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Student Healthcare Alliance for Promoting Equality (SHAPE)


SHAPE is a multi-purpose student organization that aims to spread awareness to both medical students and the medical community at large of the unique concerns regarding the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, allies, and asexual) community from the perspectives of both LGBTQA physicians and patients. SHAPE also serves the purpose of providing a safe zone for LGBTQA individuals, a friendly and non-judgmental environment, encouragement and mentorship to peers, learning opportunities on issues concerning LGBTQA in medicine, community outreach and activism, and opportunities to network with the community and future colleagues.

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2020-2021 Officers

Faculty Sponsor

PS Martin, MD, Emergency Medicine,, 304-293-2436
Nova Szoka, MD, Bariatric Surgery,


Aryana Jones -

Vice President

Sara Druffner -


Mary Virginia Gibbs -


Elizabeth Williams -


Lindsey Robinson -


I. Membership

  1. Membership is open to all medical students who attend meetings, register, and show interest in the organization and its mission.

II. Meetings and Activities

  1. Each semester, there shall be at least two educational lunchtime meetings. Programs will include presentations by healthcare professionals or patients with insight concerning the respective topic with the goal to expand students' knowledge on LGBTQA issues in medicine. These meetings shall be open to medical students, faculty, and the public (as deemed appropriate). Notification of a meeting is to be sent at least 2 weeks prior to student services and students given at least 1 week notice in order to assess attendance through RSVP.
  2. Each semester, there shall be at least two meetings held solely by the executive officers to discuss scheduling, future lunch and executive meetings, community activities, projects, and fundraising. There should be at least one executive meeting held prior to each educational lunch meeting to discuss the goals of the lecture and potential questions correlating to the subject material.
    • The president shall be the leader of the executive meetings, and actions of the executive committee must be approved by a voting majority, with each executive officer having one vote (including the president). Any use of treasury funds exceeding $30 must be approved by a majority vote of the executive officers.
    • If an executive officer is unable to attend a meeting in person, then that officer may join the meeting through long distance means and still maintain voting privileges. If an absence is known to be unavoidable and the officer is unable to join the meeting through long distance methods, then that officer is allowed to give another officer proxy voting privileges if the president is informed of the proxy vote at least 5 hours before the meeting occurs.
  3. SHAPE shall have a booth available each year during the orientation of the MS1 class to present the goals and mission of the club in a professional manner.

III. Executive Officers

Qualities of the executive officers should include mentorship, active learning, participation, community outreach, and advocacy.

  1. President
    • The president holds the responsibility to publicly lead the organization and oversee the activities of the organization. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, organizing and preparing a booth for MS1 orientation, arranging and leading executive meetings, contacting potential speakers for educational lectures, working directly with Student Services as appropriate, informing members of prominent current events related to the LGBTQA community in medicine, and sharing these responsibilities as deemed appropriate by the executive committee. The president also holds the duty to elicit and collect applications for potential future officers at the end of each school year and subsequently distribute these applications to the current executive officers for consideration at least 24 hours before the vote is to take place.
  2. Vice President
    • The vice president maintains the role to aid the president in the affairs of the organization. In the event that the president is unable to attend or lead an activity, then the vice president shall perform the duties of the president. If the president resigns or is removed from office, the vice president may take the official position of president.
  3. Secretary
    • It is the duty of the secretary to keep minutes of the executive meetings. It is also the duty of the secretary to send minutes of the executive meetings to the other executive officers. The secretary will maintain the role to book rooms or other areas for educational lectures or other organization events. The secretary shall also hold the responsibility to notify the medical school classes of events and educational lectures at least 1 week in advance of the respective event via e-mail. In the event that the vice president resigns or is removed from office, the secretary may take the official position of vice president.
  4. Treasurer
    • The treasurer shall have the responsibility of maintaining the funds of the organization. As such, the treasurer shall give a report on the current funds of the organization during each of the executive officer meetings. It is also the job of the treasurer to collect any funds produced as a result of work or fundraising on behalf of the organization. In the event that the secretary resigns or is removed from office, the treasurer may take the official position of the secretary.
  5. Historian
    • The historian shall maintain the role of documenting the activities of the organization. These duties include, but are not limited to, attending the social and educational events, taking or procuring photographs of group activities, taking statements of attendees at organization events, and compiling the aforementioned for the benefit of the group. In the event that the treasurer resigns or is removed from office, the historian may take the official position of treasurer.

IV. Elections

  1. Elections shall take place at the end of each school year. The president shall send notification of the elections to each of the medical school classes via e-mail.
  2. A short essay shall be required of each applicant, with the application stating their intent to run for office, their preference of officer position, the number of group events they have attended throughout the year, their reasons for wanting to hold office in the group, and why they are an appropriate candidate for said office.
  3. After notification of the elections, the president will collect these applications no sooner than one and a half weeks after the notification was sent, and must distribute the applications to the other executive officers at least 24 hours prior to the vote.
  4. The applications will be considered by the executive officers, and each candidate must be approved for their new position by a majority of the current executive officers.
  5. Upon the occurrence of a competitive race, an applicant who does not successfully obtain their preferred office may choose to have their application applied to the other open races.
  6. Applicants may choose to personally present their reasons and qualifications for their prospective office to the executive officers in a speech lasting no longer than 3 minutes.

V. Resignation and Impeachment

  1. Any officer may choose to resign from the organization at any time with proper notice to each of the other executive officers.
  2. If an officer becomes unable to or fails to perform their duties as described above, they can, by the discretion of the executive officers, be removed from office by a majority vote of the executive officers.
    • Notification of the impeachment process must be given to the officer being impeached and all other executive officers at least 72 hours before the vote is to take place.
    • During the impeachment meeting, the officer being impeached may present to the other executive officers any arguments or disagreements with the process in a speech lasting no longer than 5 minutes.
    • The meeting for impeachment may be held and led by any executive officer.
    • The vote shall be counted out of the total number of executive officers in the organization, regardless of physical attendance, with any absence being counted as neither for nor against, with the exclusion of long distance or proxy votes, which shall be counted as any other vote of a physically present officer.
  3. In the case of an opening in an officer position, the appropriate officer as described above may take the official position.
  4. If the appropriate officer declines, then a special election will occur with the same procedure as described in article IV, with the sole deviation that applications may be collected no earlier than 4 days after notification was sent to the medical school classes.

VI. Changes to the Bylaws

  1. Any changes to the Bylaws must be approved by a vote of the executive officers with no less than 75% of the votes in favor of the change.

VII. Ethics

  1. The organization must at all times abide by the laws, rules, and codes of the United States government, West Virginia government, West Virginia University, WVU Health Sciences, and WVU School of Medicine.
  2. The organization must at all times abide by the principles of ethics inherent to the field of medicine.

Note: While student organizations are permitted to maintain a website on West Virginia University's server, this website does not constitute official West Virginia University content. This page is developed and maintained by a student organization, and is not approved or endorsed by, affiliated with, or supported by the University. The University does not screen or control the content on this page and thus does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of it. The views expressed here are strictly those of the page authors. Questions or comments on the contents of this page should be directed to the applicable student organization.