Getting prepared for ASDA’s House of Delegates

In a few short weeks, ASDA representatives from across the country will meet at Annual Session to strategically plan for the future of the association. ASDA’s House of Delegates will convene to elect our national leaders and discuss timely student issues.

Dental school constantly pushes us outside of our comfort zones. As ASDA’s Speaker of the House, it’s my job to help you feel comfortable as a delegate or alternate delegate. It’s OK if you don’t know all of the ways to participate at this meeting. Here are some tips to help guide you.

1. Get involved in the policy-making process.

  • Submit a resolution: Resolutions identify a need for action, address timely student issues or update existing ASDA policies. ASDA members can submit resolutions until 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22. These resolutions will be considered by the House of Delegates.
  • Provide testimony: Delegates and alternate delegates should attend the Reference Committee Hearing to voice their opinions on resolutions. Testimony will be considered by Reference Committees when crafting the final resolution.
  • Review resolutions: Stay informed by reviewing the Reference Committee reports. These contain recommendations from the Reference Committee’s review of resolutions. Reports will be published on the ASDA Annual Session app before they are brought to the House of Delegates.
  • Debate: Delegates on the House floor will have the chance to debate the merits of resolutions. If a resolution passes, it will become ASDA policy.

2. Determine your future representation.

  • Know the candidates: ASDA’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration and management of the association. Read the application materials for the candidates running for ASDA Executive Committee and Speaker of the House. Delegates are responsible for casting ballots for these elected positions.
  • Participate in district caucuses: In addition to interviewing candidates for the Executive Committee and Speaker of the House roles, district members meet to elect the district trustee who will be their voice on the national ASDA board for the upcoming year.

By attending Annual Session, you are representing your chapter and the larger ASDA membership. This responsibility is what makes the event so thrilling, but it does not mean you have to be an expert on parliamentary procedure. Come to Anaheim, California, with your energy and excitement. There will be plenty of onsite support to help you be successful.

I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Annual Session!

~ Abby Halpern, Georgia ’18, Speaker of the House

Abby Halpern

Abby Halpern, MS, is a third-year dental student at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. While interning at the American Dental Association’s Political Action Committee (ADPAC) in 2014, Abby could not wait to continue her passion for advocacy during dental school. After serving as a legislative coordinator in 2015-16, Abby is now the chair for the Council on Advocacy. She has enjoyed helping chapters succeed in their advocacy efforts, planning the first Advocacy Month and merging the Lobby Days of dentists and dental students. When she's not busy doing lab work, you can find her trying new foods and daydreaming about future travel destinations.

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