Hi everyone! I hope you are keeping well during this month.
First, I would like to acknowledge the hate-motivated attack that took place at the University of Waterloo. We are standing in solidarity with the Waterloo community and sending our care to everyone affected. The attack is a pivotal marker on the importance of campus gender-based violence advocacy, especially because of its impacts on the Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community. Hate is not tolerated here and has no place in our organization. OUSA has been engaging with the media in an effort to represent the student voice on this issue.
Earlier this month, the Our Campus, Our Safety coalition and student union partners signed onto an open letter in response to the attack with requests of post-secondary institutions and governments to ensure a safe environment for all campus community members.
Katie Traynor, our VP HR and I spoke at a Possibility Seeds press conference: Our Campus, Our Safety on the Hate-Motivated Attack at the University of Waterloo. There are follow up articles from CBC and The Star highlighting our key messages about safety and inclusion.
Emily Poirier, our VP Finance spoke on behalf of OUSA during a CBC Radio Canada interview. Give it a listen, “Des étudiants veulent plus de sécurité sur les campus”.
In other news, we launched our Inclusive Calendar now permanent on our website! Its goal is to recognize, celebrate, and bring awareness to the significant dates and holidays of diverse cultures, religions, and social issues. We also invite community members to tell us what else we should include - you can make suggestions through our social media and emails.
Additionally, we released Habitats: Students in their Municipalities 2023. This is a platform where undergraduate students from our nine member institutions can showcase their successes and challenges within their rural and northern communities. Congratulations and thank you to our authors for sharing their experiences through this publication!
In the past few weeks, our authorship teams have been busy partaking in summer school, policy paper writing training sessions, and focus groups hosted by our wonderful RPAs. We are looking forward to getting started on the fall and spring papers!
Just as importantly, our ED Malika and I had the pleasure of meeting with two of our stakeholders, eCampus and the MCU. We met with eCampus’s CEO Robert Luke, and discussed using digital tools to integrate equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in student mental health. We also met with the newly appointed Deputy Minister David Wai and talked about OUSA’s annual advocacy priorities as well as Wai’s team priorities for this year. We are excited for the future touchpoints with them ahead.
All in all, July has been a whirlwind. I wish you a lovely last month of summer!
Catch you later,