Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Tiffany Li Wu, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.

Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences for Science Students

This past spring, the Ontario government announced a new Career Kick-Start Strategy aimed at helping secondary and post-secondary students develop real work-related experience to use on a resume after they leave their educational institution. In the post-secondary realm, the Career Ready Fund has been created to assist universities and colleges in creating career-oriented learning experiences and related supports for students and recent graduates. This, of course, is a good thing. But what does this plan mean for students who might have an interest in pursuing further education and research? The federal government has made their commitment to strengthening scientific research in Canada quite clear. By commissioning the Fundamental Science Review and appointing a Chief Science Officer, we can be hopeful that the government will continue to invest and fund future research, which means funding students who wish to take this path. However, how do we encourage students to pursue this field? If Canada wants to be a strong leader in the scientific research, we need to make sure we’re supporting the researchers of tomorrow in their undergraduate careers in order to get them there. 

Making the Case for Campus Case Managers: Optimizing Student Mental Healthcare Access

Campaigns to promote mental health and wellness are ubiquitous on university campuses in today’s day and age. Mental health of post-secondary students is an incredibly important issue with no shortage of advocates. However, these conversations stem around “raising awareness,” “smashing the stigma,” or “increasing resources (through more funding)” through services, without discussing accessibility issues to mental healthcare that, if addressed, could simultaneously address all three of these goals.

Presidential Update - October 2017

Hi everyone!

Time for another update! We held our General Assembly at Wilfrid Laurier University from October 27th to 29th. Students representing each of our member student associations vetted policy recommendations on university accountability, Indigenous students, open educational resources and on OUSA’s vision for the post-secondary sector in Ontario.

PSE’s "Skills Awareness Gap"

*Disclaimer: This is a guest blog Victoria Lewarne and Marc Gurrisi wrote for HEQCO. The original post can be found here.*

Despite the fact that we are a student and a recent graduate of a postsecondary program, we admittedly have difficulty articulating our skills and competencies. And we’re not the exception. While we can confidently state that we have comprehensive reading and writing skills, this only skims the surface. Competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking, and research and policy analysis are skills we rely on in our student advocacy work, both internally at Queen’s University and externally through the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).

PSE’s Data Gap: Moving Beyond Maclean’s Rankings

Last week, Maclean’s magazine released their 2018 University Rankings.

I used the same magazine in 2011 to help determine which university I would attend. At the time, I was interested in the quality of the institutions I was reviewing, their reputation, and what students were saying about life on campus. Since then, Maclean’s has added a student survey component to their rankings, and this year, focused on the cost of education across the country.

Inhale, Cough, Exhale: The Argument for Smoke-Free Campuses

I’ve had a long-standing hatred for tobacco products. Many of my most vivid memories in the path of tobacco smoke since childhood include having to stop in my tracks, and attempt to catch my breath as the feeling of tightness in my chest increased and my coughing became uncontrollable. While the smoker may have only been in my vicinity for a few seconds, their effects on me persisted for many panicked moments to come. Fortunately, policies to reduce smoking in public areas have since greatly decreased the second-hand smoke I, and numerous other non-smokers, are forced to encounter.

Presidential Update - Sept 2017

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone’s school term has gotten off to a bright start! Sorry for the lack of August update– with the new school term beginning and the provincial legislature back in session, we have been very busy!

Experiential Learning: The Future of the Liberal Arts

We have all been there.

Midnight before an exam in the university library trying to memorize the key concepts of a semester’s worth of work. We write the exam. We leave the room. The concepts leave our mind. The cycle continues: record, memorize, forget. In doing so, we lose something essential to education: critical thought. What happened to challenging assumptions and questioning concepts? What about open-ended questions? What about no-answer scenarios? These notions serve as the core of the Liberal Arts and, yet, most existing courses fail to develop these skills.