Presidential Update January 2022
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Irum Chorghay, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.
"When coming to a new university, students should be worried about what courses they are taking or who their professor is. They shouldn't be worrying about what types of racism they will be enduring on campus or within the London community."
I hope everyone is doing their best to enjoy a little bit of their summer while staying safe! We’ve been enjoying our summer at OUSA, tackling a lot of new projects and exciting opportunities this month.
Racialized students studying in Ontario’s universities have unique experiences relative to their white counterparts. Recognizing this, OUSA is sharing first-hand accounts of these experiences with the broader provincial post-secondary community.
My name is Chisanga Mwamba, and I'm excited to be OUSA's newest Communications and Operations Coordinator.
Content warning: References to sexual- and gender-based violence
The Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey conducted across Ontario’s post-secondary student population in 2018 yielded disappointing results. Amongst the most startling findings were that, of the 117,148 survey respondents, 23.0% experienced sexual assault and 63.2% experienced sexual harassment since the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. Students across the province were rightfully disturbed by these statistics and continued to demand changes to their respective institutions’ sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) policies. In response to the survey results, for example, OUSA and its member student associations reaffirmed their commitment to addressing SGBV through policy and funding. This included advocating for additional provincial funding through the Campus Safety Grant – which was met with a six million dollars commitment from the government. The conversation on our campuses turned to how to translate this new-found attention and funding from the broader post-secondary education community into tangible action and safer campuses. Yet discussions on solutions have continued to fall short.
Reflecting back on my short and sweet time at OUSA - I was given the opportunity to balance the roles of both our communications and operations portfolios.
My name is Alexa Leitch, and I am the Vice President, External Affairs at the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), at Brock University in St. Catharines. I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent Brock students and BUSU as a Steering Committee Member for OUSA this year. Along with serving as a SC member, I am beyond excited to serve as OUSA’s Vice President of Administration and Human Resources for 2020-2021.
Lecture-based teaching has become the norm across universities. A professor at the front of the class, a PowerPoint presentation, and hundreds of students. Most of my classes have run in this fashion, and for the most part, the students have learned and done well. However, classes that require more practical, hands-on work, and which involve applying theoretical knowledge, need to adopt a different formula to support students’ academic success.
Hail and well met! My name is Nathan R. G. Barnett, and I’m the Vice President of University Affairs at the Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA). I’m so honoured and excited to be TDSA’s Steering Committee (SC) member for the 2020-2021 year. I’m a big fan of all things pop culture, especially Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Trek, but I’m an especially big fan of all things queer pop culture!
My name is Julia Pereira and I am the Vice President: University Affairs for Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. On May 26, I was also elected as the President of OUSA. I’d like to introduce myself and express my excitement for the upcoming year with OUSA and the opportunity to advocate towards a more accessible, affordable, accountable, and high-quality post-secondary sector. As incoming President, I am equally excited to lead a Steering Committee full of passionate individuals who are truly dedicated to representing undergraduate students across all of our member institutions.