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OUSA Returns with Virtual Student Advocacy Conference

TORONTO – This week, nineteen student leaders from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) will meet virtually with MPPs and their staff to discuss student concerns. OUSA represents 150,000 students from eight universities across Ontario, and our student representatives will be advocating for OUSA’s priorities on Affordability, Gender-based and Sexual Violence Prevention, Racial Equity, Sector Sustainability, and Students with Disabilities. 

OUSA Launches Fall Campaign Against Ontario Government's OSAP Clawbacks

TORONTO - On May 5th, 2021, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) sent a letter to the former Minister of Colleges and Universities, asking the province to stop the $400 million clawbacks from the provincial portion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and to re-invest the $400 million back into OSAP. Having received no response, OUSA sent a second letter on September 10th to the Honourable Jill Dunlop, the current Minister of Colleges and Universities. 

Joint Statement by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and Ontario’s Universities on Fall Re-opening and Vaccinations

JOINT STATEMENT

July 16, 2021 - “As Ontario’s universities and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) prepare to welcome new and returning students this fall, we encourage all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

OUSA and our universities across the province are proud to recognize the exceptional contributions and dedication of Ontario’s students in accelerating provincial COVID-19 vaccination efforts thus far. 

OUSA Asks Province to Stop OSAP Clawbacks

NEWS RELEASE

May 26, 2021

OUSA Calls on the Province to Stop Clawing Back OSAP 

 

TORONTO - On May 5, 2021, The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) sent a letter to the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, asking the province to stop the $400 million clawback from the provincial portion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and to re-invest the $400 milion back into OSAP. As of Wednesday, May 26, OUSA has not received a response from Minister Romano or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. 

 

“Students across the province rely on the OSAP to help fund their post-secondary education and increase affordability,” said Eunice Oladejo, OUSA President and incoming Vice-President External Affairs at the University Students’ Council at Western University. “Due to the global pandemic, students are facing income disruptions and high unemployment rates, further exacerbating issues of affordability.”

 

In the spirit of helping students during the pandemic, the federal government doubled its contributions to OSAP through the Canada Student Grant (CSG) in 2020 and has committed to maintaining this investment amount for the next two years. Despite the significant increase in funding for student financial aid, students in Ontario have not felt the effects of this contribution. This is because the province is using the increased federal funding to subsidize its own contributions to OSAP by clawing back the provincial portion of OSAP. In the recently announced fiscal plan and outlook (page 154), the provincial government reduced its OSAP expenditure from $1.29 billion in 2019-20 to $895 million in 2020-21, amounting to a $400 million reduction.

 

Rather than providing Ontario students with the financial support they require and have been asking for throughout the pandemic, the provincial government is using the federal government’s additional investments as a cost-saving mechanism. Therefore, not only is the provincial government not listening to students, they are also interfering with federal interventions to meet students’ needs.  

 

OUSA has asked the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to: 

  1. Stop OSAP clawbacks as a result of increased federal funding through Canada Student Grants; and 
  2. Invest any savings generated by the doubling of Canada Student Grants back into OSAP to provide more direct support for students who need it most.

OUSA releases “Habitats: Students in their Municipalities 2021”

NEWS RELEASE

May 25, 2021

 

OUSA releases “Habitats: Students in their Municipalities 2021”

 

TORONTO, ON - Today the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) released its annual publication, Habitats: Students in their Municipalities. Each year, students from OUSA’s member institutions highlight the successes and challenges they face in their municipalities through a series of case studies on municipal-level topics and issues affecting undergraduate students across the province.

 

“Post-secondary students bring immense value to their communities, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to municipal issues,” said Eunice Oladejo, Vice President External Affairs at the Western University Students' Council and OUSA President. “The concerns outlined in this publication highlight the need for increased collaboration between municipalities and universities to ensure municipalities can meet the needs of students and improve the lives of all residents.”

OUSA responds to one-year Tuition Fee Freeze

NEWS RELEASE

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.” 

OUSA releases policy paper titled “Addressing Racism & Religious Discrimination”

NEWS RELEASE

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"

 

OUSA releases policy paper titled “Student Health & Wellness”

NEWS RELEASE

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."