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Student Council Minutes
Meeting Date: Thursday, January 22nd 2009
Location: Top Doc’s Cafe
Next Meeting: 7:00 p.m, Thursday, February 19th 2009
Location: Top Doc’s Cafe
I. Call to Order and Attendees:
(A) The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm
(B) Attendees:
STUCO Board: Matt LaPorta, Betty Chung, Kim Young, Kirin Syed, Erin
Toller, Garrett Tomasino, Soumya Bollampally
Class of 2009: Jennifer Stellke, Ken Minnett, Michael McCollum
Class of 2010: Olamide Oladipo, Melissa Suarez, Danielle Mercurio,
Bethany Cottingham, EJ Gettings
Class of 2011: Oliver Chang, Elizabeth Jasolosky, Tom Nappe , Kristen
Spencer, Daria Szkwarko, Beth Chisholm, Lauren Moleta
Class of 2012: Michael Z. Caposole, Ingrid Edshteyn, Nidhi Shah, Farhad
Modarai, Sarah Campeas, Aileen Chen, Matthew J. Ingrassia
Dr. Krueger, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
(C) Excused: Julianne Wysocki, Kristin Fleming
(D) Unexcused: Hope Voto, Rob Donlan
II. Approval of Minutes
(A) The minutes from the November 20th, 2008 meeting were unanimously
III. Special Business
(A) Open forum with Dr Krueger.
1) COCA has formally approved an increase in class size to 120 students
next year. However as of yet, no decision has been reached regarding
2) The new curriculum has also been approved however the basic
sciences portion is still being “tweaked” in order to prevent an
overload of material onto the first year students
3) Twenty additional parking spots have been created in an effort to
relieve the tight parking on school campus. Much attention is being
paid to this situation and talks regarding improvements are ongoing.
4) Students please refrain from reaching out to Dr Owen directly with
problems and issues. Please use the chain of command instead of
directly contacting him. Student issues can be brought up to Dr
Lambert, Dr Kruger or any of the class council members.
5) Concerns about the holiday schedule are being addressed. The
curriculum reps have started looking at the holiday schedule especially
for the third year students. The SOM holiday requirements are more
stringent and so need to be revised in a manner that will celebrate our
diversity and be inclusive to all faiths
6) Budget season starts soon for 2009-2010. As of yet there no decision
has been made on the budget. Dr Krueger encouraged all students to
be proactive and raise any concerns regarding the budget by speaking
in one voice to the student leadership.
7) The Honor Code committee is working with Dr Lambert to draft up a
student honor code which will also include the AOA code of ethics.
Furthermore, all concerns about cheating are taken very seriously and
the student honor code will address this issue as well.
8) The Student Affairs committee is working on a student affairs
handbook which will state correct procedures regarding events such as
failing courses. It will also state criteria and guidelines to dictate
decisions regarding struggling students who wish to have time off to
travel to conferences and other such matters. The objective of the
student affairs handbook is to be fair, transparent and clear.
9) UMDNJ-SOM was one of fifteen medical schools chosen by the
NBOME and NBME to evaluate professionalism. Thus far it has been
challenging to come up with a way to accomplish this goal. We are
part of the pilot for that project.
10) Dr Krueger also encouraged all students to attend Community grand
rounds on February 23rd titled Assessing Health Literacy- Medicine’s
Newest Vital Signs by Dr. David Kountz, M.D. The event will be
taking place in the MPR at noon.
IV. Executive Committee Reports:
(A) President:
1) I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful holiday season. The
spring semester is quickly kicking into full gear. Thank you for
everyone who came out to the Exploring Specialty Options Workshop
on December 10th featuring presentations by Jackie Giacobbe, Dr.
Krueger and Terry Brown.
2) Please save the date for February 18th, 2009 as STUCO presents the
next in our series workshops featuring NBOME President Dr.
Frederick Meoli. He will be presenting on COMLEX I and
3) STUCO has a variety of events planned for the Spring. Please come
out to support your classmates at the 15th Annual UMDNJ-SOM
Talent Show on Saturday, January 24th.
