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FHS graduand reflects on her instrumental role supporting SFU students
By Geron Malbas
Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) Bachelor of Science graduand Osob Mohamed has been an instrumental figure for SFU’s student community. Drawn to the many aspects of human health, her undergraduate career saw her helping students in a variety of ways, including being a peer mentor with the FHS Peer Mentorship program.
“The transition into university is a tough one for every student and having an upper-year student be a source of advice and support can help you in a way that a Google search just can’t,” she explains about her time as a peer mentor. “I was excited to share some of my stories and experiences with my mentee, and we still keep in touch via social media. Enrolling in university can be a long and often difficult endeavor, so I feel grateful to have been able to participate in this student-led initiative and be a part of the community that was built.”
Mohamed also supported students as the President of the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) from 2020-2021. During her presidency, she was on the Board of Directors working as the project lead for the development of their Issues Policy on Reproductive Rights. Using her passion for reproductive health, she also worked with other SFU groups like the Student Engagement Initiative, and the Graduate Student Society to explore ways to bring free menstrual products to SFU to help address period poverty.
Over the past year, much of her work with the SFSS Board centered on supporting students through the COVID-19 pandemic, allocating specialized emergency funding to working class students, pushing for compassionate grading measures, and providing advocacy for students in tough situations.
“Both my own lived experiences, and things I’ve learned during my time in school with regard to health equity, helped me be a better organizer and ally to racialized and otherwise marginalized students, and helps me continue to learn to do better,” she explains.
Mohamed credits the grassroot groups who push for the rights of students and workers in the SFU community for her inspiration to assist students, but also encourages students looking for ways to get involved. She points out that community building and mutual support is a great way for students to support each other and support themselves.
“I recognize that building student power doesn’t happen overnight; I really encourage students who want better for themselves, their peers and their community to have their say through the SFSS, Senate, student unions, clubs and social justice groups on campus,” she explains.
Mohamed advises current and future students that “grades are not the be-all end-all that we sometimes make them out to be; it’s important to have compassion for yourself, especially during the last year which has been challenging for everybody.”