Quality - Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey
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So the time has come, today is my last day at OUSA. It’s been almost 10 years now since I have graduated from high school and started my undergrad education at the University of Lethbridge (still the best university by the way). I have had so many wonderful experiences and most of all, I have met so many interesting, passionate, and kind people along the way.
My name is Deborah Lam (but you can call me Deb) and I’m very excited to join the OUSA team!
I completed a degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Honours Bachelor of Business Administration program with a concentration in Marketing and Brand Communications. Originally, my goal was to become an art director at an advertising agency. I loved to be the creative one behind a marketing campaign. During my undergrad, I was heavily involved in volunteer opportunities that allowed me the chance to plan, promote and facilitate events for undergraduate students. It was during my volunteer involvements that I realized a passion for event planning and organization. There’s nothing more rewarding than putting on an event for students and watching their faces light up with excitement.
Hello everyone and happy 2017!
I hope that you have had a great holiday break and are enjoying the beginning of second semester. OUSA has started off with a busy January featuring lots of meetings, policy updates, and elections happening on our member campuses across Ontario. The well needed break was perfect as we head into the busy new year advocating for the needs of students all across the province.
Often, Indigenous Canadians are not interested in continuing their education after high school; and for those who are interested, they have almost always found it difficult to find resources or the financial support that they need to do so. Since this has been the case for many years, Canadian universities have now begun to make efforts to provide resources for Indigenous students and offer more opportunities for financial aid.
I regrettably returned from my holidays in January to learn that some Laurier students who expected to move into their residence were still without homes. I had hoped that by the time I returned, Waterloo’s student housing crisis would be over and every student that had been displaced would have a place to call home by the time they started their second semester. I guess I should have expected the result to not be in favour of the students.
“ Unless we have political leadership on the issue of transit, Hamilton will continue to lag in building municipal sustainability and creating liveable communities. Economic prosperity will not settle where people can't go.” - Margaret Shkimba, The Hamilton Spectator.
I spend the first moments of my mornings, as I’m sure many higher education advocacy students do, reading Alex Usher’s blog. Generally, I’m a big fan of this blog. Whether I agree with it all or not is beside the point. Usher challenges thought in PSE and forces you to think about issues that will affect your institution now and into the future.
I remember my Grade 10 careers class like it was yesterday. I remember because it’s the exact time I decided I wanted to pursue a PhD and to become a Psychologist. At that time, I also thought it was the type of career where you just gave advice to people all day, for hundreds of dollars an hour, just like all my friends asked me to do for them constantly. I was good at that. I thought that was what a psychologist did. You know what would have been helpful then? Access to a knowledgeable and certified career counsellor who could share with me more information about what this career entailed and the pathway (with alternate pathways) one could follow to get to it.
There’s something refreshing about learning from an expert in your academic field. In 2015, Laurier’s political science department introduced a practitioner-in-residence appointment, designed to bring the knowledge and life experience of a dynamic career into the classroom.
I recently read one of Alex Usher’s blog posts about the threat to internationalization in Western universities posed by the Chinese government’s crackdown on internationalization in their curriculum and high school programs. Usher argued that to combat this, we need to start attracting Chinese students at an earlier age, and we need to put them through Canadian high schools. To do so, we would need to set up shared living accommodations and support personnel to help these students be successful.