4) On February 21st STUCO will host the Annual SOM Medicine Ball, a
semi-formal being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The Medicine Ball is a time when SOM gets together to share great
food and camaraderie.
5) The UMNDNJ-Council of Student Leaders, a group of student
government leaders from all UMDNJ schools met on January 6th
topics discussed include; student reimbursement policies, UMDNJ
alcohol policy, as well as the work that continues to form a UMDNJ
Student Senate.
6) Betty and I had the opportunity to travel to Mesa, AZ for the Council
of Student Government Presidents’ (COSGP) Winter Meeting 1/1619/09. Among many resolutions that were worked on, we are pleased
announce that COSGP passed a resolution concerning creating an
Osteopathic Residency Match Report describing osteopathic
residencies, modeled after the NRMP Charting Outcomes match
report for allopathic residencies. This resolution will now go before
the AACOM Board of Deans’ in April for final approval.
7) Please contact me if you are unfamiliar with the NRMP Charting
Outcomes data or have any other questions. I hope life is treating you
well. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions,
suggestions, or concerns.
(B) First Vice President:
1) At the beginning of this semester, we had our first monthly club
presidents meeting. Dean Micciche presented the new policy for room
reservations for the 1st year classroom and auditorium during school
hours, the new policy for MPR set up charges, and asked for ideas how
to revitalize our School Spirit Store. He also answered any questions
that the club presidents had about these topics. I will be serving on a
focus group to address the lack of knowledge by UMDNJ Stratford
campus related staff, faculty, and students of the existence of our
School Spirit Store. I advised the club presidents on required
paperwork and events that they need to do to keep their active status as
well as requested that they start choosing their election dates now and
not to overlap their elections with those of other clubs this year. I am
requested clubs to help recruit donors for the Feb 16th American Red
Cross blood drive and notified them that Accepted Students Day will
be March 27th and Open House will be April 24th this year.
I met with some of the executive board of our new AMSA chapter to
brainstorm ideas for the planning of a public policy series mini-course
and to advise them of the logistics of programming events at SOM.
I met with members of the bone marrow drive committee to go over
the programming aspects of planning such a drive. In the past, various
clubs have tried to program bone marrow drives in parallel but since
donors need only to be enrolled in the national bone marrow donation
database once, it made more sense to have the groups who wanted to
put on a bone marrow drive to work together as a committee from the
During the month of December, SOM faculty and students nominated
11 of our SOM students for Student DO of the Year. All 11 students
chose to continue on in the selection process and have been turning in
their application materials during the month of January. The members
of the Student DO of the Year selection committee were confirmed in
December and will conduct the selection process during February. We
will unveil our 2009 Student DO of the Year in early March. The
alumni association has graciously agreed to award this individual a
monetary award again this year.
I have started the process of planning our Grant Recipient Reception
that will most likely be held at the end of February. This is an
opportunity for students and clubs that received STUCO funding and
alumni community service grants to give presentations of how they
utilized their funding as a thank you to those who supported them NJAOPS, alumni association, STUCO, and their club advisors.
At the beginning of January, STUCO 2nd VP, Kimberly Young, and I
attended the Student Leadership Advisory Group meeting at Newark
campus with student representatives from the various Student
Government Associations and Councils at all of the UMDNJ schools.
We met with Dr Rodgers and various administrative officers in the
UMDNJ legal and financial offices to discuss the school alcohol
policy, petty cash policy, and various other legal and financial issues.
STUCO president, Matt LaPorta, and I attended the winter Council of
Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) meeting in
Mesa, Arizona during Jan 16-18th. We continued our work on the
Medical Education and Ad Hoc Committees as well as visited A.T.
Still University - School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSUSOMA). The final COSGP meeting of this academic year will
coincide with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic
Medicine (AACOM) in Bethesda, Maryland in April 2009.
(C) Second Vice President:
1) Talent Show: We are very excited for the Talent Show this Saturday,
January 24th at 7:00pm! It is being hosted by David C Mason, D.O.
Acting Chairman of the Department of Osteopathic Medicine.
