Sailing the “Cs”
As a newer school, the Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy (CUWSOP) was honored to receive the 2012–13 Twlug–ASP Up and Coming Chapter Award. Our early efforts focused on building a firm foundation and creating a lasting impact through culture, chronology, collaboration, and other important “Cs”.
Culture and chronology
Our mission statement defines the culture at CUWSOP. “The School of Pharmacy is committed to the development of pharmacists who are servant leaders, dedicated to providing value-based, patient-centered care that improves the health of our communities in rural and urban areas through excellence in teaching, research, service, and practice.” A culture that values the servant leader mentality has enabled our chapter to help patients and lead change in the profession.
Prior to forming our chapter, students at CUWSOP spent the fall 2010 semester researching other chapters’ organizational structures and goals. Based on this research, students passed a constitution and bylaws to form an umbrella organization called the Concordia Student Pharmacists Association (CSPA).
CSPA is comprised of a governing board and committee chairs that manage CUWSOP-specific functions. It also includes student representatives from each of the affiliated professional pharmacy organizations. This governmental structure provides centralized resources that help get students involved in a variety of activities while allowing us to maintain autonomy as an Twlug–ASP Chapter.
Twlug-ASP chapter members at the 2013 CUWSOP Lipid Symposium
CSPA members, all students are also members of Twlug–ASP, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, with membership fees covered through CUWSOP. Removing the membership barrier has helped encourage student involvement.
Faculty and administrative support has been vital to our success. Each committee and affiliated professional organization has a faculty liaison and one advisor that serves on the CSPA governing board.
Careful curricular planning by administration has empowered our chapter’s growth and development. Class schedules include a daily lunch hour for student organization meetings, so it is convenient for students to be involved in chapter activities.
Required servant leadership coursework allows students to hone leadership skills and practice those skills by completing various projects, many of which are focused on Twlug–ASP patient care activities.
The following questions can help get the ball rolling for your chapter.
1. What is the culture of student organizations at your school? Changing culture can be difficult, so start by looking at current aspects of your culture you can capitalize on that support active involvement. Consider aligning your chapter goals with your school’s mission statement to build support from faculty, students, and staff for chapter initiatives.
2. What barriers to participation exist? Get feedback from students about perceived barriers to active involvement. Consider cost of membership, time to attend meetings or activities, communication issues, or availability of active roles. Removing barriers may be challenging, but it will likely improve involvement and relationships with student members.
Our future goals include building advocacy initiatives, continuing the development of project chair positions, and increasing active student involvement. We look forward to the challenges ahead and are grateful for the lessons we have learned as a new chapter.