Why you should become a member of ARO
By Matthew Kelley, ARO President
The strength of any society, regardless of the common interests that draw those individuals together, is derived from the individuals that comprise it. As we all know, the primary responsibility of the ARO is to organize our annual Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM). While the meeting has been growing steadily over the past few years, membership has remained relatively flat. Here I discuss some reasons for MWM attendees to become members, for the mutual good of all MWM participants. To those of you who are already members, you may find these arguments helpful for encouraging colleagues new to the field to join ARO.
The Midwinter Meeting only occurs through the hard work of the ARO members who serve on the various committees, such as the Program and the Award of Merit Committees to name just two, that are crucial for the content and coordination of the MWM. Without new membership, our committees will continue to be populated by long-standing members. While I believe our existing members are doing a great job of directing the ARO, new individuals can bring in new ideas that could make ARO even better. Put another way, membership gives you the chance to play a significant role in the planning and execution of the MWM. Whether there are aspects of the meeting that you love and feel need to be protected, or obstacles that you want changed, the way to have influence starts with membership.
A little over ten years ago, ARO members decided to create a journal, JARO, which would provide a venue for publications on topics that are relevant to our field and membership. To accomplish this, we crafted an agreement with Springer that includes a personal subscription to JARO for each member at no additional cost to them. In return, Springer added to its portfolio a journal with a valuable subscriber base. The long term health of this valuable resource requires a stable or growing membership.
Finally, our influence in the public sphere depends on both the current membership and its trajectory. The more of us there are, and the more we grow in number, the more we will be asked to contribute to public discussions of hearing-related research and clinical practice.
The lion’s share of intellectual and financial support for ARO, the Mid-Winter Meeting, and JARO will always come from our members. To ensure the long-term health of each of these components, it’s important for you, your colleagues, and trainees to become and remain members.