Student Organizations at AUC

There are at least 20 official and unofficial student organizations on campus. In order to renew their official status, student organizations must maintain 20 members every semester. At the beginning of every semester, the Student Activities Fair is a great place to do just that, as well as for new students to learn how to get involved at AUC.

Here is a list of the student organizations that are present:

  • Active Students Association (ASA) — Approved by SGA on February 29, 2012, the Active Students Association is an organization that promotes physical and mental health in the community. They hold events such as ultimate frisbee, basketball tournaments, flag football, volleyball, nutritional sessions, community events, personal training sessions, and other activities.
  • All Of Us — Established in 2012 (and previously known as “A few of us”), this social organization provides peer and academic support to the AUC student community. They organize academic, social, and extracurricular events that help promote success and well being among students. They organize a talk called “How We Did It” in which upper semester students give advice to first and second semester students on how they have succeeded thus far at AUC, along with sharing student-made electronic notes, flow charts, and study aids.
  • Alpha Omega Phi Honor and Service Society – This honor society recognizes the best of students at AUC. Members are inducted at the beginning of fifth semester, and must have maintained at least an 85 average for semesters. In addition, they must also be involved in at least three community outreach activities to be considered for induction. After induction, they get involved in two other services, one for the benefit of the school community and another for the larger island community.
  • American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) – a national organization that aims to address women’s health. They hold seminars, community-outreach programs, and mentorship programs.
  • Muslim Student Association (MSA) – a cultural organization that promotes awareness of Islamic faith and culture on campus. They organize group prayers, seminars, and community-based projects.
  • Asian Student Medical Association (ASMA) — Formerly known as International Asian Pacific Islander Student Medical Organization (IAPSMO), ASMA is an organization that promotes awareness of different cultural heritages of Asia. Every year they host the AUC Halloween Costume Contest at Tantra, with guest faculty judges. They also have get-together events for holidays like the Mid-Autumn festival and Chinese New Year. In 2011, they sold Japan T-shirts to raise money for the earthquake relief in Japan.
  • Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies in Medicine (BGLAM) – this organization helps bring awareness to the AUC and St. Maarten community of GLBT presence in the world. It promotes understanding and acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and everyone in the community as well as discusses GLBT in the medical workplace. Students and spouses of all orientations are welcome (and most current members are actually allies). BGLAM hold potluck dinners to bring together people of all orientations, as well as show GBLT-related films to promote discussion and awareness.
  • Canadian Medical Students Association (CMSA) Established on June 2, 2010, CMSA is AUC’s newest student organization. As the largest minority here on campus, Canadian students face different issues than American students when looking for residencies as well as financial aid. A Canadian organization can address these issues as well as aid in networking with other Canadians in the medical field. They also aim to bring more Canadian culture into the AUC community by hosting Canadian Thanksgiving, celebrating Canada Day, and holding field hockey tournaments. They also want to give back to the island by initiating a recycling program on campus and around Cupecoy.
  • Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) – a national organization that aims to integrate faith with the practice of medicine. They hold ethics symposiums as well as volunteer opportunities. They hold pan-denominational worship services every Sunday mornings as well as Catholic Mass every Sunday evenings on campus as well as Bible studies on Wednesdays. In 2011, CMDA organized a medical missions trip to Durban, South Africa.
  • Diving Club – This club is for all students who love or are interested in learning scuba diving. They gather divers together to go on adventures, and at a great student price. They dive mainly with Octopus Diving. While recognized as a student organization on campus, they are not officially a part of SGA, but they have a presence every semester at the Student Activities Fair.
  • Diversity Council – This organization oversees all the cultural organizations on campus, including ASMA, JMSA, CDMA, MSA, and BGLAM. They promote cultural and social diversity on campus. Every year they host “AUC’s Got Talent,” AUC’s own talent show.
  • Kayak Club – This club is for all students who love kayaking, and they own a few kayaks for students to rent out for free. While recognized as a student organization on campus, they are not officially a part of SGA, but they have a presence every semester at the Student Activities Fair. As of 2012, they have 3 kayaks and 2 paddles parked by the lagoon.
  • Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) – Established since March 2010, this is AUC’s chapter of the larger national organization. It aims to unite students, faculty, staff, and members of the St. Maarten community of Latin American backgrounds, promote diversity at AUC, and hold medical Spanish workshops and other Latino and medical-related events. They also hold free salsa lessons twice a week, open to everyone in the AUC community, as well as sell Latino food pre-block weekends in the rotunda for fundraiser. In August 2011, LMSA organized a medical mission trip to Montero, Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. Members are eligible for LMSA scholarships, attend the national conferences, and network with future colleagues across the country.
  • Phi Chi Medical Fraternity – With 100 years of history, this is one of the most well-known national service fraternity for medical students. They host seminars, community outreach programs, as well as academic resources. The AUC Library actually has a special room with special academic resources only available for those in Phi Chi.
  • Student Government Association (SGA) – SGA oversees all student organizations on campus and acts as the intermediate between students, faculty, and the AUC administration. Each class at AUC elects class representatives to represent their class. The SGA organizes school-wide student events such as the White Coat Ceremony, and Welcome tradition. The SGA e-board consists of a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and historian. There are two faculty co-advisors for SGA.
  • Student Volunteer Committee  – Previously known as Student National Medical Association (SNMA, renamed in May 2012), the Student Volunteer Committee is a service organization that focuses on outreach to the St. Maarten Community. Every semester, they host tutoring programs for high school children who need academic help around the area. They also hold fundraisers (such as selling Shawarmas on campus) for charity around the island, as well as hold cultural competency workshops and discussions. They run a Breakfast Program in which they provide breakfast for school children who cannot afford it on the island, as well as participate in Community Action Day. SNMA is one of the oldest student organizations on campus and used to be the organization to join for community service opportunities. For a period in 2010-2011, they were dismantled temporarily due to lack of leadership, but with a growing interest in the organization, SNMA was re-established as a student organization in September 2011, and was renamed Student Volunteer Committee in May 2012. Special thanks goes to the students and faculty who have made this possible. This organization has done much good deeds in the past and I look forward to seeing it help the community more in the future.
  • Spouses Organization – this organization brings together spouses of AUC students and their families. They create a network of support and hold many activities and social events for spouses and families, such as a book club, cooking club, and beach days for the kids. They help spouses find jobs or things to keep one occupied on the island. They provide a grocery service where they help busy students buy and deliver items they need from a shopping list. They have a wonderful Sponsors program in which a family here on the island helps incoming student families make their journey down to the island and adjust to island life. Check out their website for the details.
  • Van Wormer Student Judiciary Committee (SJC) – This is the student judiciary committee at AUC. They mediate student judiciary cases as well as host workshops in ethics and academic honesty. They are a great organization because they are made up of students (who were selected via application and interview) to help resolve issues among students without getting anything into the students’ permanent records by the  administration. The SJC is one of the oldest student organizations here on campus, created by the administration to work with the administration for the betterment of the students. In May 2010, the SJC joined forces with the Anatomy Department in running a book reading program for incoming students every semester.

There are also a few student committees on campus who organize outreach events to the St. Maarten community, most notably, Community Action Day.


Community Action Day

**UPDATE FALL 2010**

Previously on this blog post, I had wrote:

Also, AUC currently does not have a student-run newspaper. Most schools, even the smallest ones I’ve seen in the United States has one… why don’t we? Recently, I have been thinking about maybe starting an organization that would create one, at least an online newspaper that would have stories about events and news around campus and St. Maarten, editorials, and “iReport”-style postings by students on campus and in clinicals. Not only will this let current students be better aware of what goes on on campus, but it can also be a standardized, organized, and healthy way to express views and opinions rather than getting the news from rumors posted on valuemd. It can also be a great way for AUC alumni to get news from campus, and a medium for which students and MEAS can collaborate (such as in making announcements or taking polls). This will take a lot of work to get started, and I’m not sure if I would have the time. Would anybody be interested in working together to start one up?

During my second term as a class representative, I created The Scope as AUC’s online student newsletter and official SGA website. Subsequently, I was elected the first SGA Historian to manage it.