In this post, Class of 2012 student Veena Vaidyanathan shares some information about her national position with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).
As the Chair of ASDA's Legislative Grassroots Network (LGN), I oversee all of the legislative related activities around the country. However, I do not do it alone! I have a council packed with passionate, driven individuals from around the country who all help in making the LGN an effective and efficient council. This year, ASDA has nationally instituted a 5-year Strategic Plan in which each council has their own goals and action items to meet.
Two of the main goals pertaining to the LGN are to increase student involvement in state and national lobbying efforts and to educate members on issues important to dentistry. In order to help with the first goal the LGN is starting a $500 State Lobby Day Scholarship to ASDA chapters in need of resources. We hope this scholarship will aid with the daunting task of starting a State Lobby Day, especially with chapters that do not have an established relationship with their state dental associations. In order to follow through with the second goal the LGN is going to continue the Legislative Ledger. The Legislative Ledger is a monthly e-publication sent to all members that is a short synopsis of pertinent issues covered in the ADA State Government Affairs Report and the ADEA Capitol Update. We will be contributing legislative articles to ASDA News on a monthly basis as well.
Another large part of my job is to plan National Dental Student Lobby Day, which takes place in Washington, DC every year. Dental students from across the country come together on Capitol Hill to lobby for various issues impacting the dental community. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the ADA's Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). This is the conference that National Dental Student Lobby Day is modeled after. I was given the opportunity to meet my hometown legislators of Florida and to meet leaders in the dental community of the my state, which is a rare occurrence since I go to school 3,000 miles away from home! I hope to foster the same enriching experience I had at the WLC at the next National Dental Student Lobby Day.
To read an article about Veena’s recent experience at the ADA’s Washington Leadership Conference, visit: http://www.ada.org/news/5787.aspx