The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Steering Committee elects new Executive
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Crystal Karmen Mak, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.
We are now in the digital age. Children in elementary school have cell-phones, the majority of television is viewed online, and people order their restaurant meals from a tablet at the table. Alongside the social sphere, the workforce is evolving. Digital competencies are becoming increasingly more important, and not just for traditionally “technological” jobs. According to the Royal Bank of Canada’s report on the Coming Skills Revolution; “Humans Wanted” (2018), more than 25% of Canadian jobs will be heavily disrupted by technology in the next decade. It is expected that 2.4 million jobs will be added to the Canadian workforce over the next four years. Our post-secondary students are living through this age of disruption, and there are plenty of opportunities to prepare them for what awaits.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks at OUSA. During our annual Student Advocacy Week, we sat down with over 60 government officials to discuss the need for safer and healthier university campuses and how the government can help universities better prepare graduates for the workforce. Our meetings included different Members of Provincial Parliament, the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, Critics for Post-Secondary Education, and the Premier. We outlined our key priorities including, ending sexual violence on campus, keeping international students healthy, solving the mental health puzzle, post-graduation finances, experience while learning, and technology in education. We were really happy to have so many interactions with all parties, and it’s amazing to see how much that post-secondary student issues resonate with our provincial representatives. We’re looking forward to continue fostering these relationships!
Equity. One word with so many meanings. To some, it refers to finances and to others, it refers to a systemic shift towards genuine inclusion. Academia, of all places, should be where such cultural phenomenon begins. The foundation of Western education has been shaped significantly by the philosophies of Ancient Greek thinkers like Plato, and his teacher, Socrates. Plato himself stated, “education is a means to achieve both individual and social justice”, and while today we can understand the complexities and problematic aspects of these thinkers’ ideologies, open education and diversity are some the core principles we have embraced.
This month we’ve continued our cross-province tour and only have one destination left, Laurentian University. We’ve been chatting with students about their issues, OUSA’s advocacy efforts, and we’ve been handing out some OUSA swag as well.
Are you renting a place in the city you attend school? Do you have your transcript, a bank or credit card statement, or even your cell phone or utility bill handy? Do you care about your housing rights as a student, or matters pertaining to your university city’s local police? Has finding a job in your university city ever been difficult for you? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I would encourage you to continue reading- and to vote in the upcoming municipal election on October 22nd.
As another school year begins, many high school students in their final year will have to start thinking about what pathways they want to take after graduation. In a few months, many of these students will apply to a few (or many) post-secondary programs, and then wait hopefully for their acceptance. In an ideal world, each student will receive an acceptance from their dream school, finish their desired program on time, graduate, and move on into the next chapter of their life. But, of course, this smooth transition is not always the case. Students change their minds, switch programs, and even switch their educational careers entirely!
My name is Eddy Avila and I’m super excited to be joining OUSA and the Home Office Team as the newest Research and Policy Analyst.
I hope everyone is settled and ready for the Fall semester ahead. If you missed it, we published our latest issue of Educated Solutions. This year we chose to focus on tuition since the current tuition framework is set to expire in 2019. Sector experts and student voices from across Ontario present their ideas and concerns about tuition and post-secondary funding in Ontario.
- Andrea Bocelli
- Jason DeRulo/Nikki Minaj/Willy William
- Colin Aitchison
I was initially drawn to OUSA as an undergraduate student due to the organization’s active engagement with its membership. From the Blue Chair campaign to the Gender Pay Gap campaign, OUSA actively worked with students on their member campuses to highlight and discuss key concerns affecting undergraduates across the province. Now, after 7 General Assemblies, a year on OUSA’s Steering Committee, and a wonderful year and a half as a staff member here, I have had the time to reflect on the impact this organization has in Ontario’s post-secondary sector.
The second week of September has rolled around once again. Students have returned to campus. First years and Welcome Week reps are still glowing from the excitement of the week. Upper years still look refreshed from their summers off of school with the seemingly permanent bags under their eyes left behind. The libraries, while busy, are filled with happy chatter rather than panicked individuals cramming for exams or finishing up final essays.