2) Due to overall decreased participation this year, there is going to be
ONE amazing act for the talent show. There will NOT be an
intermission, so refreshments will be served in the atrium PRIOR to
the show. This will begin at 7:00pm and the show will immediately
follow in the auditorium, most likely sometime between 7:20pm and
7:30pm. There are 6 performances scheduled for the Talent Show at
this time. All participants and volunteers will receive a t-shirt.
A Dress Rehearsal of the show will take place at 6:00pm on Friday,
January 23rd. We will rehearse the acts again prior to the show on
Saturday, around 4:30pm.
3) Medicine Ball: Saturday, February 21st 2009 at the Crowne Plaza –
Cherry Hill from 7:00pm – 12:00am. Invitations will be placed in
school mailboxes of 1st and 2nd year students this week. They will be
sent in the mail to 3rd and 4th year student. Student are required to
RSVP for the event by Friday, February 6th. The cost of the event is
$40 per person. There will be a box in the Student Affairs Office to
submit the RSVPs and payments. Souvenirs for the events will again
benefit the Camden Saturday Health Clinic.
(D) Treasurer:
1) Money has been set aside for travel to D.O. Day on the Hill, but I am
waiting to get more information on reimbursement specifics. More
information will be coming soon.
(E) Secretary:
1) Minutes from November are on the STUCO website. Had trouble
sending them over the list serve
2) As always, reports are due at 3pm the Sunday before the next STUCO
V. Class Reports:
(A) 2009
1) Happy New Year to everyone! Our class is getting ready for the match
this month! We are anxiously submitting our rank lists and those who
are participating in the osteopathic match will find out on Feb. 9th
where they are doing residency for next year! We have come a long
way and are very excited to see where everyone will end up. Those of
us who are submitting lists to match with allopathic programs must
wait a little bit longer. That match is going to happen on March 19th
and for many of us will be worth the wait!!! Our class is going to
share our match destinations with all of you when we know them!
Please stay tuned....
2) Other things we are doing are finishing up our senior portraits,
submitting yearbook pictures for personalized pages, planning match
party events, and meeting to go over the logistics of our
3) Its a busy semester ahead, but we are prepared for the challenge and
the excitement! We are here to advise any of you who would like
assistance or information about the match and how it works. Please
feel free to come out and celebrate with us!
(B) 2010
1) So far the class is doing well
2) Since the last STUCO meeting some members of the class got married
and Jen Klein safely delivered a baby girl.
3) Also we still in the process of finding a Board Prep company for our
COMLEX II preparation in June
(C) 2011
1) Congratulations to the following busy relationships over the break:
Phil Choe (marriage)
Eric Griffin (marriage)
Elan Gorshein (engagement).
2) The SOM Class of 2011 relished a well deserved holiday break after
completing a grueling academic schedule of 9 straight exams in just
over a one week period (also known as the calm before the boards
storm). They are currently in the OB/GYN module (plus Infectious
Diseases), with an exam date of Monday, February 2.
3) Kaplan Medical chosen by 2011 as the next SOM COMLEX/USMLE
preparation vendor. The first diagnostic exam will be administered on
Monday, January 26, with classes and materials to follow shortly
4) Legendary SOM alumnus Dr. Gilbert Siu (D.O./Ph.D., SOM Class of
?), came in to give the class invaluable advice on taking the
COMLEX/USMLE (plus why you shouldn’t take the USMLE) and
how to land the rotation and residency of your desire , all on Monday,
January 12th, 2009.
5) SOM 2011 “welcome back” potluck dinner held on Wednesday,
January 21st, 2009.
6) PBL of 2011 is currently in the GI/Repro/Endo module. The next
exam is scheduled for Friday, January 23rd. PBL 2011 had their first
NBME practice USMLE exam on Monday, January 5th.
7) PBL of 2011 is leading the way to create an evaluation system for the
current and future PBL programs, which will hopefully be approved
and used by the end of this year.
8) PBL of 2011 expressed their concerns with having better
communication and timing regarding class meetings for the boards and
rotations. More prompt and conscious considerations by the class
officers and administration will be made in the future for PBL.
9) The Honor Code representatives of 2011, in collaboration with the rest
of SOM and Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Lambert, are leading the way
to draft a new SOM honor code system.
