Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Open House

So this Saturday is WesternU's open house. Theoretically, it's a chance for the community and prospective students to visit the school, and basically establish Western's presence. From talking to the 2nd year students, in reality, it's a huge clusterfuck, with over 3,000 boyscouts and girlscouts trying to visit all the club booths to collect stickers to get badges. Aparently, instead of answering questions last year, the Pathology Club spent most of their time fending kids off from trying to steal their specimins, and parents off from trying to steal their stickers. Since I'm a club officer for the path club, I've been roped into helping them. We all know that Karin + crowds is a bad idea and Karin + little kids is a bad idea, so Karin + a crowd of mostly little kids will be fun fun fun. I'm seriously dreading it, but since I <3 the path club, I openly offered to do it with no coersion. However, today in class, a couple classmates had to make an announcement before class about Open House. They basically laid a condescending, thick guilt trip on everybody about helping out, and told people that if they were a SCAVMA member, that it was required that they help out. Just the way they approached the whole thing made me almost want to NOT volunteer at all (well, I already don't, but if I were a flakey person, they would have tipped me into backing out.) I feel bad for the SCAVMA members who have already had plans in place for Saturday for weeks, but they're expected to drop it at the last minute, because they were only recently informed about this being required. I shouldn't be surprised, though. SCAVMA, or the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association has pulled this before. There was a yearly symposium in Davis over Spring Break where student chapters from every vet school can meet up, attend lectures, seminars, and have some fun veterinary-related field trips. Apparently, in order for an individual school to have any sort of legislative vote for national SCAVMA stuff, they have to have at least 80% of the student body as members. I think we only had somthing like 50 or 60%. So we were deluged with weeks of the most obnoxious, condescending guilt trips about joining. They kept emphasizing all the "benefits" of joining, and acting like the only reason those of us who hadn't joined was because either we were too dense to realize the "wonderful" opportunity we were passing up, or we were too dumb to navigate the website and figure out how to go through the registration process. Personally, I hadn't joined at the beginning of the year because I was broke, trying to save money, and only joined 2 clubs that I really cared about (pathology and zoo/wildlife/exotics.) It costs something like $40/year to join, and you're required to attend all these meetings, and the benefits aren't really all that beneficial, until you graduate. After you graduate, if you're a member in good standing for 3 years, you get your first year of AVMA membership for free, access to cheap malpractice (and I believe health) insurance through the AVMA-PLIT branch, and a couple other perks. And during 3rd/4th year, I believe you can purchase cheap insurance that covers you on your rotations (I think I can get this same benefit from CVMA, which I am a member of, but I'd have to double-check). However, that doesn't involve dealing with the bullshit for all 4 years, and I'm only going to do the last 3 if that's all that's required. The way they handled trying to get their membership numbers up was so incredibly grating, that it basically sealed the deal of me not joining this year. Had somebody instead asked nicely, and framed it as "can you do us a favor" instead of "what's wrong with you stupids?" I probably would have coughed up the $40 for membership. Somehow their passive-aggressive methods of bitching at everybody for weeks actually worked, and they were able to reach their 80% before Spring Break. I'm rather shocked. But from today's speech about Open House, I see their methods haven't changed. Anyway, it makes me glad that I'm not a member.

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