How to Start an HSVMA Student Chapter

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) is a professional veterinary association affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country’s largest animal protection organization. HSVMA student chapters provide a forum for veterinary students to get involved in animal protection issues, promote humane veterinary education, and participate in service opportunities.

To start a student chapter on your campus:

Familiarize yourself with benefits offered to HSVMA student chapters:

  • $500 in annual grant money for chapter activities.
  • Priority scheduling for HSVMA Speakers Bureau presentations.
  • Exclusive access to HSVMA’s dry suture lab and Animal Cruelty Investigation dry lab.
  • Advice and assistance to any student chapter member seeking alternatives or changes to a more humane veterinary curriculum.
  • Housing fee waived for members doing internships at the Cape Wildlife Center or the South Florida Wildlife Center.
  • Travel stipends to attend SAVMA Symposium.
  • HSVMA student members are eligible for consideration for the annual HSVMA Veterinary Student Advocacy Award to a student who makes a substantial contribution to humane veterinary training or other animal welfare advocacy initiative.

Familiarize yourself with the programs and focus areas of HSVMA

Identify at least four other students who are interested in participating in the chapter.

You can use this flyer  to recruit interested students (the flyer is an editable PDF so you can either fill in your information directly in the form or print the flyer and handwrite your information).

Contact the Office of Student Affairs (or other appropriate campus office or department) for guidelines to set up a student club.

Requirements typically include:

  • Finding a faculty member to serve as advisor
  • Registering on campus
  • Electing officers
  • Adopting guidelines/bylaws (download our draft bylaws: PDF | Word)

Chapter Requirements

Membership

Membership in the chapter is open to all veterinary students on your campus. All members of the student chapter are encouraged to become members of HSVMA. Student membership in HSVMA is free and automatically upgrades to free Professional membership through the first year after graduation. For more information, visit hsvma.org/members.

Name of the Student Chapter

All student chapters shall be named “(School name) Student Chapter of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association”. Example: UC Davis Student Chapter of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (UCD SCHSVMA).

College or University

The chapter must form on a campus with a veterinary medical school. The school must formally recognize the chapter as a student organization.

Chapter Terms and Conditions/Bylaws

The chapter must agree to the terms and conditions for student chapters authorized by HSVMA as well as adopt sample bylaws provided by HSVMA or a set of bylaws that are consistent with the terms and conditions (view our draft bylaws: PDF  | Word ).

Speakers Bureau

Student chapters are expected to hold at least one HSVMA Speakers Bureau presentation each academic year. Chapters must identify a lecture hall or other location for the presentation, and HSVMA will pay for the speaker’s travel and a vegetarian lunch. Contact Erin Luebkeman, Student Outreach Coordinator, for more information.

Meetings

Student chapters must hold at least one meeting per semester and report back to HSVMA. Chapters are also encouraged to hold at least one general interest meeting on campus, represent HSVMA at a campus event (e.g. freshman orientation, student activities fair), or sponsor another activity each academic year to reach out to other veterinary students who are not chapter members. See our list of suggested student chapter activities.

Faculty Advisor

If required by your campus, the student chapter must have a faculty advisor who supports HSVMA’s student chapter program and will provide guidance to student leadership.

Annual Evaluations

At the end of each semester, student chapter members are encouraged to complete an anonymous evaluation to help HSVMA better serve our chapters. Please contact Erin Luebkeman, Student Outreach Coordinator, if you have any questions about this process and/or when you’re ready to start an HSVMA student chapter.
 
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