Look, conferences can be expensive. While CAMWS’ registration fee is nowhere near the exorbitant rates of many scientific conferences, there’s no denying that it’s a chunk of change to afford the flight/hotel/meeting/time off of studies. What’s worse, this burden is often disproportionately placed on grad students and contingent scholars. Even if departments will reimburse us for these trips, we are still expected to front the money for everything. Which, on grad student stipends, is often frankly impossible.
But I still want to go to conferences. And we, in GSIC, want other grad students at these conferences, too. We also want you to spend less money doing so.
So what are our options?
1. Avoid the Hotel
One way to save money is to forgo the conference hotel. I know, staying at the hosting hotel has its benefits — it means you can easily slip away when overwhelmed, or to store leftover croissants from a coffee break — but it carries with it $139/night price tag. Birmingham hosts a number of AirBnBs, as well as other hotels. Many of these are cheaper options than the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, though may require a longer walk or even a Lyft to reach the conference. These additional issues can be defrayed, however, if we…
2. Band Together
Even the conference hotel becomes more manageable with shared rooms. AirBnBs are made even cheaper with roommates, as are Lyfts. But finding friends, especially for first-time attendees, can be difficult. So, let us help.
GSIC is hoping to centralize calls for roommates on a dedicated Google spreadsheet. Are you looking to share your hotel room? To jointly book an AirBnB? Enter your data into the spreadsheet or respond to someone else who is seeking.
We wish we could make grad students financially secure, and we know that a spreadsheet won’t solve all of our worries. But in the meantime we can at least use our platform to try to make the CAMWS conference hotel situation less expensive.
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