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Membership FAQ

​How do I become a member of ESW-RIT?
It's easy! Fill out a short form here, and then join the club Campus Groups here.

Why should I become a member of ESW-RIT?

  • Non-members can only ever join a single project team for one semester.

  • Membership grants you full access to all ESW-RIT events (including field trips).

  • Member résumés are regularly sent to trusted companies as part of our Corporate Sponsorship program.*

  • Membership makes you eligible to be a project leader.*

  • Membership makes you eligible to vote in club elections.*

  • Membership makes you eligible to be elected to the executive board of ESW-RIT.*

  • ​And of course, membership helps our club continue to thrive!

*applicable only to current RIT students

How long does membership last?

You can become a member at any time. Membership carries over from fall to spring semester, but it must be renewed in August.

Who can become a member of ESW-RIT?

The majority of our members are engineering students at RIT, but we highly encourage students of all majors and backgrounds to join our organization. We also invite RIT alumni, RIT faculty, and professionals in the greater Rochester community. Even if that doesn't sound like you, we have never barred anyone from membership. If you want to join, you are welcome to do so!

What is the Corporate Sponsorship program?

Our Corporate Sponsorship program allows ESW-RIT to gain funding from external organizations. Whenever we establish a professional relationship with a company that shares our mission and vision, we may send that company résumés from our members. This program gives sustainable-minded companies access to a pool of sustainable-minded students, which gives us an advantage when looking for co-ops, and makes it far more likely that we'll enjoy working where we end up. Employed student members often cite ESW as a large part of what got them hired, so it seems to help!

Should I become a member of ESW on Campus Groups?

You can if you want, but it is not required if you're not an officer. Campus Groups is a website hosted by RIT in order to better organize extracurricular activities. Sometimes Campus Groups makes you become a member before you can purchase things from us. Sorry about that. Becoming a "member" on Campus Groups is not the same thing as becoming a member of ESW-RIT. See above for our actual criteria.

Should I become a member of ESW International?

You can if you want, but it is not required if you're not an officer. Any member of our chapter is automatically eligible for international membership - all you have to do is fill out a form here (it's free!). This information ostensibly helps ESW-HQ keep tabs on how we're doing as a chapter, but we send them our roster anyway, so it's kind of redundant.

What's the difference between ESW International and ESW-HQ?

"ESW International" refers to all existing chapters of ESW around the world. ESW-HQ is the leadership team that provides assistance and oversight for those chapters and organizes the Annual Conference (among other things).

What's the difference between ESW and EWB?

EWB (Engineers without Borders) is another great organization with a mission very similar to our own. ESW tends to focus more on domestic education and technology at the collegiate level, while EWB tends to focus more on international volunteering and infrastructure at the professional level. ESW is led almost exclusively by students and recent graduates, so we tend to be much more open to totally new ideas and technologies. ESW and EWB still overlap so much that the main difference for our purposes is that ESW happens to have a chapter at RIT, and EWB does not.


What's the history of ESW?

The first chapter of ESW was established at Cornell in 2002 as a student-focused alternative to EWB (which was founded two years prior in 2000). It was known as "Engineers without Frontiers" until 2004, owing to obvious heavy influence from EWB. The RIT chapter of ESW was established in 2003, and we now have over 50 chapters across the US and Canada.

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