A letter to JCU Med Students
By Julian Pecora
It is with disappointment and a heavy heart that JCUMSA will be cancelling its upcoming academic and social events until further notice. This decision was made in the critical interest of protecting our student body from contracting and transmitting COVID-19. In arriving at this outcome, JCUMSA consulted with each of our fellow medical school associations across Australia, as well as our statewide and national representative bodies in the Queensland Medical Students’ Council (QLDMSC), and the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), respectively.
Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) upgraded the status of the COVID-19 outbreak from epidemic to pandemic, which was shortly followed by the Australian Government’s directives regarding mass gatherings and mandatory self-isolation for inbound international travellers. Our Executive has carefully considered the benefit of continuing to host our events versus the tangible risk to you, our peers and friends, with whom we share them. As our association’s very mission is, in part, in advocating for the health, wellbeing and safety of JCU medical students, we cannot continue to facilitate our calendar events whilst upholding this fundamental objective. As an association comprising future medical practitioners, we have also considered the broader implications of our events, particularly with respect to the safety of the patients with whom we interact, learn from and care for.
“…As our association’s very mission is, in part, in advocating for the health, wellbeing and safety of JCU medical students, we cannot continue to facilitate our calendar events…”
We will be regularly re-evaluating the status of this pandemic each week to determine if and when it is suitable to resume our usual academic and social calendars. At present, unless otherwise directed, the upcoming Vaccination Drive and the ongoing Vampire Cup will continue to operate as usual. These events serve to support the health of our students and the broader community, and hence will continue unless we receive public health advice to the contrary. Of course, JCUMSA will provide full reimbursement of tickets purchased for any and all cancelled events. Our subsidiaries (INPsych, MINT and JCUMSA OBGYN) will provide you with updates about their own events in due time.
With our event operations on hold, and amidst the current health climate, we understand our efforts in advocacy and student support will be needed now more than ever. All members of the JCUMSA team are working tirelessly to source clarity and answers for you in these truly uncharted waters of modern medical education. As always, please reach out to any of us in JCUMSA with whatever concerns or challenges you may have, no matter how trivial or large you anticipate them to be.
Wishing you solace and our kindest regards,
The JCUMSA Executive