Council of Medical Students, COGS visit branch locations

Editor’s note: The headline of this article has been revised to accurately reflect the title of the Council of Medical Students.

You are not forgotten.

That’s what members of both the Council of Medical Students and Council of Graduate Students, or COGS, want members of MSU branch campus locations to know.

Members of both organizations have been taking time to reach out and meet students at MSU distance locations, such as those in Macomb, Mich., Detroit and Grand Rapids, to improve relations between the campuses.

Most recently, COGS President Stefan Fletcher, Council of Medical Students President Ryan Jones and COGS Medical School Liaison Jane Christman visited with student leaders of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Detroit Medical Center and Macomb University Center campuses.

“We weren’t really sure before the meeting what COGS and (The Council of Medical Students) did or have the ability to do,” said Detroit Medical Center student Dan Wahl, who also is a College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2015 vice president and met with Fletcher, Jones and Christman last week.

Wahl said the relationship among COGS, the Council of Medical Students and the branch campuses, has been improving.

He said before, there was a lack of communication among the groups and the branch locations, and there were also issues of the groups’ services being publicized.

“After talking with them, the services are worthy of the (student) tax,” Wahl said. “I think that they’re working to make it better with the outreach.”

He said it is important for the distance campuses to have meetings with COGS and Council of Medical Students representatives because it’s how student leaders learn what to convey to their constituents and learn about available services.

“Even with technology, such as email and video chat, nothing can replace the value of having a face-to-face conversation,” Jones said in an email. “(But) we are all experiencing the same grueling process of medical education regardless of our geographic location.”

Jones said he understands if students at the branch campuses feel left out socially, but he said academically, there is very little difference among the locations. He said the Council of Medical Students has added council members from the branch locations, and both his group and COGS are working on more events to bridge the gap between the locations.

Wahl said he feels, for the most part, like a part of MSU and said most students likely choose the branch locations with the knowledge that they will be more withdrawn from the university, which might mean easier studying and some separation from the undergraduate environment.

Fletcher said visiting and keeping positive relations with the branch campuses is a necessity for the groups because they both receive student tax dollars from the distant campus students.

“There’s always more to be done,” Fletcher said. “It is something that’s a continually developing relationship.”
Fletcher said he hopes to visit the Grand Rapids branch campus location at the end of November.

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