Western is about to get a louder voice in provincial affairs. Alysha Li, the new vice-president university affairs for the University Students’ Council, was elected president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance on May 15. Li will serve as OUSA president in addition to her duties on the USC.
OUSA represents over 150,000 students on nine university campuses in Ontario, including Western. Every year, OUSA’s president is elected for a one-year term by the nine members of its steering committee, made up of representatives from each of the nine member campuses. The organization’s main function is to lobby student interests to the provincial government.
“Ultimately the president’s role is to bring forward priorities to stakeholders in the province including ministers in different departments, and different partnerships, and other member organizations, so we can better bring post-secondary education to Ontario students,” Li explained.
Li said her top priority as OUSA president this year will be to work with the provincial government on developing new tuition framework regulations, the rule that sets the maximum amount by which tuition may increase each year. Currently, Queen’s Park has set the limit at five per cent, but Li said she wanted to work with the government to bring that figure down to inflationary levels—last reported at 1.9 per cent in March.
Li said she was looking forward to getting started. “The OUSA president will get the opportunity to get in a lot of higher level meetings with politicians and government. We will be able to not only able to advocate for OUSA, but have Western there as well. So I think it’s going to be a really exciting year.”