OUSA releases policy paper "Student Accessibility and Disability Inclusion"
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As advocates for undergraduate students, part of our work at OUSA involves mentoring student leaders and empowering them to become their own advocates. It’s always rewarding to see our student leaders make real change on their campuses. This year, former Steering Committee member and VP Education at McMaster University, Rodrigo Narro Perez, was a key player in soliciting student feedback and publicizing McMaster’s new mental health and well-being strategy. I’d like to share his success today.
March is always a busy month for our student associations, and here at OUSA we have a lot of excitement approaching as well! This weekend, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance will be welcoming students from across the province to work on passing our next round of policy papers. Hosted by the McMaster Student Union, delegates from across the province will engage in conversations about the future of tuition, as well as some of the specific challenges mature students and LGBTQ+ students may face.
International students choosing to study in Canada have some of the highest tuition of any student population in the country. In Ontario, an international student pursuing an undergraduate degree this year can expect to pay over 264 per cent more than their domestic counterparts thanks to high, deregulated international tuition. Given the ever-climbing tuition rates for international students, it must be asked: what student financial assistance is available to international students?
Upon the release of the Bachelorette Campaign, I was happy to see the attention this campaign was bringing to the overwhelming gender wage gap present in today’s society. The fact that today’s women are being paid 30 percent less than males in the work place was something that shocked and bothered me.
This has been an exciting month over at OUSA! One exciting initiative has been the launch of our Bachelorette Degree campaign. You can take a look at the Bachelorette Degree campaign here. OUSA received a grant from the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario to raise awareness about the pay gap in Ontario and thanks to the leadership of our new Director of Communications, Jasmine, I’d say it has been a huge success.
University can be a great place to learn, grow, and flourish in ways we had never imagined. There are moments during which we will create experiences of a lifetime, and others that will make us want to congratulate good ol’ Murphy for knowing that everything that can go wrong will go wrong.
The 21st century learning environment has shifted away from old educational structures; rather than following the model of traditional classrooms and curricula, the contemporary learning environment utilizes a number of new pedagogical approaches such as online learning, inquiry-based learning, and problem-based learning. These evolutions can be found across numerous educational structures, and they improve two key aspects of a student’s post-secondary experience: accessibility and quality.
As a current 4th year student at McMaster University, I have had the privilege of observing a beautiful campus with a wide variety of programs, ranging from social science, humanities, and creative arts programs to physical sciences, engineering, and technology-based programs. At first glance, it would seem that the gender ratio is distributed quite evenly throughout Canadian post-secondary institutions.
Well that’s it folks, the summer is over and it went by quicker than any of us likely would have imagined. For the members of OUSA’s Steering Committee and Home Office, the summer is a time for planning and now that summer is over, it is time we hit the ground running. We have a packed schedule for the coming year, but I think it is safe to say that we are ready to hit the ground running.
A phrase you’ll hear on the lips of many student leaders on Ontario campuses is the ‘broader learning environment’ (BLE). Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “never let school get in the way of your education”. While I don’t really believe that school does get in the way of anyone’s education, the sentiment – that learning can take place outside of the classroom – poses an interesting question to universities today: is a University a home for all kinds of learning, or simply the type that takes place in the classroom?