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January Update from the President

Hi everyone,

Happy 2016! We hope that everyone's holiday season gave them a chance to recharge. We at OUSA are looking forward to an exciting and jam-packed second semester filled with all of OUSA's staples: campaigns (coming up next week!), advocacy, policy, and student knowledge-sharing.

Introducing Justin Bedi, OUSA’s Newest Research Analyst

Hey everyone, this is Justin Bedi, your new Research Analyst at the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance home office. I’m very excited to start my new role with OUSA and have already had some great experiences in just a week. My colleagues here and across Ontario have been extremely welcoming, and I can already see how well we are going to work together to further student policy priorities.

Head to Head: Colin is against Differentiated Evaluation

Recently, professors and post-secondary institutions have come under a significant amount of scrutiny, especially surrounding assessment and teaching quality. Many have argued that the current model of assessment is insufficient in the modern day and have offered a variety of ways to address this “issue”. One of the solutions that has been proposed is differentiated evaluation.

Head to Head: Blake is for Differentiated Evaluation

A few weeks ago, I attended my first OUSA General Assembly. The goal of the assembly, which brought together delegates from all seven member schools, was to pass policy papers to outline OUSA’s stance on three issues in post-secondary education: Teaching & Assessment, Student Financial Assistance, and the Broader Learning Environment.

Postcards from the Stairwell: Fall General Assembly at Waterloo

The most wonderful time of the year has returned as the final countdown has begun for the Fall 2015 General Assembly. This time around delegates from OUSA’s seven member schools will head to the University of Waterloo for the first GA of the school year. Waterloo is gearing up to host another fabulous group of delegates who will each bring their own innovative approach to the policies discussed throughout the weekend.

October Update from the President

Hi everyone! Although a provincial association, OUSA would like to congratulate you all on surviving the long and arduous election season this year! The new majority Liberal government will no doubt affect the landscape of post-secondary education in the province.  The leaves are changing, the government is changing, and we’ve also been seeking change and innovation in OUSA’s approach in tackling student advocacy- I’m excited to share some of these new iniatives with you today.

Hurry Up and Wait: Campus Spaces Overloaded

As a fourth year student at McMaster University, I’ve had the good fortune to experience post-secondary education on a beautiful campus – a beautiful, crowded campus. McMaster University (for all of its efforts to improve) is without a doubt overcrowded, over capacity, and (at least as an outside observer) not doing a whole lot in fixing the issue. That is not to say that the university administration isn’t trying, but every day I see students packed into the student centre, resorting to sitting on the floor to study or eat because every chair is taken.

August Update from the President

What a busy and exciting time for OUSA! Things are barreling along for us, our member schools, and high school graduates across the province as Ontario universities ready themselves for the influx of new students to their campuses. Welcome Weeks, Frosh Weeks, Orientation Weeks (….whatever you want to call them) can often be a transformative experience for students, leaving a lasting impression of what their university will mean to them. Filled with concerts, events, speakers, and awareness initiatives, Orientation programming is a great way to introduce students to the culture of their respective campuses, facilitate friendships and connections, and prepare students for the years ahead.

Newfoundgrant: Newfoundland and Labrador, Non-Repayable Grants, and OSAP

As some of you are probably aware, Newfoundland has been in the news today for converting their provincial student loans to non-repayable grants. This means that the provincial portion of a student’s debt (forty percent of their overall debt, with the additional sixty percent being a federal loan) is automatically “forgiven”; students who study in-province are not required to pay it back. This is definitely a pretty cool move on the part of the NFLD government, and sets the province apart as the only province in Canada to have fully converted their loans to grants (and the only province to have a time zone that works on the half hour).

(Re)-introducing Christopher Fernlund, VP Finance & SC Member for Trent Durham Student Association

Bonjour! My name is Christopher Fernlund and I am in my final year at Trent University, where I am completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I was re-elected as Vice President of University Affairs for the Trent Oshawa Student Association, soon to be adapted as the Trent Durham Student Association. As VPUA, I represent all Trent University students at the Trent Durham campus, a satellite campus (or more colloquially known as an “alternative campus”) located in Durham Region. I have been told I was elected to propel the young TOSA from infancy to full maturity and with the help of my team, create a standard for future years.