Get Involved!

One thing that’s really nice about AUC is that there are so many opportunities to get involved at school and get leadership roles. Not only is it fun and personally enriching to get involved, leadership positions will also look great on your MSPE letter sent to residency directors. Here, I will attempt to estimate the number of leadership opportunities available for AUC students per semester to take advantage of.

For a school as small as us, we have proportionally a large number of student groups: AMSA, ASMA, AMWA, BGLAM, BMSA, CMDA, CMSA, Diversity Council, JMSA, LMSA, MSA, Phi Chi, SAMSA, SGA, SJC, SVC, Honor Society. Each of these groups offer many executive positions, including president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, fundraising chair, etc. If we assume each of these 17 groups have 4 leadership positions (some have more, some have less), then 15 x 4 = 68 leadership positions available every 2 semesters (which is the typical term length for organization leaders), or roughly 34 positions per semester.

It is also worth noting that SJC, the Student Judiciary Committee, acts as the judiciary panel for the student body, and therefore every one of their members would be considered having a “leadership position.” Their members must apply, interview, and be accepted in order to become part of the panel… roughly 14 leadership positions for 2-semester term, or 7 leadership positions per semester.

In addition, each of the five classes will have 2 or 3 class representatives, depending on size. September classes are usually large and will have 3 class representatives while the January and May classes are smaller and would have 2 class representatives. That would make the number of class reps per 2 semesters (term length) to be around 12…. or 6 leadership positions per semester.

In addition there are other leadership positions that are essential to the student body: IT committee student rep, Movie guy or gal, gym manager, gym staff (5 or so students), photographer, videographer (for white coat ceremony)… this is 10 more positions per semester.

Then, in the anatomy lab, there are 3 head TAs, as well as many many TAs. This semester there are 80 TAs. Next semester, with the bigger September class coming in, there will be a need for even more TAs…. 83 positions for a two-semester term, or roughly 42 positions per semester.

Then, every semester we have a lot of students volunteering to be OAs to assist and guide the incoming students. Last semester we had 22 OAs to assist with nearly 100 incoming students. This semester there are 49 OAs to assist the large September class of 200+ students. As the term length is just 1 semester for OAs, we can say there are roughly 70 positions available every two semesters, or 35 leadership positions per semester.

In addition, every semester there are students, faculty, and spouses who teach exercise classes. This semester, we have people teaching Yoga/Pilates, Meditation, Belly Dancing, Swing Dancing, Dance Aerobics, and Martial Arts… 6 more positions per semester.

Every semester, we have two student RAs who manage the dorms… 2 positions per semester.

Then finally, we have tutors for almost every class from semesters 1 to 4 at AUC . These students are among the top of their class and dedicate their time to teaching a review session once every week in a class-like setting (they get paid of course). It’s quite honorable to be a tutor. The number of tutors vary per semester, as the availability of students who are willing (or qualified) to tutor varies. Sometimes a class will have 2 tutors while other times a class may have none. First semester classes usually have 2 tutors per class. The commitment is just 1 semester. Since there are 14 courses that may employ student tutors, I’ll estimate the number of tutors per semester to be roughly around 14 leadership positions per semester.

So far, I have talked about set positions that are available to be filled. However, every semester, we have students who are truly entrepreneurial who independently gather their own group of students together and lead them in doing something benefiting for the community. For example, this semester we have a student, Rebecca Lee, who is organizing a volunteer public health medical trip to the rural village of Yantalo, Peru with 14 other AUC students along with 2 faculty (Dr. Shupe and Dr. van der Waag). They will be working in local clinics and out in the public in Yantalo and neighboring villages, as well as collecting epidemiology data for research. They will be going for 10 days during this upcoming break in August. I really admire what Rebecca is doing. This trip is not only a humanitarian service to the people Yantalo, but also a great experience for medical students, and the start of a goodwill relationship between AUC and the people of Yantalo.

We have had students who have started and run the AUC Dive Club (with whom I have dived with) and AUC Kayak Club. We also have had students who have formed sports teams representing the school to play in the local St. Maarten leagues for soccer and softball. My personal favorite is our very own softball team, named “The Bacteriophages.” We don’t win every game against the local teams but we sure have some spirit!

Another example of an entrepreneurial act of student leadership was Community Action Day. It was not organized by an official student organization as an annual event, but by the dedicated efforts of three students.

We also have students who do research with professors at our school. From the top of my head, I know that Dr. Shupe (microbiology), Dr. McIntosh (genetics), Dr. Gomez (pathology), and Dr. Nash (anatomy) conduct research. They each have their own labs on campus and take in selected students to get involved in research. If you are interested in research, please contact any of these professors.

So adding all these numbers up, 34+7+6+2+10+42+35+6+14 = 156 leadership positions available per semester for a student body of roughly 600 students. And that is just for each semester. If assuming you are here for five semesters, and assuming you choose to participate in something sometime between your second through fourth semesters, you’ll have 468 chances to get involved in something! And if 468 isn’t enough, you could always start something on your own, like Rebecca Lee or the Community Action Day people. So as you can see, the opportunities abound! Take advantage of these numbers, be active, and get involved!