March is here! Can you believe we’re almost at the end of the school year already? I definitely can’t, especially as election season is gradually wrapping up.
I’m writing this week to announce the launch of the housing edition of our “Stop OSAP Clawbacks” campaign. In preparation for the release of the Ontario 2023 Budget, we anticipate the third year of $400 million dollars clawed back in provincial contributions to the Ontario’s Student Assistance Program (OSAP), for a total of $1.2B in savings for the Ontario government. Our campaign seeks to highlight our province’s gaps in student financial aid in the wake of a pandemic that has only exacerbated the unaffordability of post-secondary education in Ontario.
OUSA’s spring campaign will specifically address the student housing crisis, and will be an opportunity for us to hear from students directly. Students from OUSA member schools can participate in the campaign’s giveaway for the chance to win one of three $200 gift cards to the grocery store. Follow the campaign on Instagram or Twitter at @ousahome!
In the meantime, thank you to everyone who expressed interest and applied to intern at OUSA this summer! Our Home Office is doing the hiring now, and we’re so excited to see who will be joining the team. In the meantime, I’d also like to plug our newest job opportunity: we’re hiring an Operations and Communications Coordinator! In this role, you’ll be responsible for event management, administrative support, and internal and external communications for OUSA, all while supporting university students across Ontario. If this sounds like something you could see yourself in, I’d highly encourage you to apply! Applications are due March 24.
I’ve spent the last few weeks visiting so many of OUSA’s member and observer school campuses, including Ontario Tech, Trent’s Durham campus, and Queen’s University. It was so wonderful to see so many students coming together at Queen’s for OUSA’s Spring 2023 General Assembly (GA)!
The papers discussed at GA were Teaching & Assessment, Accessibility & Disability Inclusion, and 2S and LGBTQIA+ Students. It was an insightful weekend for sure, and it was such a pleasure to be surrounded by such passionate students for four days. While our plenary was quite long and we passed the first two papers, we’re not quite done yet! We’ll be wrapping up online this next month to finish going through the 2S and LGBTQIA+ Students policy paper. Congratulations to all authors and delegates!
Looking ahead, we’re in the process of planning the return of our Partners in Higher Education Dinner (affectionately, PiHED) on April 6th. This is an annual event that OUSA puts on to celebrate partnerships between different groups in the post-secondary sector, and it is a great opportunity to connect with stakeholders from varying backgrounds. We’re also excited to recognize instructors from all of our campuses with OUSA’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, nominated by students ourselves!
Before I sign off (for now), I’d like to also recognize and commend everyone who ran in student government elections. I know it can be daunting, and if you haven’t already heard it from someone else, I’m very proud of you for throwing your hat in the ring. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and show the student body your motivations, passions, and goals. Whether you were successful or not, I promise you inspired someone else in the process. I hope you learned something along the way, and take pride in everything you put in.
Have a wonderful March, and I’ll write again soon!