News in Brief

Innovative mental health program implemented

All residence dons and orientation leaders will be now be receiving specialized training on reducing stigma on mental health.

The program was created in collaboration between Queen’s professor Heather Stuart, Queen’s Health, Counseling, and Disability Services (HCDS), and Opening Minds, an organization run by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

The program focuses on sharing true stories told by young people suffering from mental illness.

Beth Doxsee, the Peer Health Outreach Coordinator at HCDS, learned about the potential of action-based training programs at a conference last summer.

A team from HCDS worked with Dr. Heather Stuart on the program. Stuart connected the team to Opening Minds, an anti-stigma organization, which also contributed to the program.

Dr. Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, will be receiving $1 million from the telephone company Bell over the next five years to research anti-stigma practices.

Doxsee said the team hopes to expand the program within Queen’s and to other campuses.

— Sebastian Leck

ASUS undertakes fiscal review

The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) has launched a review engagement of its finances over the past two years in an effort to increase financial accountability, ASUS vice-president Irfan Tahiri, ArtSci ’14, said.

The review engagement, considered a voluntary “big picture” analysis of financial documents, looks to reconcile expenses and receipts regarding ASUS spending.

The decision to conduct a review engagement was made by Tahiri alongside ASUS president Scott Mason, ArtSci ’14. It was launched in late July with results set to be released by the end of September.

It’s the first time the society has undertaken a financial review, pinpointing a lack of funds to cover the cost, as well as a lack of oversight on its permanent staff.

He added the society’s annual student turnover also rendered the process difficult to complete beforehand.

“EngSoc has Clark Hall Pub, the AMS is a beast on its own and ComSoc gets a lot of donations, but ASUS doesn’t have anything like that,” Tahiri said, adding that ASUS garners most of its revenue stream from student fees.

”We don’t have any additional services but because of good financial bookkeeping from previous executives we have the money from surpluses to conduct the review.”

ASUS was granted $11,000 by ASUS Board of Directors to conduct the review.

Collins Barrow, an accounting firm, was hired to conduct the assessment portion of the review engagement. The assessment will result in ASUS receiving a “grade” in the form of a document, reflecting where the society stands in term of financial accountability.

An important aspect of this review is that the assessment is carried out by a third party, Mason said.

Collins Barrow has done audits and reviews for other Queen’s societies such as the Engineering Society and Residence Society.

— Vanessa Hrvatin

Program marks 25th anniversary

Science Quest, a program founded by Queen’s undergraduate Faculty of Engineering, is marking its 25th anniversary. 

The program serves as a day camp for elementary school students who flock to the Queen’s campus during the summer months to participate. Forming in 1988, the camp enrolls approximately 500 students each year. 

During the school year, Science Quest is represented by undergraduate engineering students who visit classrooms across Kingston in order to encourage youth to follow an interest in science, math, technology and engineering. This is done through interactive, fun activities that young students can engage in.

Science Quest has reached approximately 5,000 students in the past year. The program is also a part of the charity ACUTA, which meets with over 250,000 Canadian students a year. 

Science Quest celebrated their anniversary with a barbeque in which members of the program, as well as students who participated in the day camp attended. 

— Olivia Bowden

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