Simplified Info on forming a Student Branch
A Student Branch provides opportunities to meet and learn from fellow IEEE student members and engage with professional IEEE members locally. An active IEEE Student Branch can be one of the most positive elements at a college or university offering programs, activities, and professional networking opportunities.
Faculty and department support, as well as signatures of at least 12 active IEEE student members are needed for a Student Branch petition.
A Student Branch petition includes:
• The name of the school.
• The IEEE Member number of the Student Branch Organizer, holding IEEE Student or Graduate Student Member grade (who will serve as interim Chair pending election at a later time), who creates the petition.
• Institution Department Head who does not need to be an IEEE member.
• Endorsement of at least three active IEEE members, Graduate Student Member or higher, who are faculty members of the school.
• Signatures of at least 12 active IEEE student members.
IEEE Student Branch
Why form a Student Branch or Student Branch Chapter?
Forming IEEE Student Branch
* "A petition to form a Student Branch must be signed by twelve (12) or more IEEE members of Student Member or Graduate Student Member grade and by at least three (3) IEEE members of Member, Senior Member, or Fellow grade, of which no less than two are faculty members teaching in IEEE designated fields, who shall endorse the petition."
In addition to the petition, the IEEE will need to receive
* "Information on the educational programs offered in IEEE designated fields at the educational institution"
* A Student Branch Councillor will need to be selected, and
* a Student Branch constitutions signed (I can help with a template)
A "manual" "Starter Pack" may be found at https://ieeer8.org/student-activities/sa-cookbook/starting-a-new-branch/ . A complete documentation and electronic form to start a SB can be found at https://www.ieee.org/communities/forms_petitions.html . Even more details may be found in the first 5 links from Google search https://www.google.co.za/search?q=how+to+form+IEEE+student+branch . The formal side is discussed in Section 9.7 of the IEEE MGA Operations Manual .
If there is not have enough IEEE student members, it may be worth for the university Department to pay memberships for them. The motivation is fairly simple: each of the graduate students is normally required to publish at least one paper, usually in a conference. Nearly all IEEE conferences offer discounts on conference registration fees which exceed the annual membership fees. Thus, the IEEE membership fees will be automatically "reimbursed" for any a student attending an IEEE conference. For the staff members whom are Pr.Eng., the discount on ECSA membership fees is around R1.1k, which also pays for for nearly entire annual professional IEEE membership fee. An important add-on is that all IEEE members start to receive IEEE periodicals, which links them to the current state of the art in the engineering. They also get access to courses, tutorials etc. The most misunderstood yet most important advantage of IEEE is the networking opportunities. I can talk about this.
I can also help by bringing IEEE volunteers to give talks about IEEE and what it offers, at both Section ExCom and student levels (e.g. from active student branches at UCT and SUN), and this could perhaps help to set some grounds. I trust your own Nico could also tell a lot about IEEE, as he has been an active volunteer for many many years and comes with the highest recommendations.