My name is Samantha Brown (please call me Sam), and I'm excited to be the first representative for the Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU) on OUSA's Steering Committee.
I recently finished my undergrad at Ontario Tech University with a major in Legal Studies (Hons), a minor in Criminology and Justice and a Specialization in Alternative Dispute Resolution. My degree provided me with a lens to critically view how socio-economic and policy aspects of life impact and inform individuals’ lives through legal interactions in society.
I have always been involved in extracurriculars on campus, leading me to my role as President of OTSU. I started as an Ambassador in my first year, setting up events and developing my leadership skills. I came into university acknowledging that I over-committed to extracurriculars in high school (I ran on hopes and adrenaline all 4 years). So I made it a point to join a maximum of 2 initiatives a year (that failed about 2 weeks into the first year). I enjoy advocating for other students and creating space and opportunities where students feel safe and comfortable being themselves. I was a Peer Leader and the Peer Mentorship Programs Assistant for the Student Life Department, where I had the opportunity to help first year students transition into university life. To provide representation and culturally safe space and networks for Black Indigenous People of Colour students on campus, a few friends and I started the BIPOC Club and the Black Student Collective. I also worked as the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) Project & Event Services Assistant: Advocates Assemnly, OTSU Board Director, and OTSU Board Chair to implement these changes on a large scale (yay, governance!).
Through my involvement at the university, I interacted with students, staff, faculty, prospective students and community members from various walks of life to understand issues that impact Ontario Tech and the community. I also participated in a few research projects that focused on inequities in marginalized communities, such as accessibility, affordability, and how to hold institutions accountable. These areas align with OUSA's goals, so I am excited to have the opportunity to learn and apply my knowledge to empower and amplify student voices at a government level!