April Communique

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.





“It’s probable this chapter - whether it is your first or fifth year of studies - is not closing as you expected. Therefore, I urge you to reflect on what you are grateful for; reach out to connect with those you may be apart from; and take some time to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished this year.”

Read Cat's April Presidential Update >>>>>



Spring General Assembly & Virtual Plenary

OUSA’s 51st General Assembly Plenary was held online for the first time ever (to watch it, click here) and we successfully adopted four new policy papers: Gender-based & Sexual Violence Prevention & Response, International Students & International Education, Rural & Northern Students, and Student Association Autonomy. Look for our published policy papers in May. Thank you to the authorship teams, our delegates & everyone who tuned in!



Partners In Higher Education Dinner Teaching Awards

Each year OUSA has invited and celebrated recipients of our Teaching Awards at our annual Partners in Higher Education Dinner. While we were unable to host the event this year, we are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 OUSA Teaching Excellence Awards.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) 

Over the last few weeks, students have shared their stories and identified concerns about being left out of government support programs. OUSA applauds the government on this student support package, which includes: the implementation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB); expansion of the Canada Student Grants and Loan Program, including a more flexible eligibility criteria; financial support for students pursuing volunteer opportunities; and a $75 million increase in distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis post-secondary students. To read our full statement, click here.



âcimostâtowak, Stories we tell: Truth as the Path to Reconciliation

"According to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (2011), the Nishnaabemowin verb, “biskaabiiyang,” or “to look back” essentially means that in order to “return to ourselves” through a deconstruction of colonization, and ultimately reconciliation, Indigenous and non-Indigenous intellectuals and communities must be willing to work individually and collectively to critically examine the impacts of colonialism in all its manifestations."

Read Mathew Dueck’s first blog on reconciliation and indigenization in higher education here.


COVID-19 and the Six-Month, Interest-Free OSAP Moratorium

Research & Policy Analyst, Ryan, explains the recent #OSAP moratorium — how it works, how it’s different from the usual grace period, and what it means for students graduating this year.

Learn more here.


Pathways to Student Advocacy: Rayna Porter

Continuing our series looking at how students have gotten involved with advocacy and student leadership, this blog features our own Vice President Administration & Human Resources, Rayna Porter. Find it here


The influence of household income on graduate and professional school acceptances

Does household income influence graduate and professional school acceptances? Queen's student, Yvonne Tan, dives into this question. Find out here.


Being a healthcare worker and student during Covid-19

In these uncertain times, there is a lot to navigate. Rayna is a part time health care worker and a student right now. We asked her a couple of questions about how she is doing amongst all the changes related to COVID-19 from both a student and health care worker perspective. Find out more here


Student Mental Health and Self-Care in the Age of COVID-19

"There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for self-care and mental health, especially during a health pandemic. The strategies in this post might work for some but not others, and that’s okay. Everyone’s situation is different." Read some tips and resources from Research & Policy Analyst, Ryan, here.