Does Political Science Belong in STEM?
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most wonderful time of the year has returned as the final countdown has begun for the Fall 2015 General Assembly. This time around delegates from OUSA’s seven member schools will head to the University of Waterloo for the first GA of the school year. Waterloo is gearing up to host another fabulous group of delegates who will each bring their own innovative approach to the policies discussed throughout the weekend.
Hi everyone! Although a provincial association, OUSA would like to congratulate you all on surviving the long and arduous election season this year! The new majority Liberal government will no doubt affect the landscape of post-secondary education in the province. The leaves are changing, the government is changing, and we’ve also been seeking change and innovation in OUSA’s approach in tackling student advocacy- I’m excited to share some of these new iniatives with you today.
As a fourth year student at McMaster University, I’ve had the good fortune to experience post-secondary education on a beautiful campus – a beautiful, crowded campus. McMaster University (for all of its efforts to improve) is without a doubt overcrowded, over capacity, and (at least as an outside observer) not doing a whole lot in fixing the issue. That is not to say that the university administration isn’t trying, but every day I see students packed into the student centre, resorting to sitting on the floor to study or eat because every chair is taken.
What a busy and exciting time for OUSA! Things are barreling along for us, our member schools, and high school graduates across the province as Ontario universities ready themselves for the influx of new students to their campuses. Welcome Weeks, Frosh Weeks, Orientation Weeks (….whatever you want to call them) can often be a transformative experience for students, leaving a lasting impression of what their university will mean to them. Filled with concerts, events, speakers, and awareness initiatives, Orientation programming is a great way to introduce students to the culture of their respective campuses, facilitate friendships and connections, and prepare students for the years ahead.