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Presidential Update - October 2019

While students were busy back on campus with new classes, Home Office and myself finished up an exciting first month of the academic year with an abundance of campus visits. We traveled far and wide across our great province to visit our members at Waterloo, Laurier, McMaster, Brock, Queen’s, Trent Durham GTA and Western. While we were there, we were busy meeting with your student assemblies and associations to share more about the advocacy and policy work we do, discussing how we support your campuses, and engaging with you on how we can better represent your members and how students can get more involved. We are looking forward to speaking with BUSU and WUSA’s councils, as well as the SGA at Laurentian, in the next term. We were also fortunate to meet with various members of your student associations to discuss best practice sharing and areas of cooperation, and various members of university administration to discuss shared priorities and how we can better support students and areas of collaboration. 

Most importantly, we also had the opportunity to talk to you! Our Home Office talked to hundreds of students over the course of our campus visits to discuss areas for involvement with OUSA, as well as our letter-writing campaign on the OSAP changes. From September 10th to October 7th, students across Ontario sent 1,023 individual letters to their MPP, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Premier. While we spent hours printing and folding letters (that’s what’s really spooky about this season), we are very grateful for every student that shared their story, and we are looking forward to hearing the response from the government. Our students’ time and effort in writing these letters to discuss the impact changes to OSAP have had on the accessibility and affordability of education illustrate the importance of the changes to OSAP to students, their peers, and their families. Thank you to every student that shared their story. 

 

Since returning from campus visits, we have stayed busy preparing for General Assembly, writing policy papers, and engaging in conversations related to student mental health at theCentre for Innovation on Campus Mental Health conference. On November 1-3, delegates will assemble at Brock University to debate our three policy papers on Ancillary Fees, Gender & Sexual Diversity: Two Spirit & LGBTQ+ Students, and Student Disability & Accessibility Inclusion. We are so proud of the work of our student authors, and are looking forward to engaging in productive discussions on how we can improve our policies over the next two weeks.