Presidential Update May 2023

Hi everyone! I hope the start of your summer has been splendid and you’ve been enjoying some much deserved rest and relaxation! This is a bittersweet moment for me as this is my final presidential update, so please humour me and my sentimentality. 

It has been quite the year at OUSA, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to lead our Steering Committee in representing over 160,000 students across Ontario. I’m excited to loop you in on what OUSA’s been up to this May before diving into a bit of sappiness.


This past month, we participated in consultations with the Blue-Ribbon Panel, a panel of experts in the post-secondary education sector whose objective is to support the quality, accessibility, and sustainability of the sector by providing advice and recommendations to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. We really appreciated the opportunity to meet virtually with the panel as well as provide a written submission, and we certainly look forward to seeing their recommendations.


In other exciting news, OUSA is thrilled to officially welcome our newest member, the Ontario Tech Student Union! The OTSU has been an observer member for two years, and officially joined beginning May 1, 2023. We’re looking forward to integrating Ontario Tech students’ perspectives into our lobbying efforts. We also recently released our policy paper on Teaching & Assessment - keep your eyes peeled for a few other policy papers that will be released from this past year!


OUSA has been deep in transition mode as we welcome our new Steering Committee (SC). This past week, we hosted our Welcome Conference where members of the 2023-24 SC were onboarded, got ready for the policy paper cycle, met with sector stakeholders and more.


Before I sign off, I want to take this opportunity to say a few thank yous. Thank you to my Steering Committee for being such an incredible, intelligent, passionate and supportive group of people. I’m so grateful to have worked with you all, and even more so to call you guys my friends.


Of course, we couldn’t have gotten through this year without our capable, resilient, compassionate and dedicated Home Office. I owe you all so many thank yous for helping our Steering Committee put our best foot forward, for supporting me through my spirals, and for being extraordinary role models for me. 

Finally, I’m excited to be handing over the presidential reins to my successor, Vivian Chiem, who is also the VP Government & Stakeholder Relations at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. Vivian was previously OUSA’s Advocacy and Communications intern (check out her super cool capstone here), has a wealth of experience in student advocacy, and is incredible at fostering a welcoming space for all - so it’s safe to say that OUSA is in very good hands. Congratulations to OUSA’s new President, Vice President Finance, and Vice President Administration & Resources! Vivian, Emily, and Katie, I know you’re going to be amazing, especially with the wonderful people who make up SC 2023-24.


If you’re reading this as a student, I hope you see yourself represented in the people, goals, and values of OUSA. If any of this piques your interest, please get involved with OUSA, your student association, or any cause you feel passionately about - I promise it will be a memorable and gratifying experience.


For the last time: my name is Jessica Look, and it has been an absolute privilege to serve as President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. Lots of love!!