Let me first start off with acknowledging how beyond thrilled at this opportunity I am to engage with post-secondary students across this province in my role advocating on behalf of them. My name is Landon Tulk, I am the Vice-President of the Western University Students’ Council and the Vice-President Finance of OUSA.
I recently completed a major in political science at the University of Western Ontario where over the course of my studies I had the opportunity to co-found a student consulting start-up, work with the Honourable Preston Manning, and ultimately win election to the University Students’ Council serving as the Vice-President. In my time at Western University, I’ve learned that there is never one brush we can paint ‘students’ with and to effectively create legislation and policies that will work for students we need to know the challenges, experiences, and barriers that all students are facing at our various institutions.
However, there is one element of being a student that is common to all of us and that’s the desire to learn. I got involved with our University Students’ Council so I could further my learning on how I could contribute to the student community and university for which both have already given me so much. I aim to ensure that students who are focused solely on their learning during their time in the post-secondary system still have a voice at the table on issues that will effect them.
My focus for the upcoming year will be learning and contributing to the conversation on how we can work with universities, industry, and government to proliferate work-integrated learning opportunities for students to add an internship, a co-op, a clinical placement, or a high-impact research project to their university degree. Currently, many students are struggling to meet the expectation of employers that students have experience in their field of study for which they’re seeking employment in.
Additionally, it was very evident that the affordability of tuition, as well as tuition-related and student living expenses such as textbook costs, hydro bills, and student fees, are continuing to be a growing problem for students in Ontario. I am committed to exploring ways to reduce the financial stress burden students across the province will be facing during the year. Working with our team here at the Western University Students’ Council and with my student colleagues from each OUSA member school I am confident we will work to improve the post-secondary sector to work for all students in Ontario.