Hi friends, I hope exam season is treating you well! I can’t believe it’s already April and we’re at the end of the academic term.
Since my last update, OUSA wrapped up with the housing edition of our “Stop OSAP Clawbacks” campaign. You can check out our Instagram to see more content on this! From our 2022 student survey data, we revealed just how worrisome housing affordability is for students during this campaign. The 2023 Ontario Budget was also released, and to our disappointment, the provincial government has not made any significant investments into post-secondary education. However, they did announce the creation of the Blue Ribbon Panel who have invited us to participate in consultations as they develop recommendations for the financial sustainability of the sector. We’re looking forward to sharing our perspective with the panel and seeing their final report in the coming months!
As you know, we held our Spring General Assembly at Queen’s University earlier in March but didn’t get a chance to finish Plenary. I’m happy to report that we continued Plenary a couple of weeks later and officially adjourned the meeting, finally passing the Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Student policy paper! A massive congratulations to all the authors, and really, all our students who now have updated policy stances to support our advocacy.
If you’re interested in reading more about GA, our stellar RPA Ananya wrote a fun blog that recapped the shenanigans of the weekend! We also released two other blogs by our incredible Steering Committee members. Andy highlights the importance of giving a $#!t, describing the current lack of engagement with student government and why politics do matter. Our resident #WomanInSTEM, Sahiba, talks about the interplay of politics and science, and the atypical route she’s had in politics as a science student.
Another exciting update is that we hosted our Partners in Higher Education Dinner (more commonly known as PiHED) on April 6th in Toronto! It was a wonderful evening that brought together so many of our post-secondary partners to celebrate our work over the past year, and gave us a chance to distribute OUSA’s Teaching Excellence Awards! It was so heartwarming to see so many deserving professors be recognized for their dedication and passion for teaching, and you can read more about this year’s recipients here! During the event, we had a chance to reconnect with old colleagues but also meet some new faces, some of which we’d exclusively interacted with online for the past 3 years! You can see plenty of photos from PiHED on our Facebook page.
Last but not least, I have the pleasure of introducing Tiffany Li Wu, OUSA’s newest Operations & Communications Coordinator! Read her introduction here - she comes to OUSA with a passion for student government and a wealth of experience in event coordination. We’re so excited to have her join the team!
Wishing you the best of luck as you wrap up with your finals and potentially embark on your treacherous move-outs! See you next month (for my final update (‘:)!