A KWL on Annual Session, 2018

Written By: Kaitlin Jasper

Kaitlin was the 2017-2018 Secretary of Marquette ASDA and will continue her position in the 2018-2019 academic year. 



  • 66 chapters of ASDA meet to elect our new ASDA national leaders for 2018-19
  • National leaders to be elected include the President, two Vice Presidents, and the Speaker of the House
  • Each chapter gets 2 delegates to vote throughout Annual Session on new policies and resolutions that our organization stands for
  • Voting on new policies and resolutions provides a platform for uniting the ideas and stance of the 24,000 dental students that ASDA represents
  • Annual session offers unique breakout sessions for attendees to tailor to their interests within and outside of the organization
  • Gold Crown Awards are held to recognize chapters for a variety of successes and achievements throughout the past year

Want to know 

  • The new 2018-2020 strategic plan that will be introduced by current national leaders and carried out by our new elected ASDA leaders
  • The process of voting on policies and resolutions
  • Who will be our next ASDA national leaders??
  • Who will win the gold crown awards??


  •  Some highlights in ASDA this past year:
    • Partnered with ADA for the first integrated lobby day to for changes in policy
    • Launched ASDA’s first service week
    • Expanded communications with social media and Contour
    • Expanded wellness initiatives
  • The 2018-20 strategic plan for ASDA was introduced with 4 main goals:
    • Develop standardized leadership training and programming for chapter and district leaders to ease the transition of leaders from year to year
    • Evaluate ASDA’s current business model and strategize ways to achieve financial sustainability in the organization
    • Evaluate current member benefits and offer changes to increase the value of ASDA membership
    • Promote the importance of ASDA to dental school administrations to increase support of student involvement
  • Policies and Resolutions:
    • ASDA is governed by the house of delegates, which is made up of 2 representatives from each school
    • Resolutions and policies are discussed and voted on the floor via parliamentary procedure to ensure every voice is heard
    • Parliamentary procedure is run by the Speaker of the House
    • On Friday of Annual Session, there are reference committee hearings that allow for discussion on the pros and cons of the proposed resolutions
    • Opinions of all attendees are welcome at this time, even if you are not a credentialed delegate.
    • After the reference committee hearings, there are reference committee business meetings to discuss any proposed changes.
    • On Saturday, resolutions are opened up once more for a house debate and then voted on. Anytime a vote is occurring, there needs to be a quorum.
    • A quorum is a minimum number of delegates needed to be present to ensure we are representing the larger population of dental students.
    • The quorum is 2/3 or in other words, a minimum of 87 delegates need to be present to hold a vote.
    • For the resolutions that brought no discussion during the reference committee hearings, a consent calendar is created.
    • This consent calendar puts together all of these non-contentious resolutions to be voted on at the same time.
    • Most of these resolutions tend to be wording changes so the one vote consent calendar is created to be more efficient.
    • Once resolutions are voted on, these do not immediately become law, but rather serve as a guide for leaders to advocate on behalf of ASDA’s stance at events like Lobby Day at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  • Elected Leaders:
    • The candidates for the executive committee and Speaker of the House go through a pretty stringent process before the voting begins.
    • The candidates make speeches expressing who they are and what they stand for to all 600 attendees.
    • Then, each district has a unique interviewing process to get to know the candidates further.
    • The first vote held is for who the 3 executive members will be.
    • The second and final vote determines which of the top 3 becomes the President, and the remaining two will become the Vice Presidents. 
    • Our new 2018-19 elected president is Roopali Kulkarni
    • Our 2018-19 vice presidents are Alexandra Howell and Jeffrey Kerst
    • Another vote is held for Speaker of the House. Our 2018-19 Speaker of the House is our very own Ryan Twaddle!
    • Candidates running to be the next team of district trustees then interview within their district and a vote is held. Our next District 7 Trustee is our very own Tyler Robers!
  • Gold Crown Awards
    • It was inspiring to see all of the accomplishments and goals reached by so many different chapters that won a gold crown award.
    • It was also so exciting and motivating to witness Marquette winning both the Best Use of Chapter Video award and the Ideal ASDA Chapter award!!


 Finally, I learned that Annual Session is a ton of fun! It is a packed weekend full of meeting new people, interesting breakout sessions, fun themed social events, passionate speakers, motivated attendees, united change, and lots of celebration. If you’re looking for a boost in ASDA fever, Annual Session is a great place to look!

Contact Kaitlin at Kaitlin.Jasper@mu.edu