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by Jake Kepler
Freelance Writer

Wasteful tag decorations like these will be replaced with a more earth-friendly hierarchical ranking system.

In an effort to go green and cut costs, both the Association of American College Educators and the National University Professionals Coalition have agreed to a long-sought plan to elimine costly pins, stickers and ribbons for use on name tags at their national conferences. Instead the organizations will use a simple, time-saving number ranking system printed in large digits immediately above members’ names.

“It’s great,” says AACE member Rich Halloway. “Now I don’t have to wear my six ‘Committee for Social Justice’ buttons, pins from each school I’ve interviewed with, Ally stickers, presenter ribbon, regional button, grad school logo or my FISH philosophy pin. Everyone can look at my name tag and I know I’m ranked in the top 100. It saves a lot of time.”

NUPC has stated that the measure should improve the overall conference experience for the “best of us” while AACE anticipates “fewer awkward conversations with riff-raff.”

Maryssa LaPoint, an employer interviewing candidates at the Employment Bonanza potion of the AACE conference, thinks the ranking system will save time and money at future placement conferences. “I’m not losing any time reading flashy name tags and judging someone based on their flair. Now it only takes me a second to know how much more involved I am than these other people.”

At a NUPC presentation on the benefits of the new system, limited of course to only those ranked 50 and up, Number 45 raised a concern about shutting out newer members, but was subsequently shouted down by Numbers 26 through 31.

The new “By the Numbers” initiative is expected to be fully implemented by next year’s conferences.