Good Policy Begins With a Willingness to Listen
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Deb, our Operations & Communications Director.
I’ve had a long-standing hatred for tobacco products. Many of my most vivid memories in the path of tobacco smoke since childhood include having to stop in my tracks, and attempt to catch my breath as the feeling of tightness in my chest increased and my coughing became uncontrollable. While the smoker may have only been in my vicinity for a few seconds, their effects on me persisted for many panicked moments to come. Fortunately, policies to reduce smoking in public areas have since greatly decreased the second-hand smoke I, and numerous other non-smokers, are forced to encounter.
I hope everyone’s school term has gotten off to a bright start! Sorry for the lack of August update– with the new school term beginning and the provincial legislature back in session, we have been very busy!
We have all been there.
Midnight before an exam in the university library trying to memorize the key concepts of a semester’s worth of work. We write the exam. We leave the room. The concepts leave our mind. The cycle continues: record, memorize, forget. In doing so, we lose something essential to education: critical thought. What happened to challenging assumptions and questioning concepts? What about open-ended questions? What about no-answer scenarios? These notions serve as the core of the Liberal Arts and, yet, most existing courses fail to develop these skills.
My name is Roch Goulet and I am the President of the Laurentian University Students’ General Association. For some who may not know, we are the newest OUSA member school, the most northern, and second smallest by demographic. With these qualities in our back pocket, I am honoured to provide that perspective as a Steering Committee member. As we near the end of our summer and welcome students to our campus, I am thankful to OUSA SC and home office staff for their guidance over my transition and the first quarter of my term.
Student requests for academic accommodations are increasing across university campuses, and Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, believes students are taking advantage of available accommodations, such as extra time on exams, to get ahead of their peers.
Where did the time go?
Just under four months ago, I began my journey in the big city. Coming into this internship with already some experience, I had thought of myself as someone who understood the world of student politics pretty well. Wow, was I ever wrong.
It’s hard to believe that we have less than a month left until September. The beginning of the month of August marks the acceptable time to get ready for back to school. For many this may simply involve picking up some pencils, notebooks, a new backpack, and possibly some fresh new kicks.
Collaboration: a popular idea in the modern workplace, school, and government. Effective group-work is a skill of increasing importance, visible in the classroom with group assignments, projects, and even tests becoming more prominent and contributing to an increasing portion of students' grades. At the university-level, student unions function on successful collaboration: among student leaders both within and outside of the union, with full-time staff, university administration, stakeholders, and any other campus and community partners.
Let’s talk money.
Or rather, the fear of not having any.
For many students, the topic of finances is difficult and scary. It is full of not knowing – not knowing how interest and loans work, not knowing how to file taxes, not knowing how to make a budget. Let’s not even approach the idea of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments. But our ignorance on finances does not make us immune to the consequences that can result.