As the only association of its kind, IVSA has a special role when it comes to representing the opinions and views of its members. Although they are still vets-to- be, students’ views on current issues in the veterinary world should not to be underestimated. And as in the past years IVSA has moved towards the forefront of representing veterinary students on a global level communicating these views to our professional counterparts are becoming more of a reality.
During the 64th IVSA Congress in Romania, which took place in August 2015, the General Assembly realized that because of the further professionalization of the organization it had become necessary to put more focus on where we stand as an organization and how these stances should be put on paper, as well as how to word them. After careful deliberation the GA therefore created the Working Group on Policy Statements and Position Papers. The Working Group was later renamed Working Group on Policies at the 64th IVSA Symposium in Taiwan.
The general goals for the Working Group are twofold: it both investigates the topics that are important for IVSA to express opinions about and, once these have been defined, proceed by drafting policies to present to the General Assembly. Policies are not bylaws amendments, but can still guide standard operating procedures within IVSA by reflecting the overall accepted stance and opinions of the association and its members. They are bound by the IVSA’s Constitution and Bylaws. The policies of IVSA are reflected in two types of documents.
– Position statements are short statements that convey a policy with regards to a particular topic and are generally released on certain days or events. They are not binding for any representative of IVSA, but are merely meant to guide them in expressing IVSA’s views on a global stage within the context of the event they are bound to. They are critically reviewed by the ExCo before release. You can find a record of them on the Position Statements page.
– Policy papers are more extensive documents, which tend to cover the topics on which they focus more generally. They represent the current view of the majority of veterinary students around the globe and can thus only be approved by the General Assembly. Once approved they are binding to all officials representing IVSA Global. (No documents released by IVSA are ever binding for (National) Membership Organizations.) Before being presented to the GA, drafts for new Policy Papers are shared on the Policy Papers page, giving you a chance to have your say, even if you are not able to attend Congress or Symposium.
There are two ways of getting involved with IVSA’s policy making. At the beginning of each term, there will be the chance to apply for the Working Group on Policies. You’ll be able to find more information about that here at the time. However, if you miss the application date but still have a great idea for a Policy Paper or Position Statement, you can still take part!
When submitting an idea for the Working Group, please keep in mind that due to the amount of requests we receive, we can unfortunately not work on all ideas. Please add a short (300-500 word) motivation of why you feel it is important to write a paper on your topic, so we can take every aspect into consideration, and be aware that you will be asked to give your contact details if you would like to be part of the team working on the paper.
Goals for the Working Group on Policies: 2016-2017
Structure & Board Roles for the Working Group on Policies: 2016-2017