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I regrettably returned from my holidays in January to learn that some Laurier students who expected to move into their residence were still without homes. I had hoped that by the time I returned, Waterloo’s student housing crisis would be over and every student that had been displaced would have a place to call home by the time they started their second semester. I guess I should have expected the result to not be in favour of the students.
“ Unless we have political leadership on the issue of transit, Hamilton will continue to lag in building municipal sustainability and creating liveable communities. Economic prosperity will not settle where people can't go.” - Margaret Shkimba, The Hamilton Spectator.
I spend the first moments of my mornings, as I’m sure many higher education advocacy students do, reading Alex Usher’s blog. Generally, I’m a big fan of this blog. Whether I agree with it all or not is beside the point. Usher challenges thought in PSE and forces you to think about issues that will affect your institution now and into the future.
I remember my Grade 10 careers class like it was yesterday. I remember because it’s the exact time I decided I wanted to pursue a PhD and to become a Psychologist. At that time, I also thought it was the type of career where you just gave advice to people all day, for hundreds of dollars an hour, just like all my friends asked me to do for them constantly. I was good at that. I thought that was what a psychologist did. You know what would have been helpful then? Access to a knowledgeable and certified career counsellor who could share with me more information about what this career entailed and the pathway (with alternate pathways) one could follow to get to it.
There’s something refreshing about learning from an expert in your academic field. In 2015, Laurier’s political science department introduced a practitioner-in-residence appointment, designed to bring the knowledge and life experience of a dynamic career into the classroom.
I recently read one of Alex Usher’s blog posts about the threat to internationalization in Western universities posed by the Chinese government’s crackdown on internationalization in their curriculum and high school programs. Usher argued that to combat this, we need to start attracting Chinese students at an earlier age, and we need to put them through Canadian high schools. To do so, we would need to set up shared living accommodations and support personnel to help these students be successful.
Once again another month has come and gone. We have had a busy month at OUSA going from our General Assembly (GA) at Western, our campaign on work integrated learning, and finally our annual advocacy conference. Heading into December, Steering Committee and Home Office Staff will begin to work on our plans for second semester and how we can continue to advocate for student interests within the province of Ontario.
One of the many reasons students choose to pursue a postsecondary education is the opportunity to grow and develop intellectually. University is seen as a place to be challenged and to learn. However, many students find themselves not actually learning what they came here to study for more than the days leading up to a test or exam.
Earlier this year, the Business/Higher Education Roundtable announced the ambitious goal to ensure every student at a Canadian post-secondary institution would have access to some form of meaningful work-integrated learning (WIL) experience during their education. While WIL has been a topic of discussion throughout my undergrad, I’ve seldom taken the time to reflect on the breadth of its impact on my education, and on my future.
Ontario’s undergraduate students have been asked to shoulder the burden of rapidly rising tuition and associated costs of attending university. Tuition regulation, though still allowing tuition to increase beyond inflation, has meant that universities are looking for alternative revenue sources to meet their financial obligations. These alternative revenue sources have emerged through ancillary fees, which can appear in the following forms: student activity fees, athletic fees, housing fees, health insurance fees, transportation/parking fees, student centre fees, and other miscellaneous fees such as capital projects, access copyright, sustainability, student services, among others.