For many students, May means a new beginning. Whether it’s the end of the school term or venturing on new summer internships, travels, or preparing for graduation, we can all use this time to reflect on our accomplishments, goals, and new priorities. Here at OUSA, May also signals change. This May was an especially exciting time for student advocacy goal setting. For most of the month, as student leaders we were busy sharing information and preparing students to vote in the provincial election. We completed a very successful #StudentsVote campaign where thousands of students pledged to vote in the provincial election.. Students came out in large numbers to have their voices heard. We look forward to partnering with Premier-designate Doug Ford, the Progressive Conservative Party, and all newly-elected and re-elected Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to address students’ concerns. We are optimistic about collaborating with the new government, given their attention to mental health funding in their plan, and look forward to continue building relationships with the Ontario government as their transition progresses throughout this month.
Speaking of transition, OUSA’s student leaders endured an intensive transition period throughout the month of May. The 2017-2018 Steering Committee passed the torch at our Transition Days at the end of April, and we fully launched into our new roles at Welcome Conference in mid-May where we elected a new executive, shared best practices with the presidents of our student governments, and talked in-depth about our policy papers. We were also busy back at our home institutions, learning the ropes from previous executives. It’s safe to say that, now that these transition periods are over, our team feels well-equipped to undergo another great year of advocacy here at OUSA.
This week, Steering Committee is busy at our annual Strategic Planning Conference, where we set our advocacy priorities for the year. The advice passed on from our predecessors will absolutely be of great value as we plan for the year ahead! The General Assembly tasked OUSA to re-write our policy papers on Teaching and Assessment, Technology-Enabled Learning, and Tuition. These papers will set the tone for an exciting year of advocacy, especially since the tuition framework expires in 2019. We look forward to important conversations surrounding this topic with all stakeholders in the coming months.
Stay tuned as we release our advocacy priorities for the coming year and be sure to check out OUSA’s blog to get to know the rest of Steering Committee over the summer months!