It is Friday today and I cannot believe we are already so close to the end! As usual, we started our day with a morning SCORE session. The most important part of this session was the SCORE bylaw voting. Most changes were about technicalities, but one of them was about explicitly specifying that students be not allowed to receive any form of salary or reward from their participation in the SCORE exchange. It initially passed, until the Netherlands pointed out the fact that they would not be able to host any non-European students, since Dutch law requires minimum wage for all internships. The voting was reversed given the lack of information on the implications of such a bylaw. NMOs such as the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal and us spoke out against the proposed change. It was my very first intervention in a bylaw change proposal; I was pretty excited and nervous at the same time. Afterwards, we received the exchange certificates that need to be delivered to outgoing students upon completion of their exchange. We also had workshops on how to improve the academic quality of our research program for both the incoming and outgoing students, and shared ideas on how to reach this goal. Finally, I attended a joint committee session with SCOPH on neglected tropical diseases. Unfortunately, the speaker did not seem to be prepared enough or have the background to facilitate this workshop. Overall, I found it very disappointing.
In the afternoon, we had a project fair where many different NMOs presented some of their activities. I presented the Health and Human Rights Conference organized at McGill University on March 22. I also visited kiosks set up by other NMOs and wow, the amount of work that was needed to start such projects was impressive!
At night, the plenary included voting on status changes for a number of NMOs. Belgium, Morocco and Sierra Leone were accepted as full members, while EMSA-Egypt lost its membership. I could not help it but remember the situation back home in Syria, where despite everyone’s potential and intentions, internal issues manage to bring things down. Ukraine and Gambia became new members of IFMSA (see previous post for Ukraine) but Georgia and Sri Lanka lost their membership due to non-compliance with IFMSA regulation on submission of reports.