The Mohawk Students’ Association – MSA – is comprised of over 100 employees that work to enhance the experience of all Mohawk students. The Board of Directors set the direction for the entire organization, and work throughout the year to represent and advocate for all Mohawk students to both the College and the broader community.
‘Introducing the MSA Board of Directors’ is the MSA’s latest blog post series. Through this series, students will be introduced to each Board Member, learn about how they are supporting students, and why their role is important.
Let’s start with the MSA’s 2019/2020 President – Sheldon Coombs.
Tell Mohawk students a little bit about their current MSA President:
I was born here in Hamilton and spent most of life here. I’ve been working since I was old enough to, and have had many jobs but this is my favourite.
A few years before coming to Mohawk, I moved to the town of Selkirk, which is on the shore of Lake Erie. While there, I graduated from Hagersville Secondary School.
I’m a student of the Business – Accounting (Co-op) program here at Mohawk, so I guess it’s fair to say I’m a numbers guy. In my spare time, I like reading, video games and playing dodge-ball!
Why did you decide to run to be the MSA President? What is the role of the President?
I took on this role to make a positive impact in the Mohawk community - which has been so good to me. The position of MSA President has been full-time for a little over 10 years now. This role is unique and every individual has a different imprint on this office.
As the current President, I speak on behalf of the Board of Directors to represent the best interests of Mohawk students. I consider it a privilege to be able to advocate for the students of Mohawk, whether this is to College administration, or government representatives. At the College level, I am an active participant on multiple committees, ensuring that the student voice is brought to the table with any new initiative. I meet regularly with senior administration members of the College to discuss student concerns and make recommendations for improved processes.
I also represent Mohawk students and speak on their behalf to the broader community as necessary. Although every MSA President is different, anyone in this role needs to demonstrate effective communication, advocacy, leadership, and administrative skills.
What is the role of the Board of Directors overall?
The MSA Board of Directors is here to represent, support and advocate for the students of Mohawk College.
So, what does this look like?
One of the primary responsibilities of the Board is strategic oversight of the MSA. As students ourselves, we help guide the direction of the Association and ensure that the wellness of students is the driving factor behind what we do.
While our organization has many services that enable students to focus on the important parts of College life, our Board of Directors uniquely positions the MSA to provide peer-to-peer support. When a concerned student comes to the MSA, connecting them with the person best suited to address their situation is important. We’ll put in work in the background to find the right person so students don’t have to.
Another big way the MSA Board of Directors supports students is through the appeals process. Whether you’re facing academic appeals, or academic honesty appeals, you can come to us for support. Use the resources available on our website, and connect with a Board member to make sure you’re following the process correctly.
The MSA President, and the Board of Directors in general, actively advocates for Mohawk students in a number of ways. But now that you know a little bit more about the MSA President specifically, let’s move onto the Executive Committee.
Stay tuned for the next blog post in the ‘Introducing the MSA Board of Directors’ series!