Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Chisanga Mwamba, our Communications & Operations Coordinator.
Written by Jeremy Steinhausen
Following Disabilities Week at Brock, I met up again with Keely, Alanna, and Jessica (if you have not read our pre-Disabilities Week conversation, do so here. In this second part, we continue our conversation on disabilities and how ABLE looks to help continue to foster an inclusive and accessible environment for all students.
Statistics describing sexual violence are jaw dropping. As we have discussed in the past, the Canadian Women’s Foundation reports that only one third of Canadians understand what sexual consent means. Sixty-six percent of female victims of sexual assault are under age 24 and less than 10 percent of sexual assaults are reported to police.
The relationship between university education (or post-secondary education more broadly) and graduate employment is always a hot topic in the sector. Employment outcomes are in fact used as a proxy for determining how well universities are working-- see Ontario’s key performance indicators. Students too are incredibly invested in their employment prospects: employment related motivations remain at the top of lists of why students attend university (according to the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC), the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, and other surveyors of students). Going into our 43rd General Assembly, more than half of our delegates said they were most interested in this year’s Student Employment policy paper.
What does online learning mean to Ontario’s university students? OUSA’s new policy paper, Online Learning, offers insights from students on what their vision for online learning is and what it could be going forward.
OUSA’s 43rd General Assembly had the responsibility of revising and ratifying the Students with Disabilities policy paper. It’s important to frame this decision as a responsibility given the perennial challenge of being a student leader: having to represent students whose lived experiences you may not share.
I'm very excited to announce that at the final meeting of the year, OUSA's Steering Committee voted unanimously to approve a membership bid by Laurentian University's Students' General Association (SGA-AGÉ), who will be joining us as full members next month as we start the 2016-2017 year.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Excellence Award recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people. Successfully engaging individuals in the learning experience depends on an instructor's ability to spark students' curiosity and desire to learn. It is our pleasure to give these remarkable professionals the recognition they deserve.
It's a bittersweet feeling to be writing one of my last monthly updates as OUSA President, but I'm proud of the accomplishments OUSA has made this year and happy for the chance to share them with you. Although March has been a relatively calmer month for OUSA than the previous two, it has still seen important moments in OUSA's advocacy, both in our internal operations as well as our lobbying to the province.
Recently, the post-secondary sector has engaged in critical discussions regarding the importance of political correctness in both research and teaching. I personally became interested in this topic after I read “The Doctrine of Academic Freedom,” a piece authored by Harvard student Sandra Y.L. Korn which advances the argument that a “framework of [academic] justice” should take precedence over the traditionally heralded notion of academic freedom. This view is echoed by those who support the establishment and reinforcement of politically correct safe spaces on university campuses; these individuals express the concern that academic freedom may be used to perpetuate the unjust marginalization, degradation, and/or oppression of particular populations. While I agree wholeheartedly with these concerns, I would like to address two incorrect assumptions that have engendered common misunderstandings of the function and relevance of academic freedom: (1) the propensity to overlook the responsibility entailed by the concept of academic freedom, and (2) the false dichotomy drawn between achieving political correctness and preserving academic freedom.
Written by Sandy Tat and Ruchika Gothoskar
As of late, “political correctness” on university campuses has become something of a controversial issue. Articles have appeared in American news outlets, like the Atlantic’s “The Coddling of the American Mind,” and on Canadian campuses like in Western University’s student newspaper with “I don’t say boom because I don’t want to diminish fireworks.” Those who criticize political correctness, trigger warnings, and the push for safe spaces see these conventions as a threat to freedom of speech on campus. Furthermore, it’s been argued that the “oversensitivity” among undergraduate students acts as a hindrance to discourse and education in the classroom. In actuality, these beliefs stem from a mischaracterization of what political correctness means and what it hopes to achieve.