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Thanks to Matt George’s great idea and Joe Fakhoury’s execution of this idea, the organization I helped start called the Diversity Council was put on the map.  The idea was an event called “AUC Culture Week” which culminated in a Talent show named, “AUC’s Got Talent”.  The show was a huge success at the end of an awesome “AUC Cultural Week” where all the organizations at AUC put on a cultural event, or two, every day of the week.  I still remember one student saying, “I wish every week was Culture Week .”  I only wish that was true.

But since then a great deal has changed.  First and foremost is the relationship between the Diversity Council (DC) and the school. In 2009, on the first Cultural Week, there was no relationship.  Back then, the school would not let us book a room since we were not a ‘recognized’ organization.  Weirdly, even the ‘recognized’ student organizations had troubles booking rooms and had to reschedule a lot due to magical new rules (aka double standards).  What sticks out the most in mind was how Dr. Testa, then Dean of Student Affairs and now Dean of Basic Sciences, did not want there to be a Talent Show or at least tried his best to stop it (ironically he ended up being a surprise judge – who says you can’t eat your cake too).

So what happened was Dr. Testa told Joe with only two weeks till the event (and after a month of preparation), that the Talent Show could not happen in Lecture Hall 2 (the only place we could do it).  He said that “people” needed to study and it would be unfair to them since the show would be too loud for people in the library. Granted this lecture hall is one of the two lecture halls underneath the library, but I believe Dr. Yoshida (then Dean of Basic Sciences, head honcho) said it best, “Who study’s on Friday at 7 pm?” So fortunately, she overruled Dr. Testa that one time.  You may find it interesting though that she came to regret it later when Dr. Testa “filled her in” because she told us, or I should say me specifically, before the event, “Dr. Testa is very angry at you, you should go get his respect back.”

Besides these ‘little’ hurdles that Joe and friends had to face, Joe did an excellent job at the time coordinating with the other Student Organizations, which is sort of the point of the Diversity Council. When we created the diversity council we, students, were disappointed with the school and we wanted more; more from the school and more from ourselves.  The status quo at the time was study, study and take care of your frikin’ self (theatrical exaggeration, kind of). At most schools back in the states and, according to faculty members at AUC, other Caribbean schools as well – there is an actual extra-curricular life.  I’m told people actually work together to put on big events.  At AUC, only a few organizations like Phi Chi or AMSA used to put on big events; no one else.  I am almost absolutely sure no one used to work together.  So when the DC put on AUC Cultural Week with everyone working together, not only was it a hit, but it was a feel good moment too.  It also proved indefinitely that we wanted to learn each other’s cultures, contrary to popular faculty/student belief.

Now though, students have forgotten these three things: that the school did not want culture week/AUC’s Got Talent (or the DC, but this is another story), that almost every activity outside of class is organized by students (honestly they should be paying us), and that we, students, want to learn about other people’s cultures. In my opinion, if your field is all about people – it only makes sense that you want to actually learn what makes people act the way they do (not just what makes them tick).  All in all, the point is don’t take anything for granted; someone worked hard and fought for what you enjoy now.

What do you think?

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So alot of things have come to attention. First, it will take some time to tell this story – so bear with me.   Secondly, the very things we were trying to prevent at AUC and beyond has happened. I am not at liberty yet to divulge details but I hope I will soon.

On the first point, very soon I will put out a more proper introduction to the Diversity Council (DC) which most likely consist of two parts; circumstances at which the DC began and the original purpose. After this, I am not sure when I will be able to put out more lengthier posts. It may be several weeks. However, in the meantime and as soon as I am allowed to, I will try to keep people appraised of what has happened here recently that has me so disturbed.

Till then,

Site Admin.

In the nature of the ‘Hello World!’ beginning post, I would also like to greet the blogosphere and hope that others, most importantly AUC (American University of the Caribbean) students, will read this.

For a long time now people close to me have told me to start this blog.  There have been too many behind the scenes events, struggles and friends who have had to leave this school during our struggle to have the Diversity Council recognized.  You should realize that this Blog is more than just the history of a student organization but rather the history of the origins of several different student organizations, the fall and rise of two different AUC administrations, certain back room deals, great student ideas that were snuffed out/never aired, and the continued marginalization of minority student organizations on campus.

I have no idea if I will be able to finish all this in the next few months but this is the time frame I have.  I must juggle being a Medical Student, a Vice President of BGLAM (pseudo, don’t have the grades) and my studies for the Ultimate test; STEP 1.  Next year I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing outside the STEP so I want this done before the year is over.  More importantly, I want to be done with this blog before I leave so that other students will know what happened and perhaps ask questions that have not yet been asked.  I will off course ask the other founders for their input and I will post them on separate pages/blogs.  This way you will see what happened through different eyes and you can judge for yourself what happened.  I will also be posting under the names of students and student leaders whose ideas have either had a great impact on AUC or have great promise to do so.

Please feel free to comment and share this with others.  The purpose here is to spread the truth about what is happening at AUC and what has happened at AUC behind the scenes.  My greatest hope is that people will read these posts and become interested in our work to make a Caribbean medical school student body and curriculum more progressive in the struggle against health disparities in the US/Canada.

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is an account of past and present struggles at the American University of the Caribbean Medical School (AUC). My colleagues and I endeavored to make our Caribbean Medical School more progressive and supportive of all its students. We worked against an administration and student government to end marginalization of students and fight ignorance. When all was said and done, the administration at AUC claimed that they had single handily brought more diversity to AUC. It's time to share the whole story.

This is the story of those that fought for progress, stood up to AUC's administration/SGA and, just sometimes, won.

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