Presidential Update March 2024

Spring has sprung! Welcome back to my March update.


To kick this season off, we headed to McMaster for our Spring General Assembly. After four days of discussions, we passed three papers: Addressing Racism and Religious Discrimination, Gender-based & Sexual Violence Prevention and Response, and International Students and International Education. It was amazing to be a part of an authoring team for the first and final time, shoutout to the ARRD paper! Thank you to MSU for hosting us and making sure we stayed hydrated with the cool water bottle merch. We also want to thank Shemar Hackett, our Chair for Plenary, for being a steadfast facilitator and for taking time out of his weekend to support our discussions!

March also brought exciting news for OUSA as an organization - Possibility Seeds, a gender justice consultancy group, recognized us with a Courage to Act Student Leader Award in the category of Student Group. Gender-based and sexual violence remains near and dear to our advocacy and we want to thank both current and former SC members who acted as trailblazers on this file over the past several years. We wouldn’t be here without your commitment to this work!

On March 26th, the provincial government dropped their budget. As expected, the budget contained the Postsecondary Education Sustainability Fund announced by the Ministry later in February, alongside other envelopes of funding related to STEM recruitment, accountability measures, and capital repairs, among others. There was also investments to support survivors of sexual violence, which OUSA was pleased to see. However, the commitments for operating grants fall short of what the sector needs to become financially sustainable; the budget also had a lack of funding for mental health and limited increases for student financial aid. Our full response to the budget can be found here.

Over the long weekend, our Board drove up to Orilla for our first ever Strategic Planning Retreat. Throughout the year, our StratPlan working group has been working diligently to strategize what the next four years will look like. We had important conversations about our strategy, scope, and the impact that we would like to have on the post-secondary education sector. Sessions after sessions, our team left with key action items to move forward with. Thank you to my team and Malika for their commitment.


Looking forward, OUSA is getting ready to host our Partners in Higher Education Dinner (lovingly known as PiHED), where we will bring together stakeholders from all over the sector to celebrate our work over the year and engage in critical dialogue about the path forward. 


Sadly, our Steering Committee will also be getting ready to transition out of our roles but I don’t want to think too hard about that yet, so we’ll leave it here!


Until April,


Viv :)