The American Society of Interior Designers is an association representing all sectors of interior design and provides both professional and student memberships. Chelsey Beardsley grew up in Alaska, where she attended the professional chapter as a guest until she could become a student. As she was deciding which university to attend, a strong student representation at ASID was her deciding factor. This is how she knew Colorado State University’s Interior Design and Architecture program was the home for her. This year, CSU’s ASID student chapter will be recognized nationally as the organization’s student chapter of the year.
History of excellence
This isn’t the first time CSU’s student chapter has received this honor. It was also recognized as chapter of the year in 2015, 2016, and 2017 making it the only student chapter to win the award more than once, and consecutively! ASID has recognized CSU’s student chapter for its outstanding work more than any other university and the CSU group regularly has the largest student attendance at SCALE, ASID’s annual student conference.
The student chapter will receive the 2022 award at GATHER, in late September in Miami, Florida. GATHER is ASID’s national convention for professionals; this year it will combine with the student conference, making it the largest conference the organization has held in more than a decade. Many CSU students plan to attend so they can accept the award and participate in the conference.
Work worthy of recognition
To achieve this recognition, the student chapter submitted a video and two written summaries describing the work and organization done by the chapter. The chapter holds many events and meetings throughout the semester, all well-documented and organized around four pillars.
The student chapter emphasizes the importance of service for the university community, service for the student community, support for student learning, and professional development. As part of these areas of focus they have worked with local high schools, offered homework and class support nights, and participated in the student-run mock scenario where they mentor underclassmen. In addition, chapter members attended many industry-focused events.
CSU ASID maintained these goals and connections through the pandemic. “The students have been very good at keeping the pace, even through the COVID years,” said Jain Kwon, assistant professor in the department and the faculty advisor for the CSU chapter. “None of their efforts stopped because of the pandemic. Some people might assume it’s casual because it’s a student group, but it’s very systematic and professional; they impress me!”
CSU ASID future
The CSU ASID student chapter is awarded $1,000 as part of their recognition. The group is still deciding how that money will be used, but likely it will go toward helping even more students attend the annual conference this fall. The chapter also hopes to increase its outreach and community building.
“We’re working on outreach activities to younger generations like high schoolers and middle schoolers,” said CSU Chapter President Gabi Labovitz, “and focusing on promoting more diversity in our industry and working with populations that are not as exposed to design.”
The chapter also participates in advocacy for the field of interior design. Beardsley was nominated by her fellow students and then chosen by the ASID board to serve as the student representative to the board. For as long as the students can remember, this position has been held by a student at the CSU chapter. Through this work, Beardsley has testified in front of legislators for the Alaska House of Representatives. “I get to be the voice for students nationally,” said Beardsley, “I’ve had the opportunity to work on incredible initiatives all around the country for interior design.”
ASID has served as a foundational community for the students here at CSU. “Besides all the professional development, the community I’ve built has been life-changing,” said Labovitz. “We’ve become so close with each other and we want to help connect throughout our entire major. These are people we’ll work with for the rest of our lives. We want to recognize, hey, they’re a CSU alum, I can go to them for help and advice.”