of
individual members. I am hoping that the same situation does not occur in
the national unification of NCSEA.

What may come as a shock is that I truly admire those who praise SEA as
these are the active members who physically participate and have made
contributions to the profession. In fact, if you understand the reason for
my criticism of SEAOC, it become evident that I struggle so hard with it
because it reflects my admiration of the profession and frustration as to
the expedience of the organizations potential. The problem is that there is
a resistant to change that originates not with the virtual community but
with the physical community - especially if it means any potential for
unproductive time to learn new skills. We can go on and on about this issue
and it is best left to the archives, but until there is a realization of the
productivity gains that can be achieved by use of virtual tools we will
begin to fall further and further behind our potential and will go broke in
the process.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2001 8:29 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: QUERY: What Are The Practical Benefits of Joining An


My only comment would be careful with the indiscriminate use of SEA.
Even though your experience is only with SEAOC (and its siblings such
as SEAOSC), you seem to lump all SEAs together.  I would stipulate that
not all SEAs operate the same as SEAOC (or SEAOSC).  I have no experience
dealing with SEAOC or SEAOSC, so I can't really comment on them.  I don't
even have experience with SEAoT.  I can only really speak to my experience
with SEAMi.  However, based upon my experience with SEAMi, I can tell you
that not all SEAs would fit the description that you give.

I think the advice that you gave about fully evaluating an organization
and seeing if it fits your individual goals and needs is right on point.
I just thought that it would be unfair cast SEAoT in the same light that
you view SEAOC/SEAOSC.  It could be that SEAoT might be the perfect
society for you (other than being way too far away from you phyically