My name is Will Greene and I am the Vice President of University Affairs for the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to represent my peers from Queen’s as a member of this year’s OUSA Steering Committee.
I have just recently finished my fourth year of a Political Studies and History degree. Over the course of my time here, my interest in government relations, advocacy, and student activism have been developed in and outside of the classroom. During these four years, I have been involved in Orientation Week leadership, club activities, and within my faculty as the Political Studies Department Student Council President. Each of these opportunities have provided me with multiple unique perspectives and have helped me transition into this role. Last year, my Co-Executive and I recognized a need for greater ground-level student engagement and decided to run a campaign of consultation. This means that we sought to listen to a diverse range of student voices and get a sense for what issues they are most passionate about. It was during this experience that I truly learned what it meant to advocate on behalf of students.
During my transition, I had the privilege of attending the Spring 2019 OUSA General Assembly in Waterloo. It was over the course of this weekend that I learned that the issues facing Queen’s students were not dissimilar to those faced around the Province. It was also here where I learned the value that OUSA as an organization. OUSA is an effective student led body that centralizes advocacy efforts and makes a significant impact in bringing student concerns to the attention of our Provincial Government. Whether it be student employment, financial aid, skills-based learning, or representation for issues facing marginalized individuals, OUSA provides a place for dialogue and debate to take place in order to advocate effectively on behalf of over 100,000 students.
In the era of the Student Choice Initiative, it is important now more than ever to effectively use our collective voice to protect student interests, and by extension, student advocacy. I am excited for this opportunity to work alongside such a passionate and intelligent group of student leaders in our efforts to protect our peers’ interests and improve student life in Ontario overall.