SMUSA execs chosen for provincial and federal student advocacy roles

Above (l-r): Bryn de Chastelain, SMUSA’s Vice-President, Academic & Advocacy and Mary Navas, SMUSA President & CEO.

Above (l-r): Bryn de Chastelain, SMUSA’s Vice-President, Academic & Advocacy and Mary Navas, SMUSA President & CEO.

Two Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA) executives have been elected to board positions with provincial and federal student organizations. 

Mary Navas, SMUSA’s President & CEO, was recently elected as Chair of Students Nova Scotia, a not-for-profit , non-partisan advocacy group that advances the interests and priorities of approximately 20,000 Nova Scotia post-secondary students.

Bryn de Chastelain, SMUSA’s Vice-President Academic & Advocacy, was elected as Director-At-Large, Policy for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of over 350,000 post-secondary students to the federal government.

This is the first time in over 3 years that SMUSA will have simultaneous, direct involvement in these organizations.

“Board positions with StudentsNS and CASA allow Saint Mary’s students to have direct influence on provincial and federal advocacy that contributes to important aspects of student life, including financial aid, career preparation, and overall well-being”, said de Chastelain, whose new position is responsible for reviewing CASA’s existing policies and developing new ones to improve the lives of post-secondary students across the country.

“I am eager to take my position as Director-at-Large, Policy for CASA because I want to engage a greater number of students in policy work and continue to improve the transparency of student federal advocacy” said de Chastlain, who is committed to advocating for accessible and quality post-secondary education through focuses in work-integrated learning, financial aid, and resources for under-represented student populations.

Mary Navas, SMUSA’s first female president in over 13 years and SMU’s only Honduran student, is excited to bring a fresh perspective to the StudentsNS board.

“As Chair, I want to continue to bring the student voice forward to government and create real change on our campuses,” she says.

Navas is focused on improving financial aid and financial literacy to address funding gaps, creating more student jobs through work integrated learning, and fostering more opportunities for international students. Of the appointment, Navas said “We’re excited to be able to directly influence post-secondary education, not only for SMU students, but for students in Nova Scotia, and across the country”.