Introducing Sophie Helpard, OUSA’s New Executive Director

Hi everyone! Sophie here. I’m excited to say that I’ll be working as the Executive Director at OUSA!

I grew up in the Niagara region before attending Western University to study Political Science. I loved my time at Western (as everyone who knows me has heard dozens of times). While at Western I was passionate about improving the student experience, first through volunteering with the Orientation Program on campus and eventually when I was elected as the President of the University Students’ Council. I was introduced to student advocacy at the USC - specifically with the provincial and federal government. It quickly became my favourite part of the job.

When my term came to an end I headed to the East Coast to continue working as a student advocate, this time as the Executive Director at Students Nova Scotia. This opportunity gave me a chance to sip and sample my way through Maritime cuisine. More importantly, I learned about the post-secondary education sector in Nova Scotia and how it compares to other jurisdictions in the country. In Nova Scotia the sector might be a different size, with different priorities, but the challenges that students face are largely the same. Affordability, accessibility, and quality continue to be issues that student advocates focus on in order to improve post-secondary education for everyone.

Moving to the big city, I’m excited to reconnect with Ontario students and the challenges they face in PSE. I’m also looking forward to trying out new restaurants in the city (of which there will never be a shortage), navigating the TTC, and staying tuned into politics in Toronto! While we all anticipate the warm weather (especially after a harsh Halifax winter) I’m compiling a list of this summer’s required reading.

I’ll be hitting the ground running just as OUSA transitions another year of student leaders. I can’t wait to learn from the “new generation”, and hopefully share some of my experience to better the lives of students in this Province! And don’t forget to share your book suggestions!