What’s the Deal with the 2019 Changes to OSAP?
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Along with working for OUSA as an Advocacy and Communications intern, I am also lucky to attend Western University, and enjoy an incredible student experience during my time there. Western is widely commended for a having a memorable Orientation Week. However, when I reflect on my O-Week it is not the concerts or the move-ins that first come to mind; rather it is when Sophie Helpard (shout out to my current boss, the Executive Director here at OUSA) introduced herself as the President of the University Students’ Council of Western. At the time, I was surprised but also inspired that the head of our student council was a strong and capable woman and it gave me hope that at Western there were no glass ceilings for the intelligent and passionate women on our campus.
By Mackenzie Claggett & Martyna Siekanowicz
Governments mandate sexual education because they recognize that sex is a normal component of life, and that healthy sexual relationships and perspectives, are not only important to maintain people’s well-being, but actually save people’s lives. In a modern, progressive society, we understand that healthy perspectives on sex prioritize consent, safety, and diversity, and that for people to hold these perspectives they must have access to accurate information at an early age. This is why OUSA strongly supports comprehensive sexual education, as it prepares students with the knowledge they need to responsibly enter sexual relationships during their post-secondary career if they choose to do so.
After a busy month of June with our team at OUSA, Steering Committee has had some time this month to reconnect with their home institutions. Even still, we’ve been working away at a few things during the month of July.
Welcome to the Word Interdisciplinary
The terms interdisciplinary and interdisciplinarity can be roughly defined as “involving two or more academic disciplines.” It is commonly used in universities to describe certain programs, minors, and courses that work to integrate different branches of knowledge into students’ learning.
The dual teaching/research nature of the university means that institutional focus can be split between teaching students and facilitating research. Universities have to direct resources to both, and can have distinct goals for each focus. For example, many universities have chosen to try to improve their research quality through acknowledging the important role of applied research in economic development. As a consequence of this, the sector is entering a golden era of industry partnerships and a greater integration of universities into their communities.
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.