By: Ashur Sada. Feb. 20th, 2006
We are 6 months away from this year’s convention in beautiful San Diego, and people are already excited, and can’t wait. But are our convention really fun and useful anymore? not if you ask a lot of the people who went to the recent few conventions. They may have had fun, but they will also tell you that it was a big mess and an embarrassment for Assyrians. Our conventions are moving away from the original purpose for which they were created. While these conventions still help in getting Assyrians closer to each other, they are also helping in making our image a not very good one. Action need to be taken immediately, otherwise, our convention will soon become a thing of the past.
Eliminate Bad Behavior
What constitutes bad behavior? how about someone who presses every button on the elevator on purpose, to make it stop in every floor and in turn frustrate people? Or how about someone who throws the big and expensive Plasma TV in his room, down the window? these and many other examples are just a small fraction of the many things that happen on the floor, and give us a very bad image. This bad behavior need to be eliminated, and its main sources to be held responsible.
To start, any person held responsible for an offence or a misdoing, while in the convention, should automatically be banned for the next two conventions. Related to that, and without which bad behavior screening wouldn’t be possible, convention officials should rely on the use of badges and make it a must. That is, every member should have their photo-holding badges worn at all times. This way, other people can quickly report bad guys to authorities. In fact, they should go further and create a central database, that will contain the names of all convention attendees. This database should contain records from previous years as well as the current year in question. Any misconduct by a certain person would be logged in this database. Over time, a clear pattern will start emerging about the misbehaving person(s) and that will lead to their expulsion from the convention and a two year future ban from all conventions.
Make it more Useful and Educational
To say or suggest that our Assyrian conventions are not fun, is a far cry from reality. Because in reality, the convention is a fun place and time for people to be. But that is not the problem. The problem is that conventions have become just that: fun and chaos, and not much else. The educational and informational parts of it are slowly being pushed to the brink, with less and less attention being given to them. You often hear that educational sessions and lectures are attended by far fewer people than the parties at night. It doesn’t have to be that way.
In a sense, we should be thankful to be able to gather this many Assyrians in one place, from all around the world. If there is any good time to reach this many Assyrians, it is in the conventions. Instead of wasting most resources on parties and picnics, more should be spent on the educational part. Lectures, presentations and other forms of public awareness should be reviewed by convention officials, in order to draw a larger crowds. For example, and as an incentive, people who attend such educational and political events, as well as sports events, should be given an automatic discount to enter into other activities, including the evening social functions. And to make it more interesting for people, convention officials should try to invite the most popular and influential celebrities in our Assyrian political and media world. And why not go the extra mile and hold political debates between politicians, and here is one to start with: Sam Darmo from Ashur TV vs. Sargon Dadisho from Betnahrain TV!
Fix it now before it is too Late!
Assyrians have already been banned from more than one hotel, in various cities, following all the chaos and mess resulting from their use of these facilities. This trend is expected to continue, unless some of the recommendations above are taken and enacted. The convention as an event, needs to be reevaluated completely. Convention officials have done a pretty good job over the years and decades since the first convention was held. But the focus has slowly been shifting. It has been a shift from making the convention a place where Assyrians meet one another and get something useful and good done, to a place where you try to make the most money possible in the shortest span of days possible. And for others, to get to meet the most girls or guys in the span of few days; it is our version of the ‘Super Dater.’
Failing to take proper measures to make conventions more useful and professional, will lead to that shameful day: where Assyrians will have to go back to holding the convention in a small banquet hall, with everything and everyone crammed in a small space!