10) In collaboration with SOM 2012: SOM 2011 & 2012 participated in
the Holiday Tree Lighting and Gift Giving ceremony on the afternoon
of Monday, December 8th, 2008. Students from the Stratford special
education district performed a cute and delightful jingle for UMDNJ,
and received fine gifts and treats from SOM students.
(D) 2012
1) Our class council ended our first semester by participating in the Unity
Tree Lighting and Community Gift Drive held on campus. In
conjunction with the council members of the class of 2011, we
purchased and distributed Christmas gifts for autistic students of the
Stratford Schools. Our very own, Brittney Zafonte, performed a
beautiful Christmas solo for our guests, while I, Michael Caposole,
and Katherine Cannon played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for the
children (pictures of the event were presented in the December 2008
issue of SOM eNews).
2) Our class looks forward to our new semester and 2009 as we move
past the half-way mark of our first year. This semester, the hallways
are filled with a strange but familiar smell as the traditional first year
students began dissection of their cadavers for anatomy, which is
taught by Rocco Carsia, PhD. They also started Neuroscience with
James White, PhD and Microbiology with Susan Muller-Weeks, PhD.
They will continue with Professionalism, OMM and Patient Care.
Finally, the traditional students have recently been introduced to the
annual Community Involved Primary Care (CIPC) project which is an
extension of the Patient Care course. CIPC is a learning experience
designed to allow the students to gain access to the community and to
create a community-based service project.
VI. Committee Reports:
(A) Curriculum:
1) The curriculum committee reconvened on January 15th. No meeting
was held in December due to the holiday. The student "precurriculum
meeting" was not held due to scheduling in January, however.
2) The committee addressed mostly old issues, including.
Implementation of the new curriculum in the incoming
class, which include new case presentations.
ii. The consideration of the exam policy, which is proposed to
be updated to include proctor training and restrictions on
materials brought into the testing room
3) Dr. Fred Meoli, President of the NBOME addressed the committee in
regards to COMLEX changes, beginning most likely in 2013 with
licensing exams in only the 4th undergraduate year and in the
internship year. This follows the USMLE proposal which is expected
to start in 2012. It is not known what will happen for exams in the
preclinical years (where COMLEX I is taken at this point).
4) The 4th year class (let by Aislinn Black) is putting together a list of
rotations previous students have found useful. The class (led by
Debkumar Sarkar) will also put together a match list as the previous
class did. There is also a consideration for having a meeting regarding
the residency process for the current 3rd year class.
(B) Student Affairs:
1) No report for January as per Dr Jermyn and Hope Voto.
(C) Honor Code:
1) The Honor Code Reps have been meeting monthly with Dr. Lambert
to discuss several changes for the Reps:
First, we are creating a clear definition of the honor code
reps responsibilities.
ii. Second, we are discussing changing the name of the Reps.
iii. Third, and what we center most of our time around, is
writing a school-wide honor code which will outline
violations and procedures.
2) Out next meeting in Feb 19th
(D) Alumni Affairs:
1) The quarterly Alumni Association Board Meeting was held on
Thursday January 15th.
2) I want to remind everyone that there are 4 $250 Alumni Association
grants left so please APPLY. If you need more information about the
requirements or want an application then email me at
[email protected] or check the STUCO website.
3) In addition, the Alumni Association will be providing a $250 gift to
the winner of Student D.O. of the Year.
(E) Public Relations:
1) We will be discussing at the executive board meeting what materials,
if any, need to be added to the website.
VII. Club Affairs:
(A) None.
VIII. Old Business:
(A) None.
IX. New Business
Funding request by Daria Szkwarko for AMSA conference.
Daria Szkwrko submitted a personal funding request to attend AMSA’s
59th Annual Convention titled Win Back Our Profession from March 12th
to March 15th where she will be presenting a poster on Mosquito Bed Net
Coverage and Efficacy in Nyamuswa, Tanzani. Daria informed the
council that she worked with one of IFMSA’s village projects – the
Malaika Project, and since AMSA/IFMSA recently merged she believes
that it will be a great experience to present a poster at the AMSA
conference. This will also giver her the opportunity to discuss the Malaika
project with other students and physicians involved in international health
so that she can better help future Malaika volunteers create projects that
will decrease the incidence of malaria in Nyamuswa, Tanzania. She stated
that she hasn’t requested any outside funds and the IFMSA club on
campus is saving its money to fund students for international summer
programs. She requested a total of $172 from the council to cover the costs
of registration, food and transport. Ultimately the council awarded her
$125. The decision was approved by a vote of 13 with one abstention.
