Hopefully you are all enjoying these summer months and are finding creative ways to enjoy this wonderful heat we are having. It is hard to believe that OUSA’s steering committee has been together for 2 months. We have been hard at work preparing for a great year of post-secondary research, lobbying, and advocacy efforts. As this year’s President, I am thrilled to be writing monthly updates to you all – giving you the “ins and outs” of what we have been up to and what is potentially to come.
While it has only been a couple months, we have seen some great advances in the post-secondary education sector. Just recently we were honoured to have Deputy Premier Deb Matthews appointed as the new Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. While we are still trying to figure out the acronyms (I am in favour of AESD), Minister Matthew’s new role shows the Province’s recognition of the importance of post-secondary education and we are excited to see what the new ministry will accomplish in the years to come. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Reza Moridi for his work as Minister of Training Colleges and Universities.
OUSA was also very excited to see the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Panel’s report. It is great to see recommendations centred around the need for preparing youth for their future careers and the important role that experiential learning plays in giving students meaningful out-of-the-class experiences. It was also wonderful to see the recognition of supporting small and medium businesses to provide more options for students seeking experiential learning opportunities of all sizes.
Finally, our steering committee has been hard at work both together and at our home institutions. Just recently, we returned from our strategic priorities conference where as a team we set out our goals and priorities for the year. Any guesses on what our 6 topics of focus are? Keep checking back, I’m sure we will be updating you shortly. The conference was a great opportunity for us to bond, play some games, gain some lobby training, and work together on our goals and events for the year.
Upcoming, multiple members of our steering committee with be attending the Ontario Universities Taking Action Against Sexual Violence conference at Queen’s University. We are hoping to learn a lot about what our campuses can do with regards to prevention, education, consent, and the roles of all genders in putting an end to sexual and gendered violence at our institutions. We are also excited to bring members of our student unions to McMaster University next month for our best practice sharing day. One of the greatest advantages of being a OUSA steering committee member is that you have 8 other individuals to share ideas and projects with. We hope that this day allow members of our board and executives the same opportunity to network, build connections, and hopefully gain some new ideas for the upcoming year.
It has been a very busy couple of months and I have no doubt the future holds just as much excitement.