Student Participation in Governance
Students are urged to participate in student government in the college and campus-wide. There are many opportunities at both levels. In the college, each class elects officers annually; a student represents the student body at meetings of the faculty; students serve on standing faculty committees; and a Dean’s Student Advisory Committee is selected by each class.
American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
The American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) is a national organization of optometry students whose purposes are to enhance the visual welfare of the public, to contribute to the education and welfare of the optometry student bodies, and to improve the student societies of each optometry school.
The national structure of AOSA consists of an executive council made up of four elected national officers and a board of trustees composed of one student from each of the 17 schools of optometry in the United States.
AOSA communities, functioning at national, regional, and local levels, provide opportunities for participation in such areas as education, professional liaisons, public health, minority recruitment, national affairs, community service and financial aid.
AOSA also publishes the American Optometry Student Review, a national student newspaper which reports on activities at all schools.
The local organization of AOSA is the Optometric Student Association (OSA), whose governing board is composed of two representatives from each of the four classes. Elections are held in May for the second-, third- and fourth-year classes and in September for the entering first-year class. Each representative serves a calendar year (except in the first year, when the term is one semester), and represents the student body in matters related to student, faculty, and administrative affairs. The president of the student association serves as a liaison between students and administration. A trustee elected from the college represents optometry students at AOSA board meetings and the AOSA convention held each January.
Student Texas Optometric Association (STOA)
STOA, an affiliated society of the Texas Optometric Association, was organized in an effort to keep students informed on issues affecting optometrists in Texas. STOA gives students a voice and a vote in determining action on the various issues and aids them in developing a close relationship with Texas optometrists and their professional society.
Membership in the STOA is open to students in all colleges of optometry. A president, vice president, and
secretary-treasurer are elected at the beginning of the fall semester.
National Optometric Students Association (NOSA)
This national organization, open to all optometry students, is dedicated to three main objectives:
- Recruitment of minority Americans into the profession of optometry via personal contact, seminars, and participation in career days at high school and college campuses throughout the United States
- Retention of minority American optometry students once they have been accepted via a mentoring program, loans, tutoring programs, seminars, and fellowship
- Service to the minority American communities via vision screenings, lectures, and public service.
Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH)
The mission of the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) is to provide eye care services to all who need it, especially those who would not normally receive such care. Through vision screenings at the local level and eye prescriptions and eyeglasses at the international level, SVOSH is able to assist those patients in gaining access to the needed health care services.
SVOSH is in charge of handling and delegating vision screening requests for the College of Optometry. All UHCO students are encouraged to become members of SVOSH, since these vision screenings, both local and international, provide an excellent opportunity for those learning new skills to be able to sharpen those skills on a variety of different patients.
Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)
Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO) is an informal gathering of students desiring Christian fellowship. Students meet as a group once a week for a short time of sharing, Bible study, and prayer.
Diverse Optometric Student Association (DOSA)
The Diverse Optometric Student Association (DOSA) is a UHCO based organization dedicated to promoting community service activities in the Houston area. All UHCO students are welcome to join DOSA.