Financial Instability: The Student Health Barrier That Must Be Addressed
Summer is almost over, and OUSA has been busy preparing for the year ahead. We continue to advocate on behalf of students through consultations with stakeholders and media interviews. Many post-secondary students are struggling financially due to COVID-19, and OUSA has been calling on the provincial government to provide immediate financial relief to students through improved OSAP and increased financial aid.
It’s Summer time,--
July has been a busy month for OUSA, filled with lots of exciting projects and announcements. OUSA was invited to participate in a consultation with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to discuss the re-opening of campuses and the affordability of post-secondary education. OUSA took this opportunity to highlight the concerns of students as we approach the fall semester.
This month, OUSA welcomed Chisanga as our newest Communications & Operations Coordinator and the newest member of the Home Office team. You can read more about Chisanga here.
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.
Hello & Happy May! --
May is a signifying month here at OUSA, full of transition and new beginnings. We welcomed a new Steering Committee and elected our executives as well. Congratulations to President Julia Pereira, , VP Finance Mackenzy Metcalfe, and VP Administration and Human Resources Alexa Leitch. Our new board got to know each other better at our (virtual) Welcome Conference this month, and we can’t wait to start creating priorities for the year ahead. Look forward to their introduction blogs coming soon!
OUSA’s home office also welcomed a new Summer Research Intern, Zamir Fakirani. Zamir comes to us from Western University, where he is entering his 4th year studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Refugee and Migrant Studies. He is also currently serving as the President of Western’s Social Science Students’ Council. To read more about Zamir, see his introduction blog here.
Following our virtual Plenary held in March, OUSA was proud to release the following policy papers: Rural & Northern Students, International Students & International Education, and Gender-Based & Sexual Violence Prevention & Response.
Happy Spring Time, Friend!
Congratulations to those who have finished (or are almost finished!) their final exams, projects, and papers. OUSA is cheering you on every step of the way! This a month, we are saddened to say goodbye to our current Steering Committee members. We’ve had an incredible year with them, full of advocacy wins and meeting with sector stakeholders. Closing off this year on an unexpected note, we held our Spring General Assembly through online breakout sessions followed by a Plenary meeting on Zoom. Our Partners in Higher Education Dinner teaching awards were also handed out virtually this year.
And most importantly, OUSA collaborated with our federal partners and student associations across the country to advocate for the largest investment in student financial aid in Canada’s history, and currently the largest student-specific COVID-19 package in the world.
Looking forward, we are excited to start working with our new Steering Committee members at our (virtual) Welcome Conference in May, where the board will elect a new President, Vice President Finance, and Vice President Administration & Human Resources.
We hope you’re staying healthy and happy. It’s been a challenging month for everyone, including OUSA. While navigating uncertain times, we’ve been working from home to advocate for students and respond to government announcements as they come in. Visit ousa.ca/covid19 to learn more about how OUSA and our member institutions are responding.
We also made the tough decision to suspend our Spring General Assembly and postpone our annual Partners in Higher Education Dinner, which had been scheduled for April 9th, 2020. Although we are saddened to postpone these events, we want to prioritize the health of our attendees and encourage social distancing as recommended by public health officials.