Presidential Update - May 2017

The end of Winter term often feels like it was a long time coming for many students. Spring signals a fresh start for many of us, whether we are making travel plans, returning to studies, beginning summer jobs or preparing for graduation. At OUSA, Spring is no different. Each May signals a fresh start as a new batch of students from our member student associations comes together to form OUSA’s Steering Committee. This Spring marked a fresher start than normal, as we also welcomed two new staff to our Home Office: Colin Aitchison, (Research and Policy Analyst) and Sophie Helpard (Executive Director)! We are excited to have a lot of new faces as we kick off another year of provincial advocacy!

Steering Committee and Home Office met May 16-18 for our yearly transition conference. But before before we even met, we heard a couple exciting government announcements! First, at budget time, the government announced OHIP+, which includes full coverage on 4,400 prescription medications for people under the age of 25. Then, on May 3rd, I attended an event with Minister Deb Matthews (Advanced Education and Skills Development) and Minister Eric Hoskins (Health and Long-Term Care) where they announced an increase in campus wellness funding, from $9M/year to $15M/year for the next three years. Among other things, this funding will help institutions hire more front-line mental health workers.

Needless to say, it is exciting to see student wellness being taken seriously! It is one of the of the many topics that Steering Committee will be considering as we set our yearly priorities in early July.  Keep an eye out for a summer blog that will explore each of our priorities in detail. Until then, stay OUSAwesome!