Everything has changed…
This time last month, we were onboarding a new Steering Committee as well as our summer interns. Well, a few quick weeks later, summer efforts to prepare for a strong year of research, policy, and of course, ADVOCACY, are well underway. Keep on reading to check out what we’ve been up to here at OUSA.
First-ever Presidential Update from our newly elected 2022-23 OUSA President, Jessica Look.
“Being involved with OUSA has been a big aspiration of mine; I cannot overstate my excitement about being a member of the 2022-2023 Steering Committee, much less leading it as President! It’s a big year ahead, but we have an incredible team here at OUSA, and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling.”
Give the sweet thing a read here.
We welcomed our 2022-23 to the world of OUSA virtually during our annual WeCon on May 19th and 20th! We got to know each other and a bit about OUSA, as well as elect our new President, VP Human Resources, and VP Finance. Congrats to Jessica Look (she/her), Ana Tremblay (she/her), and Stephanie Ye-Mowe (she/they) on your elections!
Introducing Jessica Look, OUSA President for 2022-23
“My name is Jessica Look, and I’m the Vice President of External Affairs at Western’s University Students’ Council (USC). I recently graduated from Western University, where I studied Political Science and French Studies. I’m beyond excited to be a part of OUSA this year, and can’t wait to start working with the incredible individuals that make up Steering Committee and Home Office.”
Read her intro blog here – and stay tuned for more intro blogs from the rest of our 2022-23 Steering Committee!
Who gives a $#!@? Youth voter apathy and a crisis of democratic faith
This election season, OUSA’s taking on a Big Question: does your vote matter? Turns out, we – the youth – don’t think it is! Are we right? What’s all the fuss about?
“What we’re learning is that having the ability to vote isn’t a right; it’s a responsibility. In choosing not to vote you’re effectively saying you have the privilege to handle the outcomes of an election regardless of who is elected. Unfortunately, not all Ontarians can say the same as each party has policies and long-term visions that can significantly disrupt our lives. It’s valid to feel like the candidates running in your riding are lackluster and don't effectively have a plan to represent you. However, showing up to vote – which includes checking off “abstention” on your ballot – has a huge impact on our democratic system.”
Read the careful, timely piece online at https://www.ousa.ca/blog_students_vote.
Ontario’s provincial election was set for June 2nd and here at OUSA we ran an informational campaign to get you what you needed to cast your ballot this election. You can still check out ousavotes.ca for answers to frequently asked questions about the Ontario 2022 Election and follow us (@ousahome) on Instagram or Twitter to always get our updates!
Habitats: Students in their Municipalities 2022
Each year, students from OUSA’s member institutions highlight the successes and challenges they face in their municipalities in Habitats: Students in their Municipalities. Habitats is a series of case studies on municipal-level topics and issues affecting undergraduate students across the province.
Articles in this year’s edition of Habitats explore the ongoing concerns surrounding students' safety off-campus in Hamilton, the barriers students face acquiring housing amidst COVID-19, the environmental benefits to public and sustainable means of transportation, the ubiquitous issue of food insecurity across the province, and the relationship between municipalities and students.
Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are integral parts of their respective municipalities, and collaboration and coordination between universities and their local municipalities is an important aspect of facilitating a mutually beneficial relationship. A healthy, productive environment born out of collaboration and coordination allows both students and municipalities to thrive by fostering an environment of trust, growth, respect, and community.
Give Habitats a read, live on our website now: https://www.ousa.ca/publication_habitats_22.
Summer School & Strategic Planning Conference 2022
Following May’s Welcome Conference, OUSA’s Steering Committee is getting all primed and prepped for a strong year of policy-making and advocacy! Kicking off this week with the first of OUSA’s summer school sessions, and ending with our Strategic Conference next Friday, June 17th, June is jampacked with opportunities for our elected student leaders to get to know each other and the sector, and make some real, tangible plans to (hopefully!) effect change.