Interested in writing for OUSA? Contact Chisanga Mwamba, our Communications & Operations Coordinator.
Students across the province rely on the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to help fund their post-secondary education. The program supplements earnings from part-time and summer jobs, and it increases access to education for students from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds (read: students whose parents don’t make a lot of money). But recent changes to the program have made it harder for many students in Ontario to afford post-secondary education.
Orientation week is only just behind us, and yet campuses are beginning to feel like students never left. Back at OUSA, we have been working hard all summer to prepare and to make your campuses reflect your needs as much as possible, and we are very excited that we can continue to do this great work alongside you as the semester begins.
Gender-based violence has long been a reality in our communities and on our campuses. And for just as long, there have been gender justice activists fighting to eradicate it, to support those impacted by it, and to find spaces of healing. For me, the importance of this work and the need to contribute crystalized while I was a university student, as my friends and I struggled to educate our campus community about the problem and create solutions to end violence in our faculty. This was a frustrating and challenging time, and it often felt like our efforts were fruitless. But now it seems like we’ve entered a watershed era, with unprecedented momentum and appetite for change from the broader community.
For a long time, university budgets have had two primary components: provincial operating grants and tuition. Traditionally, operating grants, given directly to the university based on how many students were attending the university, weighted by year and program, made up most of university budgets. Tuition, which makes up the next largest proportion of university budgets, is collected directly from students attending university and is set by the institution itself within restrictions set by the province. There are other income sources as well, including ancillary fees and federal grants; but historically, tuition and provincial operating grants have made up the vast majority of university budgets.
That’s about to change.
Over the past few weeks, OUSA has been beating the heat by planning some cool events for the upcoming year. We have a lot to look forward to, including campus visits to each of our member institutions throughout the term and, in November, our Fall General Assembly. Our Home Office has been working diligently to prepare for all of our upcoming events.
Grants, Crying, and Finding the Confidence to Get What You Want: A Guide to Getting or Making a Summer Job
Disclaimer: I am not that good at getting employed, but I know a little.
I’ve inherited my fear of unemployment from my immigrant parents, which means by February – when literally no jobs applications are open – I’m already worried about what my summer will look like. After years of stressful retail employment, I ventured into “more applicable” jobs that offered new skills or were at least somewhat in the field I care about (which changes daily). This meant going through the Ontario Public Service Portal, individual companies, and every employment website ever. I even started two folders: “resumes and cover letters from jobs I have been rejected from” and “resumes and cover letters that I at least got an interview for or landed the job”. The latter was a very, very, very small folder. But as a small angry woman, I have figured out how to find jobs or, better yet, make the job I want. I am by no means an expert – with a hiring rate of about 18% – but I can offer some advice for finding a summer job.
The summer months have been exciting for OUSA as we welcome a new year of Steering Committee. It didn’t take long for us to get our feet wet, however! Our Steering Committee has been hard at work at both Welcome Conference and Strategic Conference setting the strategic direction and preparing for another year of student driven advocacy. We established our four advocacy priorities for the year, to be released in the coming months. We are excited to work with our partners - old and new - and welcome the new Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Ross Romano to the sector.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost excitement for being able to advocate on behalf of students in Ontario this year with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. My name is Niveditha Sethumadhavan (everyone calls me Nivi), and I am honored to serve as the Vice-President, External Affairs of the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), along with serving as a Steering Committee member for OUSA this year.
My name is Will Greene and I am the Vice President of University Affairs for the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to represent my peers from Queen’s as a member of this year’s OUSA Steering Committee.
Partners, Priorities and Progress: Matthew’s Entry blog
The warm weather has returned and so have I! Looking at my old entry blog I talked about the ability to serve, empower and represent students. One year on, I see so many opportunities and partners that can help make Ontario a better place for undergraduate students.