What are district meetings and why do they matter?

Written by Rebecca Monticello

Rebecca represents Marquette ASDA as the 2017-2018 Specialty Committee Chair

We all know that the strength of the ADA lies in the ability of the member dentists to work together and create a powerful voice for change. The same is true for ASDA, which relies on teamwork between the student-doctor members for its structure. District meetings, like the one MUSoD ASDA attended in Louisville, are held across the country and provide an opportunity for each district to cultivate new ideas to better individual chapters as well as National ASDA as a whole.

The American Student Dental Association is made up of 11 districts, each with 5-7 chapters spanning multiple states. The district meeting gives each member present a chance to meet other members in their district, as well as their national district trustees. These are the people who represent each district in National ASDA meetings, and help individual chapters improve and grow. Our district 7 trustee is Sean Aiken, and district 6’s trustee is Justine Bednarski. They have each been successful leaders in their own ASDA chapters, and provide a wealth of knowledge and advice for any and all current ASDA leaders. In addition to our own district trustees, the trustees from districts 3 and 9 were also present to answer questions, share information and give guidance.

The main purpose in bringing together 12 ASDA chapters from schools in 7 different states is to learn from each other. Each school’s chapter has experiences that other chapters can learn from, and new ideas to share. At this district meeting, two of our very own MUSoD members did just that and presented to all 190 attendees. Tyler Robers spoke about the brand new Marquette ASDA App, and Ryan Twaddle gave ideas on how to host fun and useful events with no money required. In addition to presentations, brainstorming sessions were held for different committees to get together and find ways to provide more services to ASDA members, and to further National ASDA’s own goals.

Probably the most important benefit of a district meeting is the spread of “ASDA fever” to all present. The drive and passion displayed by those most involved in ASDA are caught by members who bring the desire to make a difference back to their own schools. These members in turn encourage and inspire others to be involved and continue to grow and improve ASDA as an organization.

The only way to further the success of ASDA and continue to make positive change for all dental students is by working together to advance every chapter at dental schools across the nation. The district 6 and 7 meeting provides just one way to do that!

Contact Rebecca at Rebecca.Monticello@mu.edu