Team SMH takes realistic approach

Scott Mason, Mark Asfar and Hasina Daya focus on student advocacy and efficiency within the AMS

Team SMH, from left to right: Scott Mason, Mark Asfar and Hasina Daya.
Team SMH, from left to right: Scott Mason, Mark Asfar and Hasina Daya.
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An AMS executive team should be realistic, according to Team SMH.

The team, comprised of Scott Mason for president, Mark Asfar for vice-president (operations) and Hasina Daya for vice-president (university affairs), are pushing for better student living and health, among other key issues, highlighted in their 38-page platform.

“I think the role of the AMS is to take a look at student life … and say how can we make it easier? How can we make it more efficient?” Daya said.

Daya is currently President of the Residence Society.

The team hopes to open a walk-in clinic in the Queen’s Centre, which would be carried out in partnership with DrugSmart Pharmacy and Health, Counselling and Disability Services, and open a dentist’s office in the JDUC performance lounge.

Another aim for SMH is to add more diverse food options to Common Ground such as halal, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free and kosher options, as well as introduce a Homecoming beer tent.

The hope is to better the overall student experience on campus, the team said.

Daya said her position in the Residence Society can translate well into the position of vice-president (university affairs), through her volunteer and staff management experience.

“As Residence Society President, I directly oversee my eight executive … and then a series of volunteers that total about 85 to 100,” she said.

She said that, through her experience working as a don, she saw how she could help first-year students.

“I thought I’ve made an impact on 35 students, [then I wanted to make an] impact with 4,000 and the next step is 22,000 students,” she said.

Another focus is student advocacy, she said, which she’ll promote through student surveys, and implementing table talks with Deans and campus commissions.

“The position of vice-president (university affairs) is an advocacy position, managing the commissions and administrative heads … and bring forward priorities with students to the table,” she said.

“I’d like to continue with that.” Asfar, currently Student Life centre administration manager, said he wants the position to make an impact on student life.

Working and volunteering at Queen’s has allowed him to connect with the campus, he said.

Asfar added that after looking at how the AMS operates, he realized how much it does for the student body.

“I think the AMS is the best way to give back … on all levels,” he said. “You have a certain obligation of contributing to that.”

As administration head manager of Student Life centre, Asfar said he feels comfortable with understanding AMS budgeting and finances.

“I’ve seen the same goal plans … and the same process for creating a proper budget and budgeting towards zero, which the AMS is supposed to do,” he said.

Asfar said he has consulted with current vice-president (operations) Nicola Plummer about how AMS finances work.

“[The budget] is fairly complex, but it is something that students can understand,” he said. “Things like the annual review do make it easy to see some of the patterns in the AMS, and to understand how to go forward.”

Mason, current ASUS president, said he agreed with Daya that advocacy was a main reason to run for AMS executive.

“I’m pretty passionate about student advocacy, and my time here has been a really fulfilling experience for me,” he said.

Mason said his experience with ASUS, particularly with conducting the first financial review of the organization, has honed his leadership skills.

“That experience, to see the collection of documents and how accounts conduct these type of reviews, I think I learned a lot with that kind of experience,” he said.

He emphasized that all points of their platform can be fulfilled within one term, besides the beer tent and the course waitlist for SOLUS, as the university administration must accept their proposals.

“[The beer tent and SOLUS] are advocacies goals,” he said. “I think we have to take baby steps so [they] can be something we can accomplish.”

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