Funding request by Daria Szkwarko for Exchange Leadership summit.
Daria Szkwrko submitted a personal funding request to attend the
International Exchange Leadership Summit on March 11th. The purpose
of this event is to help IFMSA/AMSA leaders from across the country
establish an exchange site at their medical schools. The IFMSA/AMSA
bilateral exchange program enables students to complete clinical rotations
in over 85 countries worldwide. In order for SOM students to participate,
we need to establish an exchange site and accept international students
into our clinical rotations. Daria informed the council that she was
accepted to go last week. She stated that all of the exchange site
coordinators will be attending the summit and this will give her an
opportunity to ask them specific questions pertaining to UMDNJ-SOM’s
future program. She requested a total of $100 to cover her registration fee.
She was ultimately awarded the full amount in a unanimous decision by
the council.
(C) Funding request by SOMA for spring convention
SOMA submitted a request to fund 7 students to attend the SOMA National
Spring Convention in Maryland from March 5th to March 7th. The request was
presented by Farrell Silverman. He explained to the council that the spring
convention is particularly important due to its chapter transition agenda. New
SOMA leadership from SOM will have the opportunity to meet with the
Region I Trustee, who will help them get acclimated to how National SOMA
operates, as well as explain what the Board of Trustees is expecting from the
local chapter in the upcoming term. Interested SOMA members will also be
eligible to interview for vacancies on the SOMA National Board, providing
students with a chance to apply their skills and ideas on a national level.
Finally, there will also be joint programs with ACOFP, including a residency
fair and OMT workshop. The SOM SOMA club will be providing the $70
registration fee for the students and they have held multiple fundraisers to
cover the cost. SOMA requested $100/student for a total of $700 to cover
hotel stay and food and they have also requested $50/ student (total of $350)
from SOMAFF but the money is not guaranteed. Ultimately SOMA was
awarded $90/student for a total amount not to exceed $630. The decision was
approved by a vote of 13 and one abstention.
Funding request by NBLHO for annual conference.
NBLHO submitted a request to fund 10 students to attend the NBLHO
2009 Annual Conference titled Improving Latino Healthcare through
Service, Education and Research at the University of Pennsylvania
Medical School on February 20th and 21st. The request was presented by
Jenaro Hernandez who informed the council that the Conference will offer
workshops on various topics including Latino Migrant Healthcare, The
Road to a Medical Specialty, Health Literacy, and Cultural Competency.
There will also be various opportunities for networking, including a
reception, a residency/recruitment fair and NBLHO's biannual House of
Delegates meeting. The SOM NBLHO club has contributed a total of $100
to fund members. They requested $20/student for a total amount of $200
from the council to cover the remaining cost of registration and
transportation. Ultimately they were awarded the full amount of $200. The
decision was approved by a vote of 13 with one abstention.
Radiology Club Reactivation.
Vikram Nigam OMS-II presented a request for reactivation of the
Radiology club at SOM. He informed the council that club is a student run
organization which is dedicated to disseminating information about
radiology to SOM students. Currently the club has over forty participants,
the majority from the first and second year classes. They have yet to
decide upon a club advisor. They held a formal meeting with Michael
Hewitt, DO – a former SOM student – where he discussed his path to
gaining a radiology residency. Following this they elected their new eboard at the inaugural meeting. Over the requested activation period of 3
months they plan to co-sponsor the geriatrics nursing home venture on
Saturday, January 17th, hold one fundraiser namely Panera’s for breakfast
for 1st years for block and have a speaker come to speak about the field of
Radiology. Ultimately the club was granted an active status for a duration
of 3 months pending one event and one fundraiser within that time period.
The decision was approved by vote of 13 with one opposition.
X. Motion to adjourn
The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Kirin Syed
STUCO Secretary
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