Amendment would ease membership requirements for vet students

Published on September 28, 2011
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The Executive Board has initiated an AVMA Bylaws amendment that would allow all graduates of schools represented in the Student AVMA to qualify for automatic conversion to AVMA membership.

Current AVMA Bylaws and policy stipulate that automatic AVMA membership may be granted only to graduating students who are certified to be a member in good standing of a student chapter of the AVMA. It is AVMA policy to automatically convert these graduates to AVMA members.

Graduates who are automatically converted to AVMA membership pay no membership dues for the remainder of their graduating year and reduced dues—half that of active member dues—for two years following graduation. All other graduating veterinary students can apply for reduced dues—but for only one year following graduation—by completing an application for AVMA membership and paying prorated, reduced recent graduate dues for the year they graduate.

The Task Force on AVMA Programs for Students and Recent Graduates believes AVMA Bylaws and policy should be changed and recommended amending Article II, Section 3.a.1. of the AVMA Bylaws to state: "A graduating student who has been certified to be a member in good standing of an organization represented in the Student AVMA House of Delegates."

Students of two veterinary schools currently represented in the SAVMA House of Delegates do not qualify for automatic conversion: St. George's University and St. Matthew's University. Combined, these schools annually graduate a mean of 157 students, of whom 40 percent become AVMA members.

If approved by the AVMA House of Delegates, the bylaw and policy changes would come with an initial loss to the AVMA of up to $18,600. The task force believes the potential for new members who may otherwise not have joined as well as long-term membership in the AVMA will quickly offset this initial loss.