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.
How can I get involved?
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.
Click here to submit your ideas! OR APPLY
Goals for the Working Group on Policies: 2016-2017
- Continue the projects from the previous term, including:
- Policy papers on EBVM Curriculum, Career Guidance, and FVE Animal Health Law
- Position statements on the use of Ketamine and the OIE Campaign for stray dog population control
- Promote the published documents in veterinary faculties
- We write policy papers and position statements to help change the veterinary field for students in various ways. It is important for the IVSA input to be shared with veterinary universities in order to implement this change.
- Join together opinions of students from all over the world
- Collaborate with the other committees to bring policy papers and position statements on animal welfare, one health, and veterinary education, for example.
- Network with a variety of Member Organizations (MO’s) to bring together the values of students from around the world via the use of temporary volunteer members.
- 1 Chair & 4 Members (Publications Team)
- Additional various temporary volunteer members
- These volunteers are from different Member Organizations (MO) around the world. The Working Group on Policies will reach out to all MO’s and make a call for a student, or team, to reasearch and author a suggested policy paper.
- The primary goal with these volunteers is to involve a variety of motivated students and allow them to author a policy paper they are passionate about.
- We hope this will create a stronger network of worldwide influence on policy papers submitted by IVSA Global.
- Each member of the Publication Team will:
- Research topics for policy papers
- Guide volunteer team members on the writing of policy papers
- Continue to develop the current projects from the 2015-2016 term
- Help inspire volunteer team members to participate in authorship of policy papers
- Author and advise on position papers
- Partake in Working Group meetings
- Edit documents as needed
- Promote the use of policy papers and position statements in veterinary faculties