August has definitely slipped away into a moment in time. This is the calm before the storm - before students return back to campus!
Last week, I spoke at a Possibility Seeds press conference, Taking Action to Protect Students from Sexual Harassment in Experiential Learning. This is the first national research-to-action project on this issue, and in order to safeguard students against sexual harassment during experiential learning, we urge post-secondary institutions and provincial governments to adopt these recommendations. The release of the preliminary findings also coincides with the one-year anniversary since the Our Campus, Our Safety action plan was released.
Steering Committee and I also had our monthly meeting in Toronto to discuss the upcoming months ahead. Later that night, we hosted our first alumni event at Pauper’s Pub! It was so fun to see some old familiar faces and meet new ones. The food was delicious and the vibes were great (as always). Thank you to our Ops and Comms, Tiffany for planning everything!
Speaking of comms, we completed hiring for our Communications Assistant! We're thrilled about being able to enhance the work we do, and we look forward to introducing our newest home office member soon. Stay tuned for that and thank you to everyone who showed interest in applying!
With the Ontario Liberal Party leadership campaigns underway, Malika and I had the chance to meet with Fahim Khan, the policy director for candidate Bonnie Crombie. We were able to convey our priorities for the year, offer insights on student concerns, and learn more about Crombie’s plan to address these issues. We’re hopeful to speak with more candidates, but overall, are looking forward to working with whoever assumes the role in the next few months.
We are excited to have released our third policy paper from Spring GA, Student Accessibility and Disability Inclusion! Students have expressed concerns about the lack of post-secondary targeted accessibility training for faculty and staff, inaccessible campus infrastructure, inadequate supports, and ineffective policies. They have come together to develop recommendations that will enhance inclusionary practices and policies for students with disabilities such that they receive the accommodations they need to thrive. Congratulations to the authors for their great work!
Wrapping up his internship, our Communications and Advocacy Intern Charlie released his capstone project, Why Advocate?: A Podcast Series. Charlie wanted to use his project to highlight the works of those he advocates beside and learn more about what it truly means to advocate for students. Be sure to follow our instagram to watch each episode!
Finally, Malika and I had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop. We had a great conversation about each other's goals and projects for the year, and learned more about opportunities for OUSA to work collaboratively to ensure student perspectives are heard in policymaking spaces. We always appreciate the Minister's willingness to meet and engage with us, as we work together to create a sustainable and enjoyable post-secondary experience for students across the province. Continuing the 0.5 lens legacy from our SC alum, Elizabeth, check out our picture with the Minister here!
September has many campus visits ahead! I’m ready to take on the next chapter with HO!
Chat soon and make sure to take time for yourself!