Blog

Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Irum Chorghay, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.

Steering Committee Introductions: Ryan Sieg

Hi everybody,

My name is Ryan Sieg, I use he and him pronouns, and I am the Vice President of University Affairs at the Queen’s Alma Mater Society (AMS).  I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with OUSA as a member of the Steering Committee and to push for positive change for students across the province.

Campus Culture: Who & What Do You Celebrate?

I originally wrote this article before the Kamloops Residential School mass grave discovery. Since this was recently brought to light, it has also been stated that 1 in 5 Indigenous children died while attending Red Deer Residential School. I have been experiencing pain over this news. Across Canada, many Indigenous Peoples have felt the generational trauma and/or experienced the terror of residential schools first hand. I want to send my love and prayers to others who are in pain, to those who have lost loved ones from past and present genocidal acts, and to all Indigenous People facing the trauma from generations of eradication efforts.

From #BLM to #EDI: How Far Have We Really Come?

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.

Introducing Ashyana Kachra, OUSA's New Research and Policy Intern

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.

Introducing Emily DuBois Brooks, OUSA's Special Projects Intern

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.

 

Chi-miigwech!

Presidential Update - April 2021

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.

Not just 'zoom fatigue': student mental health during COVID-19

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.

 

OUSA's 2021 Teaching Excellence Award Recipients

 

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!

Presidential Update - March 2021

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.

Introducing Malika Dhanani, OUSA's New Research and Policy Analyst

Hi everyone!

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.