June Communique

It’s Summer time, --

OUSA is business as usual for the Summer. Our annual Strategic Conference took place last week, where our new Steering Committee met (virtually) to discuss team dynamics, set goals, plan for the year ahead, learn about OUSA’s policy writing process, and, most importantly, set our advocacy priorities for the year. Our Steering Committee is dedicated to advocating on behalf of students' best interests and their priorities reflect that. 

This month, we’re sadly saying goodbye to our Communications & Operations Coordinator, Crystal. We know she will do great things in her next role and we will be seeing her at future alumni events. Her exit blog can be found here. This means that OUSA is hiring a new Communications & Operations Coordinator; the deadline to apply is June 30th at 5pm, and you can check out the job posting to learn more. 





Online activism has also demonstrated our capability to change and empower - on our  campuses, it is impossible to ignore the incredible advocacy of students calling on their institutions and student unions to do better; place equity and diversity at the forefront of their operations; and foster a campus culture that is inclusive, diverse, and accepting of all.

Read Julia's First Presidential Update here.

The second eligibility period for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) opened on June 8th. In approximately 4 weeks time you can re-apply for the third period. Apply online on the CRA website (https://www.canada.ca/…/bene…/emergency-student-benefit.html) or by calling their automated service at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. This is an income supplement provided by the Federal government for post secondary students and recent grads during the pandemic. 

For updates regarding post secondary education and COVID-19, visit ousa.ca/covid19. This page includes links to FAQ pages on CERB & CESB written by Nathan Barnett, VP of University Affairs at Trent Durham Student Association.

OUSA represents 150,000 students, and so we have a duty to speak out on injustices & address acts of anti-Black racism happening across the world, in Ontario & on our campuses. We stand with the Black community #BlackLivesMatter 

Read our full statement here.

Habitats: Students in their Municipalities
Each year, students from OUSA’s member institutions highlight the successes and challenges they face in their municipalities through a series of case studies on municipal-level topics and issues affecting undergraduate students across the province. This year, despite the exceptional circumstances of a global pandemic, our contributors have once again demonstrated the dichotomy of students in their municipalities, simultaneously sharing in community-wide challenges with a unique and often overlooked perspective. Read it here.


OUSA’s Submission to the the Minister of Colleges & Universities about OSAP Estimator Concerns & OSAP Recommendations
Students are concerned that the OSAP Estimator is not available online. They are currently making important decisions about their education, but without an accurate understanding of their funding eligibility they cannot adequately plan for their future. In response to this concern, we submitted a  letter to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano offering recommendations to improve this process for students. Read it here.


What you can do to be active against anti-Black racism

OUSA has put together a list of resources that may be helpful in your personal pursuit to learn more about anti-Black racism and how to take meaningful action. 

We have compiled this list by consolidating resources from a variety of sources, including social media. We want to acknowledge that many of these resources were created and shared by Black and Brown folks, and each resource required their emotional labour. We have credited these sources and thank them for doing this work. Find it here. 


What’s the deal with Accessibility? 

Recently, OUSA had the opportunity to provide feedback to the AODA Alliance on their Draft Framework for a Post-Secondary Education Accessibility Standard. This framework is being developed to inform changes to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. For many individuals who do not have a disability, this raises the question: why do we need a legislated accessibility standard for post-secondary students and education? To understand why, read Megan’s blog here.