Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Amanda, our Communication's Director.
In 2012 the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner released an investigation report titled The State of French-Language Postsecondary Education in Central-Southwestern Ontario: No access, no future. The report stated that the Commissioner's office had received numerous complaints regarding access to French-language post-secondary education. This is a significant issue, seeing as 493,300 Ontarians self-declared as francophone in the 2011 census.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Perhaps I can offer my perspective, having joined the OUSA team without any prior experience in student leadership.
I have to admit, when I was first hired as a Research Analyst I was intimidated by the accomplishments of those around me. Here I am, having barely participated in extracurriculars at my university (I was in the Mac Dance Club—whoot!), surrounded by those with seats on university senates, student union presidents and vice presidents, taking regular meetings with the Dean of this or that. I felt completely out of my element. Sure, I’m ambitious. But not like the student leaders who were suddenly my colleagues and would soon be close friends.
Hello! My name is Danny Chang, and I am so excited to be working out of the OUSA office this summer!
In September, I will be entering my third year, pursuing an Honors Specialization in Astrophysics at Western University. Thanks to a chance encounter with a former President of the University Students’ Council during my first week at Western (we were sharing a squat-rack at the gym; I promise, you can’t make this stuff up), I was able to learn more about student government and soon found a passion for student advocacy. Along the way, I have had the privilege of meeting numerous student leaders who have provided invaluable mentorship and have inspired me to work tirelessly to represent the best interest of my peers. In the fall as President of the Western Science Students’ Council, I am hoping to continue working to improve the student experience at the faculty level.
Hi friends! My name is Colin Aitchison and I’m excited to be OUSA’s newest Research & Policy Analyst!
I come from a military family, attending high school in Kingston before moving to Waterloo to attend Wilfrid Laurier University. While at Laurier I became heavily involved in our campus community. From joining a fraternity to volunteering, and eventually working in student government, I benefitted from a wide variety of experiences while at school. Most recently, I served as Vice President: University Affairs for the Laurier Students’ Union, where I represented Laurier’s undergraduate students both internally to the university, as well as at all levels of government. Additionally, part of my responsibilities with that role was serving on OUSA’s Steering Committee! Experiences such as my time as an executive with the Students’ Union shaped my career outlook, and paved a way for me to apply for this kind of position!
As I sit here writing this, simultaneously listening to Spotify’s “Summer of 2017” playlist, and an iced coffee to my left, I am filled with a mix of sentiments I find hard to explain. This President’s update was supposed to highlight OUSA’s achievements for the month of April, however, it has taken until now for me to write it. That’s because while we saw a month overcome with successes, it unfortunately is also my last time to write to you all. This is my last blog as OUSA President and I’m struggling to find the words, phrases, and anecdotes, which contain the ability to both reflect and highlight our year.
Hi everyone! Sophie here. I’m excited to say that I’ll be working as the Executive Director at OUSA!
I grew up in the Niagara region before attending Western University to study Political Science. I loved my time at Western (as everyone who knows me has heard dozens of times). While at Western I was passionate about improving the student experience, first through volunteering with the Orientation Program on campus and eventually when I was elected as the President of the University Students’ Council. I was introduced to student advocacy at the USC - specifically with the provincial and federal government. It quickly became my favourite part of the job.
When a student chooses to pursue postsecondary education, there are multiple decisions that they must make. At the forefront, considerations include field of study, costs of tuition and living expenses in each municipality, and, for many, living away from home for the first time. Many students feel the pressure of learning to cook for themselves, staying on top of laundry and cleaning, and scheduling doctors’ appointments when needed. Very rarely is the topic of housing predicted to be a source of stress.
Brace yourselves, this is a money ask.
The Provincial government has moved towards a performance based funding (PBF) model in order to move away from funding based on enrollment. Essentially, the government is trying to put more emphasis on programming and institutional performance to get away from the ‘bums’ to seats’ approach. I think this shift is incredibly positive. We should expect our institutions to advance and develop regardless of their student population.
Well another month has come and gone and as per usual it was a busy one for us at OUSA. This was excitingly a month of celebration while simultaneously being a month of goodbyes. But as with any organization, leaders and mentors come and go but the organization keeps moving forward. With only a month and a bit left in my term it also begins my time to say goodbye to OUSA. But that doesn’t mean our year is over quite yet. There is still much to achieve and more goals to accomplish.
It is almost impossible to escape societal norms and expectations; everywhere you go it feels like someone is telling you what to do, what to wear, and how to act. Even in our educational system, it seems like there are expectations and unwritten rules as to how your post-secondary experience is supposed to be. It feels as though there are these expectations that you must finish your degree in four years, at one university, and if you don’t you did something wrong. During my post-secondary experience so far, I have met many people who have challenged these expectations and decided to make their post-secondary experience their own. Through these encounters, I have come to realize that there are so many different opportunities and pathways available and that it is possible to take a different path and still end up at the same place as everyone else. Your educational experience is a personal one and there are so many different paths that you can take, which is why I think it’s about time that we changed the way we think about post-secondary education and allow our experience to take us to wherever we want to be, regardless of what we’re “supposed” to do.