JUNE 3, 2019
TORONTO, ON - This morning, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) released their annual publication, Habitats: Students in their Municipalities. In this year’s publication, students highlight successes and challenges in their municipalities, with themes ranging from improving the ability of students to advocate municipally and providing work-integrated learning opportunities, to addressing housing issues and unsanctioned street gatherings, as well as highlighting the importance of cultural development.
“It’s important to recognize the value that post-secondary students bring to their municipalities - and vice versa,” said Shawn Cruz, Vice President University Affairs for the Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union. “Increased collaboration between cities, schools, and their students create meaningful outcomes for all stakeholders.”
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. To this end, students have highlighted challenges and offered solutions to addressing some of the barriers to collaboration and coordination between students and their municipalities. They speak to the role of students in municipal advocacy, work-integrated learning opportunities, and addressing issues that affect both students and their communities.
“Students are a large portion of the population and play an important role in their municipalities," said Shemar Hackett, Vice President Education for the McMaster Student Union. "That's why it's important for cities to strengthen their relationship and increase interaction with students, to ensure they feel integrated into the broader community."
Habitats offers policymakers, politicians, students, and administrators access to student perspectives on the issues and topics that are relevant to them and their communities. It is OUSA’s hope that sharing these perspectives with stakeholders will contribute to building meaningful and lasting partnerships between students and their municipal communities.
Habitats: Students in their Municipalities 2019 can be found here.
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OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario.
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance