How to Say Our Name
We know it’s a couple of extra syllables, but we’re truly international
By Kelly Braun
International School of Sacred Heart, Tokyo
Dear International ACAC Members,
Two years ago, our membership decided by a wide margin that instead of continuing with the “Overseas” ACAC that we would change our association name to “International” in order to more accurately represent our membership. The motion passed with flying colours (of all the flags of our membership? . . . too much? Okay, okay) and we became . . .
After the change I definitely feel we’ve been struggling with the new name. What do we call ourselves? What do we do with the acronym change? Those of us who have been in OACAC for awhile now are used to saying “Oh ack ack." I get it, I do. We can’t say “EYE-ACAC” because that’s Illinois--not International.
So, I’m thinking it’s time to change our ways. But some of us are not big fans of CHANGE. Right? Or put another way, we are just comforted by what we know. What I am trying to say is that we liked the 3 syllable acronym and the ACAC that we were part of. It was easy, it was clear, we overlapped with Ohio, but so what, we liked it. So what changed? Why did we even change our name in the first place? Why isn’t calling ourselves “overseas" fine so we can keep our beloved OACAC? (Not Ohio.)
I think what it ultimately comes down to is that we need to accurately represent ourselves and our membership. Even though I am not a huge fan of change, we need to embrace this as the right change as we grow and improve ourselves with our expanding membership and resources. The thing I love about this organization is that not only are there other people like me (a counselor living in a foreign country trying to help students from all over the world with their university applications) but that when I go to International ACAC during the summer, or I read the newsletter, or I peruse the facebook page for ideas on how to better serve my students, I feel supported. I’m a part of something bigger, better, more inclusive and supportive of my role no matter where I end up in the world. International ACAC is my counseling team. We may be divided by oceans, borders, and desks but we come together to make sure that we are all successful and supported in this process and profession we’ve chosen for ourselves.
Yes, I know it’s slightly more cumbersome to say “In-ter-na-tion-al A-C-A-C” - - it’s extra syllables and takes more time. But it’s who we are. We’re no longer overseas and those of you who are die-hard “OACAC” fans will hopefully read this and re-think what you say next time you’re referring to your favorite summer conference, facebook page, or group of people. It’s a few extra syllables, but what you are committing to is something bigger, something that we’ve created to help professionals and students all over the world.
And as we build our membership into new schools, in different countries around the world, by proudly introducing ourselves consistently as "International ACAC" we will help new counselors and professionals understand right away what is important to our organization - a truly representative organization that is truly international.
Support our new name, proudly say it in its entirety, and let’s continue to grow into this one like we outgrew the other one. "International" clearly represents all of us and what we stand for, our jobs, and best of all, our students.
With warm regards,
Kelly Braun and the rest of the International ACAC community