HOD Committees

Three committees ensure the smooth functioning of the House of Delegates (HOD) and national officer elections: the Reference, Nominations and Credentials Committees. These committees are an excellent way for AMSA members to get involved nationally. AMSA depends on committed members to serve on these committees and to help the HOD function smoothly. The application period for the 2021 House of Delegates is now open.

Interested members must submit an online application, a brief paragraph of intent (no more than 100 words), as well as a brief resume/curriculum vitae (CV) by the deadline date listed below. Please tailor your resume/curriculum vitae to highlight AMSA or other extracurricular activities in which you have participated.

Committee members will be selected by the Vice President for Internal Affairs and the National Secretary. Because of funding constraints, the national office is unable to assist committee members with travel to Convention; however, local chapters and school administrations can usually assist their delegates and committee members. Applications are due by January 27, 2021. All committee members will have their AMSA Convention registration fees waived in return for their service. 

The Nominations Committee oversees the election of AMSA’s national officers at the Annual Convention. This Committee is composed of active AMSA members who are not candidates for any national office. They present all identified national candidates to the HOD, chaperone them during candidate debates and carry out other aspects of the election process. Members of the Nominations Committee will also oversee the process of all other national leadership elections.

Committee members must participate in a training session during the National Convention. The Vice President for Internal Affairs and Secretary will review Committee roles and responsibilities. During elections, Committee members will then be the only members of the HOD to communicate with candidates. After supervising voting, the Committee counts ballots and announces election results. The Committee is further responsible for assuring throughout the Convention that AMSA’s election guidelines are respected and that there are no election irregularities. Members of the Nominations Committee will rotate shifts to help oversee all other elections during Convention and to ensure fairness and accuracy of the voting process.

Members applying to serve on a Credentials or Nominations Committee may also apply to serve on a Reference Committee.

The Credentials Committee maintains the official roll of AMSA members entitled to vote in the business sessions of the HOD. Participation on the Credentials Committee is open to any active AMSA member. Serving a “sergeant-at-arms” function, the Committee also certifies that a quorum is present while the House is in session and checks the credentials of those who request admission into the House during business sessions. Committee members must be available to meet with the Vice President for Internal Affairs and Secretary for training during the National Convention and to assist with the HOD during Convention. Generally, Credentials Committee members split up shifts in the HOD so each member works for approximately six hours during the course of the Convention.

Members applying to serve on a Credentials or Nominations Committee may also apply to serve on a Reference Committee.

Members who want to gain in-depth exposure to AMSA’s policy-making process can volunteer to serve on a Reference Committee (“RefCom”). Each Reference Committee is responsible for collecting the testimony of AMSA’s membership on HOD resolutions and making a formal recommendation to the HOD to accept or reject each resolution. This process entails hard work but offers a unique opportunity to be involved in AMSA policy-making. Members of past Reference Committees have had the chance to examine a number of important issues of interest to medical students, including changes to medical education, international health concerns and pharmaceutical marketing to physicians.

Each Reference Committee is composed of a chairperson and at least one other member. There are usually several Committees, each of which focuses on a different type of resolution. In February, Committee members will receive a resolutions packet and are asked to read these resolutions before arriving at Convention.

During the Convention, each Committee holds an open and closed session to hear the testimony of the membership regarding the resolutions and to write a formal report with recommendations to the HOD. These recommendations are the most important part of the job as the Committees must combine the testimony of members with current AMSA policy and synthesize an appropriate recommendation to present to the HOD. This job is accomplished with the help of the Vice President for Internal Affairs and Secretary, as well as the Second Vice Chair of the HOD. The Reference Committee’s final responsibility is to attend the HOD session when their assigned resolutions are being considered in order to present their reports and address any questions from the delegates. Reference Committee members may not participate in the debate for any resolution considered by their respective Reference Committee.

Members applying to serve on a Reference Committee may also apply to serve on the Credentials and Nominations committees.