The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Steering Committee elects new Executive
Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Crystal Karmen Mak, our Operations & Communications Coordinator.
Hi everyone! My name is Mackenzie Claggett and I am OUSA’s Research Intern for the summer!
This past semester I completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Western University. During my time at Western, I was fortunate enough to work with PhD students and professors whose mentorship inspired me to pursue research and policy development as a career. Specific areas of study that I became particularly interested in included political theory, feminist research, and sexuality studies. Ultimately, I hope to put this background to good use as I pursue a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Toronto this fall!
It’s that time of year again when university libraries are packed, study spaces on campuses are sparse, and students find every excuse in the book to procrastinate...it’s exam season! Although these stressful days have passed for me, I thought I’d share a couple of helpful tips that got me through exam season when I was an undergraduate student at Laurier.
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.
Happy March everyone!
As Reading Week concludes and the weather begins to warm up, OUSA is ready for Spring!
This month, we launched our OUSA Votes campaign to encourage students in Ontario to Pledge to Vote in the upcoming provincial election. Hundreds of students have already taken the pledge! Students have also been telling us about the issues that will be important to them in the election. They care about things like mental health, the cost of education, free textbooks, and experiential learning. Take a look at our election blog by visiting ousavotes.ca and follow along with the campaign with #StudentsVote.
All too often, issues associated with student housing are discussed in silos. The concerns that arise in one municipality are often not recognized as a part of a larger trend across Ontario. This can be attributed to the uniqueness of each individual community, and may be due to the fact that a solution for one may prove to be insufficient for others. This in turn greatly disadvantages student populations seeking short-term rental accommodations, resulting in issues such as illegal lease clauses, poor housing conditions, and inordinately high rental costs. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has identified the lack of municipal enforcement, and believes that the provincial government has a role to play in preventing persistent housing issues.
Throughout my time as a health sciences student at McMaster, I have seen the cost of my education rise at unaffordable rates. Over the past 5 years my tuition has increased by nearly $1,000 due to annual 3% increases. Furthermore, ancillary fees have risen even more drastically, with new services being approved through referenda, and other ancillary costs of education, such as textbooks and course materials, increasing each year.
In light of recent events, sexual violence prevention and response has been at the forefront of our national discussions, sparking the need for meaningful action and policy to address the persistence of sexual assault in our communities, workplaces, and schools. The conversation today is louder than ever, and rightly so, as it has been long overdue. The need to address and combat the pervasiveness of gender-based violence has been an ongoing challenge, and historically, student unions have played a critical role in addressing sexual violence on Canadian campuses. From efforts to combat rape culture and stigma to demanding adequate sexual violence policies on their campuses, students play a significant part in building a world free of sexual violence.
On February 6th the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors approved a predictable tuition framework for the 2018/2019 cohort of international students. This framework outlines plans to cap tuition increases at 5% from years 2 to 4, providing international students with the opportunity to budget accordingly and have a better understanding of their future academic costs. For this cohort of students, they will have a significant financial advantage over the rest of their international peers in post-secondary education: predictability.
Happy February everyone!
Last month, we ran our #TextbookBroke campaign to raise awareness around the benefits of open educational resources (OERs). Thank you to everyone who participated. We look forward to sharing your stories - they will not go unnoticed. We encourage everyone to continue the conversation on the benefits of OERs. Continue to talk with your instructors and peers. Continue to share your stories.