OUSA Publishes 15th Issue of Educated Solutions: "Educated Solutions: Enhancing Equity in Education"
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Chisanga Mwamba, our Communications & Operations Coordinator.
JOB POSTING: Operations & Communications Coordinator
Formed in 1992, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is a non-profit advocacy organization that strives to effectively and responsibly represent Ontario’s full and part-time undergraduate students to lobby for an affordable, accessible, accountable, and high-quality higher education system. In order to achieve these goals, OUSA provides research and policy solutions to government, organizes campaigns, communicates their priorities, and develops partnerships with post-secondary education sector stakeholders. With a membership of approximately 150,000 undergraduate, professional full and part-time students, OUSA is one of the largest and most respected student organizations in the country.
The pursuit of racial justice for Black communities in North America has been a centuries long struggle. Established in 2013, the #BlackLivesMatter movement was born as a modern-day fight against the continued state violence that harms and violates Black lives. Despite being around for several years now, this movement had significant global momentum in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, one year ago this week. Conversations about systemic barriers that impede the progression of Black livelihood were rampant, and many organizations from different sectors that typically would not have issued statements, came out with various commitments to reducing and eliminating these barriers. Post-secondary institutions were among the many that released calls to action, citing different short- and long-term actions that would be undertaken to improve the post-secondary experience for Black students, staff, and faculty.
Hello everyone! My name is Ashyana, and I am excited to join OUSA as a Summer Research Intern for the next four months.
I have spent the past four years at Western University pursuing an undergraduate degree in Political Science. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I have been heavily involved in my campus community. Most notably, I served as the President of Western’s Indo-Canadian Student’s Association – the largest South Asian club at the university, and a Research & Policy Commissioner for Western’s Gender Equality Network. While very different endeavours, at the intersection of gender, and ethno-cultural identities, these opportunities made it abundantly clear that there is no singular university experience.
My name is Emily DuBois Brooks, and I am an Indigenous student attending Wilfrid Laurier University, as an upcoming fourth year Sociology student. Over the last seven months, I have been working alongside OUSA as an author on the Indigenous Students Policy Paper, which primarily aims to decolonize university campuses and academia, and provide accessibility and cultural representation for Indigenous students in order to create safe and inclusive academic practice, culture, and institutional space. This summer I am honoured to accept the opportunity to become a member of the team as OUSA’s Special Projects Intern. Moving forward, my continued goal is to include as many Indigenous perspectives in the creation of our policy paper as possible. Through the process of Indigenizing our campuses and academia, we must also commit to Indigenizing our own methods of including Indigenous voices through our practices. By honouring this commitment we are dedicated to incorporating Indigenous methodology and community-based approaches into the core of our practice, which will create unity among perspectives but also represent the unique needs and voices of each participating student.
Wow! I can’t believe we’ve made it through this year and that I’m writing my final update as OUSA President.
To be honest, I struggled writing this last update. Reflecting on this year, I have had such an incredible experience working in student advocacy and as OUSA President, but I don’t want to paint a rosy picture and wrap up my year on such a positive note without first addressing the immense challenges post-secondary students have faced this year.
The mental health of post-secondary students has been an increasing concern over the past few years, and the pandemic has not helped. The impact of COVID-19 has extended from health and safety to academics, employment, and financial security, forcing students to face unprecedented challenges to their mental health and wellness.
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.
An excellent instructor will be able to engage their students in the process of learning and discovery and help them develop the critical skills that form the foundation of a robust education. With this in mind, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance annually presents its teaching awards to professors from each of our member campuses who have taken this role to heart, and who have been selected by their students as examples of teaching excellence.
We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 OUSA Teaching Excellence Awards!
OUSA spent a lot of time doing policy work this month! We successfully held our 52rd OUSA General Assembly fully virtually. The General Assembly reviewed, edited and passed two policies papers: Student Health & Wellness and Addressing Racism and Religious Discrimination. We also approved a report on the status of the Indigenous Students policy paper, which is set to be updated in Fall 2021. The full, published policy papers will be up on our website and social media sites by the end of May.
My name is Malika Dhanani and I’m so excited to be joining OUSA as the newest Research and Policy Analyst.
I did my undergrad at the University of Guelph, graduating with a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Child, Youth, and Family. Just last week, I finished my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at the University of Toronto, and will be graduating from the Social Justice and Diversity field of study.
For post-secondary students, February was an eventful month filled with election campaigns, midterms, and reading breaks. Student associations across Ontario navigated virtual elections and elected new executives—congratulations to the newly elected student leaders! The year ahead will be a challenging and rewarding one.