You cannot remain sane if you exclude everything but studying from your life. At the Student Life Fair, held during orientation, you will have the opportunity to learn more about student activities and facilities available to you at VMS. Here is just a glimpse of some of these organizations; feel free to get in touch with the people listed for more information.
Soon after your arrival here, you will face the important task of electing class officers. This might be challenging as you may not know each other well at first. Just try to pick people who seem responsible, hard-working, and organized—your class officers will set the stage for the character of your class as a whole. Most importantly, aim for a group of officers who will work well together and complement one another. The President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Social Chairs will attend the monthly meetings of the Council of Class Officers. Several deans, in addition to the class officers from all four classes, attend these meetings, and the agenda in past years has included: the Honor Code; re-accreditation of VUMS; volunteer activities; parking issues; Cadaver Ball; Project MOO; student safety; and reports from representatives of national organizations.
This person’s responsibilities include representing the class to the administration and faculty (e.g. in regard to test scheduling, problems, etc.); organizing class events (e.g. teacher appreciation lunches); and motivating your classmates to participate in a variety of activities (e.g. in the memorial service held for the cadavers). This person should be diplomatic, tactful, and mature as he or she may need to intervene in various situations that arise during the year. The rest of the job is what you make it!
Contact: Joe Luchsinger (VUSM 2018)
The Class Vice President has two main roles: coordinating service activities and acting as a class representative. If you like organizing and participating in service activities, this is the position for you! VMS students participate in many service activities each year, including “Race for the Cure,” a canned food drive, and a student auction to raise money for a deserving charity. The VP serves as the liaison between the people organizing these events and your VMS I classmates. The VP also seeks out new community partners with whom VMS students can get more involved, such as the Oasis Center, which works with troubled teens. Along with the other officers, this position also helps out with all-class functions and represents the class to the VMS administration.
Contact: Jaims Lim (VUSM 2018)
The Secretary/Treasurer’s responsibilities include: communicating to the class (via the chalkboard, e-mail, etc.); collecting and dispersing class dues; and managing the class bank account. Usually, the Secretary/Treasurer is the only person who can write a check from the class account, which means that you’ll end up being the person who reimburses the other class officers when they buy things for class events.
Contact: Benjamin Reisman (VUSM 2018)
Three people are elected as Social Chairs each year, and it is their responsibility to organize fun events and parties for the class. A few events are tradition: a post-anatomy party to celebrate (and commiserate) after the first anatomy exam; an all-school party held sometime around Halloween; and the class suite party at Opryland on the night of Cadaver Ball. Aside from those activities, however, the social chairs usually take on a large role in the social life of the class and plan a variety of activities — parties, sporting events, etc — throughout the school year.
Contact: Emily Holmes, Katie Des Prez, Krishnan Ramanujan (VUSM 2018)
The Curriculum Committee is the official liaison between students and faculty/administrators on matters related to the medical school curriculum. The Curriculum Committee consists of representatives from each of the four medical school classes elected annually by their classmates. Representatives evaluate all required courses offered to medical students; identify, solicit and address concerns related to individual courses and the overall curriculum; and administer awards to recognize excellence in teaching by professors, clinicians and house staff.
Contact: Shilpa Mokshagundam, Samantha Cummins, Tom Klink, Monisha Bhatia (VUSM 2018)
The Honor Code is central at Vanderbilt Med. On every test you sign your name affirming that you did not cheat or help others cheat on the exam. If you cheat, or if you are suspected of cheating, then you will be tried in front of the Honor Council. Each class elects two members to represent them on the Honor Council. Since they have had very few incidences, the Honor Council representatives have taken over other duties also, such as helping out with the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon every semester.
Contact: Melissa Day, Brian Holt Zalneraitis Melissa Day, Brian Holt Zalneraitis (VUSM 2018)
Several of your classmates will take on the daunting task of coordinating the first-year skits at Cadaver Ball, the premier social event of the Vanderbilt medical community. Cadaver Ball Chairs are responsible for getting classmates psyched, arranging meetings, maintaining performance deadlines, and setting everything up for the skits. While there are opportunities for everyone in the class to be involved (performing, dancing, singing, helping with shooting videos), these people make sure everything comes together in time. The time commitment will be large, but the job is definitely rewarding.
Contact: Brittany Schneider, Margaret Tebbs (VUSM 2018)