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February Update from the President

Hello everyone!

With the last third of my term quickly shrinking, it's been both motivating and astonishing to reflect on OUSA's successes this year. Over the last eight months there has been a lot to be excited about: we've passed post-secondary policy and introduced new OUSA events, have been a leading figure in the province's discussions on sexual assault and violence, and our recommendations during the funding formula consultation were largely adopted in the published report. Our sentiments on work-integrated learning have been acknowledged by business and the civil service alike, and we've continued collecting primary and secondary data through our research reports and the Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. The past month however, has largely focused on two things: tuition and financial aid.

Four Ways to Build Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce

Last month, the Government of Ontario held a Talent and Skills Summit (OTSS) that many education sector stakeholders, including OUSA, attended. The same week as the summit, McGill University President Suzanne Fortier suggested at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that universities need to prepare students for the modern labour market, while American Vice President Joe Biden indicated that investing in education was one of the keys to saving the middle class.

"The Banner Issue": #BellLetsTalk Day 2016

Today is January 27th. To some, it is just another day filled with hours of class, labs and responsibilities. For others, however, it is a chance to continue the dialogue surrounding mental health through campaigns such as Bell’s “Let’s Talk” Day.

Better Transit for Brantford: Some Follow Up

Improving transportation in the city of Brantford has been a largely stagnant process, with no progress to address the real barriers both students and the larger community face. Over the past two years, students on the Brantford Campus of Wilfrid Laurier University have been very vocal in their need for better access to transportation. Students suffered both the loss of the Mohawk Shuttle leaving Brantford and further cuts to Greyhound's daily schedule to and from Hamilton, leaving them with few options to access campus.

Why Keep Mental Disability A Secret? Like...A Lot of Reasons.

Written by Danielle Pierre and Jasmine Irwin

A recent editorial in the Toronto Star criticized York University’s recent policy change; the university no longer requires students with mental health disabilities to disclose their diagnoses in order to receive academic accommodation. While the columnist was insistent that her objections came from a place of concern, whether well-intentioned or not, several of her points suggest that she has misunderstood certain key aspects of the issues at the heart of this policy change. This piece, beginning with a call to talk about mental illness openly, ironically upholds stereotypes of students, millennials, and the mentally-ill: only serving to re-stigmatize these individuals rather than provide insightful commentary.

Worthy Investments: The Economics of a Tuition Freeze

When students make the life-altering decision to attend university, they are making an investment. That investment is not only in themselves, but also in the university they attend. Whether they choose university X, Y, or Z, they generally select that school because they see it as the best investment for their future. And sooner or later, students expect to see a return on that investment.

January Update from the President

Hi everyone,

Happy 2016! We hope that everyone's holiday season gave them a chance to recharge. We at OUSA are looking forward to an exciting and jam-packed second semester filled with all of OUSA's staples: campaigns (coming up next week!), advocacy, policy, and student knowledge-sharing.

Introducing Justin Bedi, OUSA’s Newest Research Analyst

Hey everyone, this is Justin Bedi, your new Research Analyst at the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance home office. I’m very excited to start my new role with OUSA and have already had some great experiences in just a week. My colleagues here and across Ontario have been extremely welcoming, and I can already see how well we are going to work together to further student policy priorities.

Head to Head: Colin is against Differentiated Evaluation

Recently, professors and post-secondary institutions have come under a significant amount of scrutiny, especially surrounding assessment and teaching quality. Many have argued that the current model of assessment is insufficient in the modern day and have offered a variety of ways to address this “issue”. One of the solutions that has been proposed is differentiated evaluation.

Head to Head: Blake is for Differentiated Evaluation

A few weeks ago, I attended my first OUSA General Assembly. The goal of the assembly, which brought together delegates from all seven member schools, was to pass policy papers to outline OUSA’s stance on three issues in post-secondary education: Teaching & Assessment, Student Financial Assistance, and the Broader Learning Environment.