McGill University

Resilient VSA of the Year

Questions and Answers

What were the biggest challenges to your VSA as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and how did your VSA overcome them?

Before I tell you about the challenges McGill VSA faced, you must know that this VSA is composed of international students, French Canadian students and English Canadian students. 

Through this current pandemic McGill VSA faced many challenges and difficult time. I would say that the biggest challenge that McGill VSA faced during this pandemic would be to work as a team despite the different time zone. 

They overcome this challenge by communicating and being transparent. The VSA went from in person meeting to online meeting organized with the help of the application when2meet that allows users to set it to their local time zone. 

Furthermore, they had to cancel all the upcoming plans for their end of the year event in collaboration with Vietnamese Concordia Associastion (aka the new Concordia VSA). The end of a story is the beginning of another! After realizing that could no longer go through their end of year planning, they decided to cultivate their audience through marketing facts of Vietnam. They also reached out to other community organization such as Viet Youth Board and the Vietnamese Restaurant in Montreal to create virtual event. 

What new or innovative ideas did your VSA create in order to maintain member activity or serve your members during the end of the Spring semester? What was the outcome of the innovations in terms of goals met, successes, and failures?

One of the innovative ideas that McGill VSA never did before was to post content to educate the audience about the Vietnamese Culture, that were previously shared through a small introduction speech by the e-board or fun games during the event. As a young VSA, reaching out to the community isn’t something that is easy to do, but with this pandemic the team used the time to reach out to other Vietnamese organisation in Montreal to prepare upcoming event to engage both the students and young professionals, such as their Trivia night VIVA LA VIETDA and the other Trivia night soon to be posted in collaboration with the Viet Youth Board of Montreal and AéVSA from Ottawa. 

The success of these ideas allows to forge a stronger connection between the members and the community. It is also the opportunity for the audience to have a preview of the club and allow them to engage with the e-board. 

Some of the failures or should I say challenges along the way were the delay of post due to the adjustment of the team and to be able to organize efficient meetings despite the difference in time zone. 

What lessons and solutions are your VSA taking away from this experience in order to prepare for the next school term and move forward during uncertain times?

We can say that McGill VSA learned through this experience that no matter the situation, as long as the team is united and stand together anything is possible. The VSA also learned that communication is the key to a strong team and that with proper communication we can better organised all aspects of the club such as events, marketing, finance, public relations, etc. 

Moving forward, MVSA will utilize their network in order to better help his students and his community. 

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