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Mohawk Students' Association

A Sneak Peek of What it Means to be an MSA Board Member

A Sneak Peek of What it Means to be an MSA Board Member

A group of people gathered around a large desk with tablets, notebooks and laptops.

Written by: Kait Holloway (MSA Student Communications Coordinator)

There are many benefits to being an MSA Board Member, many of which—we were shocked to find—may be unbeknownst to our dear readers. Fret not! We sat down with the MSA’s own: Ameesha, Lindylee, and Sabrina—to get the inside scoop on what it means to be part of the Board! 

 Currently, Ameesha and Sabrina occupy two of our Fennell Director positions, and Lindylee is our Director over at IAHS (McMaster Campus)! But regardless of their specific title, at the end of the day all three are responsible for ensuring the voices of Mohawk College students are best represented! 

Here’s what they had to say:  

*Responses have been edited and paraphrased for clarity and length* 

Website StaffBoardHeadshot Ameesha

Ameesha Jiffy: 

Q: Ameesha, what does being an MSA Board Member mean to you? What significance does your role carry as a member of the Mohawk Student Body? 

A: Being a student, I can understand the concerns of other students better than anyone, that’s what’s so great about working with the Board of Directors! I think it’s super important for community leaders to see themselves within the group they represent. Working with the amazing staff at the MSA has taught me so much about leadership, communication and just general life! 

Q: What is your favourite project or event you’ve worked on during your time with the MSA? 

A: I’ve always loved being part of events! Tie-dye, Skribbl.io, you name it. But if I had to pick a favourite project overall it would probably be the Easy Pantry Program we ran last winter for all international students! Getting started in a new country can be really challenging, so helping to make sure they’re taken care of was a great feeling. The best part was all the conversations I got to have with the students; everyone had a unique story to tell, which really gives us as Board Members perspective regarding the many viewpoints and expectations that students have for their college experience.  

(Author’s Note: Easy Pantry will be running again March 2022 – follow us on socials to stay updated!) 

Q: What piece of advice would you give to other students who may be interested in a role like yours? 

A: If you want to represent your student community and to participate in the structure which allows student voices to be heard, stand up and come over! The Board of Directors is where you’re meant to be.  

Q: What is the hardest part of your job? 

A: I wouldn’t particularly say this is the “hardest” part per se, but sometimes I get caught between the MSA and schoolwork. The MSA is comprised of both student staff and full-time workers, however the entire organization is SUPER flexible and willing to accommodate a full class schedule and workload. While you may miss the odd team meeting due to a class during that time, our workload is such that we can still manage. 

Q: What is your favourite part of your day-to-day work? 

A: The opportunity to meet and interact with new students is one of the things I like most. I love hearing their concerns and knowing that I have the power to do something about them. It makes everyone feel hopeful and relaxed. As a Board Member, I am responsible, and I am proud.  

Website StaffBoardHeadshot Lindylee

Lindylee Melanson:

Q: What does being an MSA Board Member mean to you? What significance does your role carry as a member of the Mohawk Student Body? 

A: It means showing the students they have a voice, and directing their wants, needs and concerns to the people with the power to make a difference. As a Director, I am a link between the students, the Board and the rest of the MSA. I am an advocate. 

Q: What is your favourite project or event you’ve worked on during your time with the MSA? 

A: Melanie [the MSA Engagement Specialist] is amazing at organizing all our events, there are way too many to choose from! As far as projects go, I have enjoyed working with the Board, Emma [IAHS Student Services Coordinator] , and Hibo [Clubs Specialist] to advocate for things such as a prayer space, use of the student lounge, as well as communicating with students to make the MSA at Stoney Creek and IAHS more recognizable to our students. 

Q: What piece of advice would you give to other students who may be interested in a role like yours? 

A: Be clear, listen well, and make yourself available to the students. Advocate for the needs of many and communicate with them constantly. Be true and be honest. 

Q: What is the hardest part of your job? 

A: Balancing my school requirements with the needs of the students. I wish I could create a machine to make more time.  

SabrinaHill website Sabrina

Sabrina Hill:

Q: What does being an MSA Board Member mean to you? What significance does your role carry as a member of the Mohawk Student Body? 

A: I think my role is simple; to advocate for my fellow students. To be the person that represents their interests and acts on their concerns. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to act in the student population’s best interest and enhance their educational experience here at Mohawk College. 

Q: What is your favourite project or event you’ve worked on during your time with the MSA? 

A: I’m not sure if I have one favourite project or event that I am currently working on in my short tenure with the Association. I am an activist, and I have a few policy initiatives that I care deeply about and genuinely believe will leave a lasting impression on the Association and students at Mohawk College. I’ve been working with the Executives and staff at the MSA to develop new, more up-to-date policies to promote the inclusion, recruitment, promotion, and retention of trans and genderqueer employees. 

Q: What piece of advice would you give to other students who may be interested in a role like yours? 

A: If you have ideas for how you would like to improve the Association or to enhance the educational experience for the diverse students at Mohawk College, trust your instincts and act with passion, compassion, and urgency. 

Q: What is the hardest part of your job? 

A: The hardest part of my job as one of the Directors of Fennell Campus is to ensure that I view the policies and initiatives I’m advancing through an equity-seeking lens. That the policies I am advocating for will indeed be as inclusive as I had hoped they would be, and that I am minimizing harm and promoting inclusivity amongst the many interests of the students at Mohawk College. 

Q: What is your favourite part of your day-to-day work? 

A: I always look forward to hearing from the students, hearing of their successes, academically and post-graduation, of their successes in finding meaningful work in the career of their choice. It’s not always easy to connect with students virtually, online, through social media; however, when I do, I look forward to their open and honest assessments of our Associations’ strengths and weaknesses and then working with the students-as-owners to improve our organization and to be their advocate with the College. 

Well folks, there you have it!  

To wrap everything up … we want to let you know that it’s currently election season at the MSA which means your chance to be on the 2022-2023 MSA Board of Directors is NOW! Nominations will open the week of Feb. 28, 2022. Keep checking our Student Elections webpage for more details! 
 

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