Presidential Update - June 2017

Although it's the middle of summer, things are anything but boring at OUSA! We were excited to hear that White Ribbon’s Draw the Line campaign recently chose to recognize past Steering Committee member, Sarah Wiley, with an award for her advocacy efforts in sexual violence prevention and response.

Last year, Sarah worked with her peers at OUSA and at Feds to move a number of initiatives forward, including Peggy Sattler`s recent Bill 147 (Safe Night Out Act), which proposes adding bystander intervention training to Smart Serve certification. I was invited to speak in favour of Ms. Sattler’s bill at Queen’s Park, and Sarah wrote a reflection about this milestone in early June.

In early July, our Steering Committee and Home Office staff held our Strategy Conference where we determined our priorities for the year, as well as took some insta-worthy sunset photos. This year we will be asking the government to:

  • Improve sexual violence prevention and response strategies and services in our campus communities;
  • Address funding gaps and develop a clear vision for mental health and wellness services on Ontario campuses;
  • Continue to invest in open educational resources;
  • Improve experiential learning opportunities within the sector;
  • Collect data in a centralized manner to enable better decisions by the sector as a whole; and,
  • Consult students to ensure that their voice is heard during the upcoming Funding Formula and Tuition Framework negotiations. 

I am excited for us to get to work on these priorities. We have a passionate Steering Committee and Home Office staff who are eager to make some positive waves in the Ontario post-secondary education sector this year. Make sure to keep an eye out on our blog as we profile our activities over the year!