Amplifying Logan's Student Voice
Rigorous. Challenging. Demanding.
These are just a few words that could describe a typical day in the life of a Logan student. Along with attending school full time, many students take advantage of internships, see patients, belong to campus clubs and partake in daily student activities. Just as important as studying and attending classes, though, is taking time to participate in social activities and striking a balance between work and play. That’s exactly where the Student Doctors’ Council (SDC) comes in—they form the bridge between the
students and the school.
The Student Doctors’ Council is the governing voice for the Logan student body. It prides itself in being a representative for students, and allocates funds and offers supervision to student clubs and organizations.
“We are the middle ground between the administration and the students,” said Christina Lynch, president of the SDC. “Any concerns, questions or suggestions the students have—things they want on campus, improvements or things they
would like to see changed—we talk to the administration and work together to come to a conclusion.”
James Paine, dean of student services, serves as the council’s primary adviser and provides leadership and direction to the council and its members. He said that more than anything else, the SDC serves as a conduit through which the administration partners with the student community at large.
“We work closely with the Student Doctors’ Council to vet ideas and to explore opportunities to both build upon and strengthen the educational and co-curricular experiences within our campus community,” he said. “Serving on the council provides members the chance to exhibit peer leadership and also the opportunity to add new tools to their professional toolbox that will be of great value to them in their future career endeavors.”
The council runs much like any other governing body. Of the SDC’s nine executive positions, five are elected, and four (two student activities coordinators and two student services coordinators) are appointed by the previous term’s outgoing president with help from the dean and another councilmember. A member’s term lasts two trimesters.
Council meetings are held twice a week: a closed-door meeting on Mondays for the executive board and a general assembly meeting on Tuesdays that is open to all Logan students. It is at the general assembly meetings when the council openly reviews what was discussed at their executive board meeting and then opens the floor to students for suggestions and concerns.
Above all else, the council offers an open platform for students to communicate with the council and administration. Along with attending the Tuesday meeting, students are provided a variety of ways to get in touch with the council, such as filling out complaint forms which are located in every classroom.
“We also have students directly approach us, too, which we absolutely encourage," Christina added.
Currently, the council has a few new initiatives on their plate. One, according to Dean Paine, is creating a formal mentoring program for incoming Tri-1 students and those entering the clinic environment. The main objective of this initiative is to help students more quickly adapt to the nuances within Logan’s educational culture and to provide a vantage point that will aid students in achieving successful matriculation outcomes. The council hopes to have the mentoring program implemented
by fall 2012.
Another ongoing project is fielding various ideas from students on ways to improve the campus wellness center. According to Christina, the council is discussing the cost of upgrades and drawing up plans to make it feasible for both students and the school to implement the improvements that are requested.
In addition to instituting change and creating new programs, the SDC also plans Logan’s social events. Brad Moffitt, one of the council’s two student activities coordinators, said he has realized the importance of creating a space outside of school for students to put their schoolwork aside and appreciate being able to enjoy each other’s company.
“Because we are in class so long, and we are with the same group of people [in our tri] all of the time, we plan these events so people at Logan in different trimesters can interact with each other,” he said. “In my position, I make sure people are enjoying themselves, getting involved and being a part of the entire Logan community.”
Events included on the council’s trimester social agenda include beginning- and end of-tri celebrations; Field Day; Club Day; and Pineapplefest, a free dinner and get-together held on a Friday night during the summer. The SDC plays an active role in planning
charitable events for Logan and the local community. In May, the group helped organize the Greater St. Louis Area Arthritis Walk, which has since raised about $9,000 (and counting) for the Arthritis Foundation.
As a newly appointed councilmember just two months into his first term, Brad is already knee-deep in party-planning mode. His main focus is to appeal to Logan diverse population, whether they are single, married or have children. He said that each trimester, the council tries to plan at least one family-oriented activity and one event where people can go out on the town.
“I cherish my time going out and spending it with friends and family,” said Brad. “Going to school is a full-time job, and you can lose the social aspect very easily. My goal is for everyone to enjoy it as well.”
Dean Paine has a few of his own goals for the council in mind, including guiding them into a greater understanding and appreciation of their role as student leaders, and the positive impact peer leadership can have within a student
“Another goal for this group is to identify ways to more thoroughly demonstrate its commitment to social engagement in both its programming and resources,” he added. “So we are doing things that are not only traditional to the institution but are also exploring ways to engage the student constituency in meaningful outreach and social service opportunities, seizing the opportunity to serve our community and beyond whenever possible.”
Even after they leave Logan and embark on their chiropractic careers, Brad and Christina will be forever grateful to the SDC for further preparing them for leadership roles in the health-care field. “I am responsible for making sure things get taken care of at a certain time,” said Brad. “Accountability is what I am going to hold the most.”
For Christina, the SDC experience has taught her valuable business skills she can apply in her practice. “Being able to run an organization and have the ability to coordinate everything continuously is something I need to know how to do if I want to run an office,” she said. “It’s increased my confidence, and I’ve met so many people out in the field because of it.”