HSS sees contested elections for all executive positions

Candidates seek to address mental health, engagement, professional development

Candidates speak to advocacy in the pandemic.
Journal File Photo

This year’s Health Sciences Society (HSS) elections will see a contested ballot for every executive position.

The Journal reached out to the eight candidates running for President, Vice-President (Operations), or Vice-President (University Affairs) to learn more about their prior experience and their plans for the position.

Omar Hamed, HealthSci ’25, Vice-Presidential (Operations) candidate

Hamed seeks to elevate HSS and bring new opportunities to the student body through advocacy, socials, and greater financial management.

Some of his past experiences in finance include acting as treasurer of his high school’s student government and coordinating charitable fundraisers as a lifeguard.

“A problem that I will address as Vice President of operations [sic] is how we can bring together the small BHSc cohort […] through coordinating fun social nights and events, as well [as] bringing forth proper budgeting strategies to the HSS with my previous experiences of managing financial records,” he wrote in a statement to The Journal.

Supporting students who will be studying online during COVID-19, coordinating group mentorship sessions to engage first-years with upper-years, and ensuring mental health resources are easily accessible to students are all some of Hamed’s priorities for his term as VPOPs.

“Through the role of Vice President of Operations, I shall oversee and support social events for the BHSc cohort, as well as expand the HSS society,” Hamed said.

“I have some amazing opportunities in mind in advancing the goals and best interests of the society, giving more opportunities to the people who deserve it the most; the people of the Health Sciences program!”

Angela Liu, HealthSci ’25, Vice-Presidential (Operations) candidate

Liu is hoping to use her prior experience in accounting and financial management to focus on consistency, engagement, and resource provision during her term as VPOPs.

In particular, she hopes to launch a centralized website for the HSS, make the resources available to Health Sciences students more organized and accessible, and improve student engagement through activities that encourage participation and friendly competition between classes and campuses.

“I think the [HSS] doesn’t have that much participation from its members because they themselves don’t know about the HSS,” she wrote in a statement to The Journal.

“A website would just streamline the entire process of the HSS and be a more centralized platform for all students to quickly access.”

Obtaining tutors for core classes, keeping track of her campaign promises on a website, and supporting HSS-ratified clubs are also among some of her key priorities.

“In the end, all of us are trying to better the HSS for the sake of our peers, so I’d be honoured to have any one of the other candidates as my Vice President of Operations.”

Aisha McIntyre, HealthSci ’25, Presidential candidate

McIntyre is running on a platform that highlights student wellness, advocacy, and equity.

If elected, she intends to draw on her current involvement with the AMS, ResSoc, and various mental health groups on campus to guide her term as HSS President.

She’s especially eager to address concerns surrounding student wellbeing and dismantle the competitive environment of the Health Sciences program through initiatives such as weekly “stress-buster” events, a counselling program, and events that will introduce current undergraduates to opportunities in graduate and professional schooling.

“As your president, I promise to address the most important student concerns—wellness, advocacy and equality,” McIntyre wrote in a statement to The Journal.

Her plans for her term include study sessions for core courses, information nights for graduate and medical school applications, and first-year socials to support incoming students.

McIntyre also hopes to create a “training program targeted to addressing the problems minority students face” and advocate for more diverse representation within the core curriculum.

“Should I be elected, I will listen to your concerns, advocate for your well-being, and make the BHSc program the best it can be. With your help, we can inspire, change and lead a new future,” Mcintyre said.

Haleigh Schreyer, HealthSci ’24, Presidential candidate

As the current year representative for the class of 2024, Schreyer wants to use her past experience with HSS to bring about reform.

Her three key tenets are visibility, opportunity, and community. She intends to spread awareness about the HSS and its services, as well as address issues of “toxic pre-med culture” through non-academic supports and wellness activities.

“General assemblies are met with little attendance, meaning that many students are unaware of what is going on within the HSS and that this is a place where they can voice their concerns about HSS and BHSc,” she wrote in an email to The Journal.

Schreyer hopes to boost engagement by responding to community concerns at assemblies, revitalizing the newsletter that keeps students updated on initiatives from the HSS, and increasing HSS’ presence at Orientation Week.

She also wants to improve financial support for HSS students, form stronger connections with students at the BISC and in other faculty societies, and introduce a Clubs Commissioner to the HSS to oversee HSS-ratified extracurriculars.

“Having created the QUxHSS Health Careers Conference as an HSS-affiliated opportunity, I will work with the executive team to ensure more opportunities like these can be supported by the HSS,” Schreyer wrote.

“When I am involved in a position, I will put my whole heart and soul into everything that is done for the position.”

Cameron Yung, HealthSci ’23, Vice-Presidential (University Affairs) candidate

Yung, who promises to advocate for students’ professional, academic, and personal success, is seeking to be re-elected as VPUA this year.

“As a relatively new society, the HSS is still in development. The inaugural executive team and council did an extraordinary job in laying down a strong foundation for the HSS, but even now, […] there are still lots of projects in the works—new events/initiatives, new committees, new roles, changes to the constitution, and an HSS website in development.,” she wrote in a statement to The Journal.

As such, I will address this in my term by continuing to solidify the fundamental structure and role of the HSS and by supporting my fellow executives and members in their roles and projects.”

In her current role, Yung has organized course selection workshops and study sessions for the Health Sciences program, founded the mental health committee, and is currently developing a graduate school interview conference—all initiatives she hopes to continue in the future.

Yung also wants to keep the HSS’ operations transparent and remain engaged with online, BISC, and on-campus students through regular updates on social media and meetings with executives.

“I am the most experienced candidate and I have done a lot of work for Health Sciences students and the HSS in my last 2 terms,” Yung said.

“I am very passionate about my work as VPUA and strive to fulfill my responsibilities with integrity, transparency, collaboration, creativity, and empathy.”

Joshua Lee and Angela Li, VPOPs candidates, and Luca Manconi, VPUA candidate, didn‘t respond to The Journal’s request for comment.

Voting for HSS positions take place Feb. 7 to 8. Results will be available by Feb. 9at the latest.

Statements have been edited for length and clarity.

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