April 27, 2023
Ontario Tech Student Union Joins Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
Establishes partnership to improve post-secondary student advocacy
TORONTO, ON —The Ontario Tech Student Union (OTSU), an organization representing over 10,000 students who attend Ontario Tech University, and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) are pleased to announce that the OTSU has joined OUSA as the organization’s newest member. The Steering Committee at OUSA voted unanimously to accept the OTSU as full-members, and the OTSU will transition from its observer-member status to full-member status. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is a coalition of student associations from across Ontario who, with the addition of the OTSU, protect the interests of over 160,000 post-secondary students in Ontario by providing evidence-based recommendations to governments and stakeholders on how to improve the affordability, accessibility, accountability and quality of post-secondary education in the province.
In the 2023 OTSU General Elections, Ontario Tech students voted “yes” on the referendum question to join OUSA with a 54 per cent majority, with 24 per cent voting “no” and 21 per cent abstaining. The OTSU will begin collecting and remitting membership fees May 1, 2023.
“The last two years of Observership with OUSA has given Ontario Tech students the opportunity to learn about the organization, and I’m thrilled we have voted in favour of joining! Our students clearly see the value in OUSA and its advocacy initiatives,” said OTSU President, Joshua Sankarlal. “Joining OUSA ushers in a new era for the OTSU with a strong focus on advocacy and student affairs. I am excited that the OTSU has the opportunity to work collaboratively with OUSA and other student unions across Ontario, helping us bring Ontario Tech students’ unique experiences and concerns to the provincial level, and adding our voice to the growing faction of students advocating for improvements to the post-secondary experience in our province.”
The OTSU joined OUSA as a non-voting observer-member in 2021 and took part in the review and administration of research papers and policy proposals, but did not have the right to appoint a Director or cast an official vote on motions or policy. As a full-member, the OTSU will have voting rights on OUSA’s Steering Committee, will author at least one policy paper each year, participate with full voting rights in OUSA’s annual General Assembly, and attend Lobby Week at Queen’s Park, where OTSU executives will meet with Members of Provincial Parliament.
Full OUSA membership enables the OTSU to collaborate with other student unions across Ontario, adding strength in numbers to the initiatives that OUSA identifies as central to improving post-secondary education in the Province, and grants Ontario Tech students the ability to speak directly with provincial politicians to have our students’ perspectives heard.
“OUSA is delighted to welcome the Ontario Tech Student Union to our membership! I would like to thank outgoing OTSU president Josh Sankarlal and his team for their contributions to OUSA's advocacy efforts throughout their observership period” said OUSA President, Jessica Look. “We are excited to integrate OTSU's perspective in our lobbying efforts and continue working together to represent students across Ontario!”
For more than 25 years OUSA has been responsible for achieving major policy wins for students in Ontario, including repurposing $365 million of tax credits into grants for low-income students, increasing the minimum salary required before having to repay student loans, amending Ontario Regulation 131/16 to improve institutional gender-based violence policy, and much more.
Digital Media and Communications Coordinator, OTSU
Tiffany Li Wu
Operations and Communications Coordinator, OUSA
The Ontario Tech Student Union is a non-profit organization that represents over 10,000 students at Ontario Tech University and is dedicated to enhancing the student experience at Ontario Tech University. We provide students with services and amenities that support physical and mental wellbeing, provide collaborative spaces to pursue passions and nourish development, and improve student life through advocacy and leadership.
OUSA is an advocacy-focused group representing the interests of ~150,000 university students at eight student associations across Ontario, and writes evidence-based policy recommendations to the Ontario Provincial Government on behalf of post-secondary students in the province.