(to see all Jackie's messages, click on the above link)
Back to school! Back to school?
Is it just me, or does everyone seem to smile more in the sunshine? Summer was lovely, if a little too cool and a bit too short (as it always is). As we enter September, the countdown to the first day of classes moves into single digits and we are compelled to shift back into a more serious state of mind.
For many part-time students, summer is not much of a break at all. While some of us enjoyed lingering sunsets or sleeping late on the weekend, many others took courses year-round. Whether you spent the last few months relaxing or ‘keeping the pressure on’, I hope that you got what you needed out of this (almost past) summer.
Like you, MAPS is ramping up for the fall. Since approving the Operational Plan in July (you can see a summary of the plan by clicking the link above this message), our team has been working to get new programs and services ready for you. These services include designating MAPS as a pick up location for Campus Store purchases (which will start in late September), arranging for part-time students to ‘opt-in’ to the MSU’s health and dental plan (there is more info below this message), launching a mentorship program (October), and reaching out to you to get your input on course availability and the creation of an online community (September and October).
None of this would have happened without the support of your volunteer Board of Directors and our very dedicated staff – and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their work so far. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this dynamic and fun group of people who want to make a difference in the lives of part-time students.
Maybe you’d like to join us.
MAPS has many opportunities for you to help make a difference. Because we are all busy, our organization is designed to accommodate volunteering for as little as an hour a month – or more if something is important to you.
There are lots of ways to volunteer. In addition to a few new positions that come with an honorarium, there are opportunities to sit on the Finance and Awards committees, be a mentor, or simply send us a tip or trick that you’ve learned during your time at Mac. How you help your fellow students isn’t as important as making some time to help.
My work at MAPS has shown me how good it feels to make a difference, and that’s a feeling everyone should have. And for those of you who are looking at grad school or want to advance at work, nothing says ‘team player’ better than a person who volunteers (and a letter of reference can sometimes make all the difference…).
Even if you’re not sure what you’d like to do, click on the “volunteering” button above this message (the hand on the right) and fill out the form, or stop in and talk to us. I promise we will find something fun for you to do.
As always, if you’d like to learn more, need help with navigating the university, or if you haven’t visited the Lounge, please stop by! Our Welcome Week Open House is Wednesday September 3rd from 6pm to 8pm (there is more info about on this webpage), or you can stop by anytime. Kim, Malanie, Felice and Kyle are a friendly group and will happily show you the lounge amenities, help you navigate the campus, or help you find the fastest way to get something done.
Best of luck with your studies! If there is anything that MAPS can do to make your university experience better, please let us know.
- Jacqueline (Jackie) Arlen
How did we do? Let us know by clicking here
Important Dates & Links
Deadline for fall convocation Valedictorian Nominations
September 29th @ 4pm
Deadline for MAPS Awards
The McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS) and the McMaster Students Union (MSU) have arranged for part-time students to 'opt-in' to the MSU's health and dental insurance program.
"The MSU is glad to partner with MAPS to bring health and dental coverage to all McMaster Students who need it," noted Teddy Saull, MSU President. "I am pleased our two organizations are able to ensure all [MAPS members] get the services they need."
"It has been a very positive and welcome experience for me personally and our team to work with Teddy and the MSU to make this happen," added Jackie Arlen, MAPS' president. "I think this is a sure sign of more good things to come from both student associations working together.
Under the opt-in program, part-time undergraduate students, as well as students attending the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) can purchase coverage in the MSU's plan. The premium for single coverage for 12 months is $298. This change has no impact on the current plans offered to MSU members.
Full details of the MSU Health and Dental plan are available at www.msumcmaster.ca/healthplan.
Information for MAPS members regarding the plan and how to apply are available at www.mcmaster.ca/maps/insurance.html
There are currently two vacancies on the Board of Directors which we are filling on an interim basis (October - March); until our next regular election cycle.
Being on the Board is a great opportunity to help your fellow part-time students, learn more about how the university works and get some great volunteer experience for your resume.
You can dowload a nomination form here, or pick one up at our offices. We need your nomination form by 2:30pm on October 17th by email or delivered in person.
If you'd like more information about being on the Board, please check out the Directors and By-laws links on the site or contact us!
Have you taken the Course Access Survey yet?
Last week we launched a survey to help us advocate on your behalf about course access for part-time and continuing education students - and we need your help.
The more responses we get, the more powerful our voice will be when we share your opinions with the university administration.
The survey only takes five minutes to complete, and your responses are completely anonymous. The results of the survey will be included in a course access report that will be released later this fall, and your survey responses will play a crucial role in our advocacy activities.
Fill it out today - please contact us if you didn't not receive your personalized email with the survey link!
Please take this opportunity to help all part-time students by completing the survey.
MAPS 2014-2015 Handbook is available online or in our office
The completely re-vamped MAPS Handbook for 2014-2015 is available online here. Hard copies are also available for pick up in our offices at MUSC 234.
The Handbook is an invaluable reference guide for university and student services, as well as important phone numbers and key dates throughout the school year.
At the Board of Director's meeting on September 16th, changes to the Executive Limitation Policy and the Delegation of Authority Policy were approved in prinicple.
The Association's policies require that these policy changes be provided to the membership and that members be provided with 30 days to provide comments on them before the Board approves them.
For full information, please click here.
The September Edition of The Link was sent out to members by email over the Labour Day Weekend.
Suit Drive Huge Success!
THANK YOU McMASTER!
Between mid-August and the first week of September, MAPS collected interview-appropriate clothes and accessories to donate to the Robert Half Suit Drive. Each year, Robert Half runs the campaign to help low-income job seekers "dress for success".
"We were thrilled with the response," noted MAPS' executive director Kyle Johansen. "The quality and quantity of the donations exceeded our expectations and our friends at Robert Half had nothing but great things to say about the spirit of generosity at Mac."
Kyle Johansen (MAPS' Executive Director) and Adel Nazi (Staffing Manager at Accountemps) with the Suit Drive donations from McMaster.
Just the facts...
Want to be a MAPS volunteer?
We now have a one-page questionnaire you can fill out to make that happen fast! You can find it here.
The Board of Directors approved the unaudited financial statements for the first six months of 2014. The reports are available here.
If you want to let us know about the quality of service you received from our office, please go here and complete a brief survey.
Permanent executive director appointed
On August 31st, Kyle Johansen was appointed as the Association's Executive Director. Kyle was previously serving as the acting ED.
MAPS has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to replace the main doors to MUSC 234 - replacing the existing wood doors with clear tempered glass.
The intent behind this change is to make the entrance to our office and lounge less imposing, by letting students see what is going on inside.
The RFP has been posted on MERX.com. A copy of the RFP is available here.
There are no current media releases. Older releases can be found here.
Notices that are not listed below have been moved to our notice archive page