Presidential Update April 2024

Hi folks, we meet again!


April has come and gone, and I am feeling bittersweet reflecting on such an important month.


Firstly, we got to celebrate the work that the post-secondary education sector has done and continues to do at our 17th annual Partners in Higher Education Dinner (PiHED) in Toronto! It was so lovely to see everyone across the sector dress up in their best gear for a night of fun. We were pleased to welcome Minister Dunlop to the event, who provided opening remarks (and took over our 0.5 tradition with her selfie) as well as Dr. Laura Mae Lindo who gave a very impactful and empowering keynote address for our guests. The night was a huge success and we’re excited to continue working with our partners to prioritize student issues. A massive shoutout to Tiffany, OUSA’s rockstar Ops and Comms Coordinator who planned and executed PiHED!

Malika and I also had a chance to meet with MPP Karen McCrimmon, who is the Liberal party’s  new critic for post-secondary at Queen’s Park. We had a chance to offer our perspectives on Bill 166 and get to know more about what she is working towards in this portfolio. 


Speaking of Bill 166, OUSA and a handful of our member associations had the opportunity to speak to the Standing Committee on Social Policy to offer our feedback on the Bill. We emphasized the importance of holding student consultations to inform the policies being introduced in this Bill, as well as ensuring that student groups are not advertently or inadvertently harmed by Ministerial directives. We are hopeful to see our recommendations integrated in order to improve the frameworks that will support students on campus.


As our year comes to a close, so do a couple of the working relationships I had with our government partners including Minister Dunlop and MPP Sattler, the critic of post-secondary for the NDP. I had a chance to sit down with both of them one last time and discuss their next projects and find opportunities for OUSA to highlight student voices in this work. I have really appreciated getting to know them over this year and am grateful for their continued engagement with us to understand student concerns. 


And in line with the season of transition, our Steering Committee is officially done with their terms at OUSA! We held our transition meeting to onboard our successors, get them acquainted with OUSA, and prepare them for all that they will get up to in the governing year. It was a bittersweet moment for sure, but I know our next batch of Board members are incredible advocates and I’m excited to see them carry forward all of our work from this year! To end off this emotional day, we held our alumni event at the not-so-new office where our incoming Steering Committee had a chance to meet some of OUSA’s best and brightest from over the past several years. 


When I think of the best and brightest, I truly do think of my Steering Committee. I cannot thank them enough for their commitment and dedication for all their advocacy work this year. Listening to them speak so passionately about student issues has always left me inspired and wanting to do better. Moreover, listening to each member provide insight and advice to the incoming team made me emotional. I was touched by their unique perspective and level of depth into what they all got out of this experience. I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to do this together as a team. I will miss chairing our meetings, lobbying alongside one another and creating memories. Although, I do have memories that will last a lifetime, so thank you.


I would also like to thank our Research Policy Analyst, Ananya, for all her efforts during her time here at OUSA. So many incredible projects, papers, and presentations have been completed under her direction and we are so grateful to have had her. We wish you the best on the next chapter of your journey and we look forward to seeing what you will accomplish! 


With one more month left in my presidency journey, I am definitely soaking it up. We’ll chat once more, real soon.

Take care and enjoy the May flowers,


Viv <3