November 27, 2023
OUSA returns to Queen's Park for annual Student Advocacy Conference
TORONTO – This week, from November 27th to 30th, eighteen student leaders from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) are meeting with MPPs and their staff to discuss student concerns. OUSA represents 160,000 students from nine universities across Ontario, and our student representatives will be advocating for OUSA’s priorities on housing and transit, mental health, food insecurity, and sector sustainability.
"We are thrilled to be returning to Queen's Park this year to advocate for student issues and to provide student perspectives on these issues,” said Vivian Chiem, President of OUSA and Vice-President of Government and Stakeholder Relations at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. “While students across the province have many concerns right now, there are a few urgent ones that have informed our specific goals for the year, and we’re excited to convey the experiences of students within these areas.”
In light of the recently-released Blue Ribbon Panel report and the anticipated response from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities on their recommendations, students should be at the forefront of any decision-making in the higher education system. OUSA believes that students should have an accessible, affordable, accountable, high-quality post-secondary education. To achieve this, OUSA recommends integrating student needs into housing and transit projects, supporting mental health services through a racial equity lens, enhancing on-campus food bank initiatives, and increasing government funding to universities.
“Canada’s unprecedented housing and cost-of-living crises transcend to post-secondary communities and have unique implications for students who already struggle with affordability challenges pursuing their education,” said Abby Samuels, Vice-President Education at the McMaster Students Union and OUSA Board Member. “Post-secondary students are one of the most vulnerable groups to financial housing challenges and due to a lack of purpose-built housing, students must seek accommodations in other spaces like homeless shelters and single detached family homes. We are eager to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament to convey these concerns and how they can support our recommendations.”
To follow along with OUSA’s Student Advocacy Conference, use the #OUSAdvocacy hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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OUSA represents the interests of 160,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at nine student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.
Tiffany Li Wu
Operations & Communications Coordinator
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance