Introducing Sarah Wiley: Steering Committee Member from the University of Waterloo

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, and I am the Vice President Education for the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo. I am currently studying psychology with a minor in sexuality, marriage and family studies. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of OUSA!

Growing up, I was never someone to get involved in extra-curricular activities or student government. If someone told me five years ago that this is where I would be, I wouldn’t have believed them. Near the end of high school, I started to realize that I didn’t like some of the things I saw in the world around me. Specifically, I became frustrated with mental health stigma as well as sexual violence and gender inequality. I realized that if I wanted things to be better, I couldn’t just wait for it to happen. Instead, I had to get involved. This is what led me to want to study psychology and relationships. I wanted to make a difference, to be part of a movement toward change.

At the University of Waterloo, I was lucky enough to find The Women’s Centre, a student-run organization that provides resources and support to students with a focus on issues such as sexual violence, women’s health, and feminism. The two years I spent volunteering at, and eventually running, The Women’s Centre opened my eyes to the world of advocacy. I realized the impact a small group of people can have on social change, and discovered my passion for advocacy work. This led me to search for other ways I could create positive change on campus and, finally, to the role of Vice President Education.

Working with OUSA gives me the opportunity to advocate on behalf of students, and fight for change at the provincial level. I love the way it brings all of our schools together for the common good, and sparks discussion about how we can do better on our campuses. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to represent Waterloo students to the province, and to be doing a job I’m so passionate about. Through my roles with OUSA and Feds, I am constantly being challenged in new ways. I have already learned so much from my position. Having the opportunity to be a part of policy creation and lobbying efforts gives me the platform to fight for the issues that students care about, and create better post-secondary education experiences for undergraduate students. I cannot wait to see all the things we can accomplish this year!

Sarah Wiley
OUSA Steering Committee Member
Vice-President Education, Waterloo Federation of Students