September has been an incredibly busy month, for OUSA as well as for myself, the executive and steering committee. I think I speak for all of us when I say this month is the best part of our jobs; not only do we have opportunities to engage with students on our Campus Visits, it’s also the time of year when many of the year’s issues in the higher education sector are being brought forth, giving of a sense of direction in our lobbying and advocacy efforts.
This month, OUSA welcomed the news for the new Mental Health Innovation Fund, an MTCU initiative consisting of $7 million each year until 2015 and was created to identify gaps in current mental health support services on campus, promote best practices across the sector, and encourage partnerships within local communities. We are looking forward working with our partners over the next months to ensure that these new resources are used in the best interest of students.
The announcement of the University Credit Transfer Consortium left students believing that this limited first step is progress, but that it is insufficient. While a number of students benefit from this credit transfer agreement, many students do not.While this is some movement made on the topic, we hope that this is just the beginning of the conversation. Read more about our position on this here.
The University of Windsor also had a recent victory, as students mobilized to report ancillary fee protocol violations on their campus. You can read our press release here. Windsor students wanted to emphasize the importance for all Ontario students to report when they are being forced to pay for aspects of their testing or evaluation. It was because of students that the issue at Windsor came to a head. OUSA will continue to monitor this and will be available for support if more of these cases are brought forth.
As always, feel free to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
President, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
Vice-President University Affairs, University Students’ Council of Western University