February Update from the President

This has been an exciting month over at OUSA! One exciting initiative has been the launch of our Bachelorette Degree campaign. You can take a look at the Bachelorette Degree campaign here. OUSA received a grant from the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario to raise awareness about the pay gap in Ontario and thanks to the leadership of our new Director of Communications, Jasmine, I’d say it has been a huge success.

While talking about the pay gap is a new frontier for our organization, we still see this issue as one related to our mandate.We think OUSA exists to maximize not only the experience of education, but also its benefits. Women in Ontario are educated more, but paid less. We make up 60 % of undergrads (and have for almost the last ten years) but can expect to be paid less for the same work as our male peers. We, as female students – and the government- treat our undergraduate education as an investment. We put in time, we put in money (so much money…) and we expect that in doing so, we secure a better future for ourselves and our society. But our return on investment is lower than men’s: often by hundreds of thousands of dollars.The term ‘Bachelorette Degree’ is obviously ridiculous, and that is because it is ridiculous that women get paid less than men for the same work in this province. The campaign has received media attention and if you haven’t seen the first video yet, you should definitely check it out!

February has been a busy month, with our authors hard at work on the policy papers for our upcoming General Assembly at McMaster. This General Assembly we will be presenting papers about tuition, mature students and our first ever paper about LGBTQ+ students. Our research team has been diving in and conducting interviews with students that will help inform the recommendations within the papers; we are hoping that these will be some of our best yet.

February also marks the time where many of our association schools begin to elect and hire the members that will make up our incumbent Steering Committee. We are excited to welcome these new members into the fold at OUSA!

On the 27th of this month, OUSA will celebrate its 23rd birthday! Stay tuned for a (blogged) birthday celebration and a look back at how it all began in 1992.

I am looking forward to reporting back after the next General Assembly to share the new papers.

Wishing everyone a happy reading week! All the best,