In the fall of 2002, students and faculty at the Writers Institute of Susquehanna University began working on a plan to establish a community for undergraduate editors nationwide. They travelled to the AWP conference in Baltimore in 2003 and held a caucus on undergraduate editing and publishing. Many attendees showed interest in the proposed organization, and so the Forum for Undergraduate Student Editors, to be known as FUSE, was born.
FUSE has held a caucus at AWP every year since 2003 with the exception of 2011, when the caucus was hosted off-site at American University. The 2011 caucus marked a significant step in forwarding FUSE’s mission. Led by students from Susquehanna University, Bennington College, and Widener University, it consisted of a panel on publishing and technology; a roundtable discussion on funding, submissions, and launches; and the first-ever national elections of student and faculty directors. The first National Board of Directors, led by Dr. Catherine Zobal Dent, faculty president, and Michael Fiorilla, undergraduate student president, laid the groundwork for what FUSE National would be and how it would function. In the spring of 2012, the directors launched a national website, and at AWP in Chicago in 2012, students from Bennington College, Bowling Green State University, Susquehanna University, and Tusculum College were elected to leadership positions.