OUSA releases policy paper "Gender and Sexual Diversity: LGBTQ+ Students"
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Since the 2010-2011 academic year, mature students in Ontario have been recognized as a growing segment of the post-secondary population. Despite this growth, this cohort continues to face challenges to post-secondary success. Barriers such as a lack of access to financial aid opportunities, inadequate support services, and the inability to integrate with their campus communities leave mature students feeling underrepresented and often overlooked. With this cohort continuing to grow, it is quite surprising that our sector has not taken the appropriate steps to accommodate their unique needs in a post-secondary environment.
My name is Kathryn Kettle and I am the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at the Students’ General Association (SGA/AGÉ) at Laurentian University in Sudbury. The SGA/AGÉ was the most recent association to join OUSA, in early 2016. I am so excited to be the third person representing the SGA/AGÉ on the OUSA Steering Committee this upcoming year!
My name is Karen Albrecht and I’m a recent Trent University Durham graduate (yay)! Double majoring in History and English Literature, I have learned the past helps us to move forward allowing us to gain insightful context and hopefully not repeat our past mistakes. As President of the Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA), I am excited to start advocating for students on our small but mighty campus. I have experienced first hand that a small group of students, if determined, can do anything they dream.
Throughout my three years in student government there have been may disagreements, debates that went a little too far, and difficult conversations that needed to be had. There are people whom you will never get along with and many late nights spent reading policies and bylaws or doing research. There will be days spent on ideas that may never come to fruition, or late nights on the Friday of a long weekend finishing up the week’s work. It is a demanding job and, at times, thankless, but it is always, and will always be, worth it.
June was an exciting month for OUSA and our students as we welcomed a new provincial government! Our Steering Committee was able to gain lots of traction with the media and other stakeholders to discuss our OUSA Votes campaign, aimed at informing students on how to vote and why it matters. We’re very excited to now begin engaging with so many new Members of Provincial Parliament, building relationships and discussing the future when it comes to undergraduate students.
My name is Stephanie Bertolo and I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s Steering Committee! On my home campus, I am the Vice President Education of the McMaster Students Union.
I just graduated from Arts & Science with a minor in Community Engagement Studies. Arts & Science is an interdisciplinary degree with an emphasis on social awareness while my minor allowed me to develop principled engagement skills. My academics prepared me well for this role by giving me the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives and the tools to engage the student population effectively.
Hello all, and greetings from the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo. I am honored to be the Vice President, Education for the Federation of Students (Feds), and to serve as the Feds’ Steering Committee member for OUSA this year.
I am proud to come from an institution at the forefront of work-integrated learning and research in STEM. The differences between our institutions combined with the fact that most of us will only ever attend one university as an undergraduate student, can at times make it difficult to see the common experiences and shared opportunities for students across the province.
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my excitement for the upcoming year with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the opportunity to advocate for undergraduate students in Ontario. My name is Julia Göllner and I am the Academic Affairs Commissioner of the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University. On May 17, I was elected as the Vice-President of Administration and Human Resources of OUSA.
My name is Danny Chang, and I am the Vice President at the University Students’ Council at Western University, as well as the President of OUSA this year.
This is an exciting and important time for the province, but it is especially relevant to those of us dedicating our work to advocating for students. At the beginning of my term as OUSA President, we were in the midst of the provincial election, where Ontarians were casting ballots for their next provincial government. This election makes me reflect on my time as an undergraduate student and student leader, as well as what is to come throughout this next year. It definitely will be an exciting journey, building relationships with the new government to work together to address students’ concerns.
June is Pride Month for a reason. On June 28, 1969, a group of queer and trans people, led by sex workers and trans women of colour, fought back against the New York Police Department who chose to raid the Stonewall Inn. Although the event was not the first time queer and trans people resisted police violence, the moment is often viewed as a catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement. As we gear up for the Pride Festival and Parade this weekend in Toronto, it’s important for us to remember that we celebrate this month to remind ourselves of this brave act of resistance made by LGBTQ+ people.