Presidential Update - March 2021
May 3rd, 2021
TORONTO - On Friday, April 30th, the Ontario government announced a one-year extension of the 2020-2021 tuition freeze. While this decision is meant to increase affordability for students, it does not do enough to address the exacerbated financial concerns faced by students this year. OUSA asks that the provincial government complement the tuition freeze by investing in increased operating grants to institutions and OSAP funding for students who need it most.
“This past year has been especially difficult for students who are facing greater and more complex financial challenges as a result of COVID-19 and the high cost of their education,” said Julia Pereira, OUSA President. “Students need direct financial support, and while a tuition freeze may broadly benefit all students, it doesn't provide adequate support for students with the most financial need.”
April 30, 2021
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the second policy paper approved by OUSA’s Spring 2021 General Assembly, Addressing Racism & Religious Discrimination. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of providing recommendations to support racial and religious equity at post-secondary institutions in the province.
"Students deserve to pursue their education in an equitable, and inclusive environment where they are safe and supported," said Megan Town, OUSA Steering Committee Member and VP Education at the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. “Addressing the concerns raised by racialized and religious students with evidence-based policy, and a comprehensive, proactive approach is crucial to ensuring the accessibility of post-secondary education in Ontario"
April 23, 2021
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the first policy paper approved by OUSA’s Spring 2021 General Assembly, Student Health & Wellness. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of providing recommendations for improving student health and wellness.
"Health and wellness are priorities for many students, yet there are significant barriers to accessing programs and services that support their wellbeing," said Nathan Barnett, OUSA’s VP HR and VP University Affairs at Trent-Durham University. "Without adequate support from the provincial government, students will continue to face mental, physical, and sexual health challenges that will impact their ability to succeed in post-secondary education."
March 24, 2021
OUSA responds to the 2021 Ontario Budget
TORONTO - Today, the Ontario government released Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy. This budget is focused on the province’s economic recovery and includes investments to help keep Ontario safe and healthy. Post-secondary education is critical to the future of Ontario and to support our economic recovery, yet there is a noticeable lack of targeted investments to adequately support post-secondary students. In order to address the challenges students are currently facing, OUSA will continue to ask for increased financial assistance, work-integrated learning opportunities, and ongoing mental health supports.
TORONTO - Today, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced proposed amendments to Ontario Regulation 131/16 to make post-secondary sexual violence policies more trauma-informed, survivor-centric, and evidence-based.
"We are pleased to see the government take positive steps toward protecting and supporting students who have experienced gender-based violence," said Alexia Henriques, OUSA Steering Committee Member and Vice-President University Affairs at the Alma Mater Society at Queen’s University. "Students in Ontario have consistently expressed the need to better address the gender-based violence crisis on post-secondary campuses, and these proposed changes are one of many steps necessary to make our campuses safer."
December 4, 2020
OUSA releases policy paper titled “Housing, Transit, & Community Development”
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the third policy paper passed by OUSA’s Fall 2020 General Assembly, Housing, Transit, & Community Development. The paper was written, approved, and published by students to provide recommendations in response to the concerns that students face in their communities.
"Students are often overlooked or underappreciated when it comes to municipal issues,” said Julia Pereira, Vice President University Affairs for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and OUSA President. "And while students face unique challenges, they also share experiences with their neighbours and offer a unique perspective that is important for developing solutions for stronger communities for everyone."
November 27, 2020
OUSA releases policy paper titled “A Comprehensive Access Strategy”
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release A Comprehensive Access Strategy, the second of four policy papers approved at our virtual Fall General Assembly earlier this month. Written and ratified by students, this paper provides recommendations aimed at promoting equitable access to post-secondary education in Ontario.
November 20, 2020
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release its interim policy paper, Responding to COVID-19. The paper was written, approved, and published by students to provide recommendations in response to the concerns that students are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 5, 2020
OUSA responds to the 2020 Ontario Budget
TORONTO - Today, the Ontario government released the 2020 Ontario Budget – Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. The Budget includes several key items for post-secondary students, including increased student mental health services, the expansion and improvement of broadband, and support for microcredentials. While OUSA is pleased with these investments, we also want to emphasize that as COVID-19 continues to impact our province, post-secondary students are struggling and in need of additional investments in financial aid, work-integrated learning, and online learning.
June 1, 2020
TORONTO, ON - Over the past week, we have witnessed Black men, Black women, and Black trans folks be killed by police brutality. Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet — these are just four names in a list of hundreds of Black people who have been victims of police violence in recent years. As an organization that represents around 150,000 undergraduate students in Ontario, we have a duty to speak out on these injustices and address acts of anti-Black racism happening across the world, including in Ontario and on our campuses.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) stands with the Black community and emphasizes our stance that Black Lives Matter.