What’s the Deal with the 2019 Changes to OSAP?
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Crystal Karmen Mak, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.
How to Write a Letter to an MPP
Are you unhappy or pleased with something announced or enforced by the Ontario Government? If you want to have your voice heard, you can write a letter to Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs).
Why Write a Letter to your MPP?
Writing a letter to your MPP gives you the opportunity to make your voice heard as a constituent of their riding. MPPs have shown to be effective advocates for their constituents, but need to hear from them in order to do so. At OUSA we do our best to advocate on behalf of all of our students, but writing a letter to your MPP allows you to personally address and advocate on issues that you think are important.
The government’s recent introduction of the Student Choice Initiative to make most ancillary fees, including student association fees, optional has caused significant feelings of concern not only to myself but also to student associations across the province. As the current Vice President: University Affairs of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and someone who has been actively engaged with my student association since my second year, I am obviously hesitant to this initiative. The Laurier Students’ Union has provided me with opportunities for both personal and professional growth, and has been a second home for me during my time at university.
By: Shawn Cruz and Michael Del Bono
In 2012, Wilfrid Laurier University administration approved the implementation of a multi-campus approach. Since its implementation, there is a stronger link between Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses. This approach shared by both university administration and the Students’ Union fosters a greater sense of community between campuses while embracing and articulating the differences between them. We recognize that the campuses’ strengths complement each other and the multi-campus approach strengthens Laurier’s value as a comprehensive university.
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.