How I Want to Improve Your Graduate Student Experience
When provincial and federal governments cut funding for post secondary institutions, increase student loan interest rates, and slash bursaries and student funding programs, it hurts all of us. It can make the difference between being able to access your education or not. I am prepared to advocate for programs and support that provide scaffolding to students and ensure that you have a clear path to graduation.
The folks that bear the heaviest burden of short sighted policies include women, single parents, Indigenous individuals, folks affected by poverty, new Canadians, students with differing abilities, and mature students. Policies that maintain the unequitable playing field of graduate education are unacceptable.
We all benefit from a post secondary educational system that welcomes a diverse student population. Canada NEEDS your voice at the table. We need to ensure that the governing bodies appreciate the contribution of students who face barriers to education and work towards increasing access. But these governments do not always know where to start. That is where student associations like AUGSA come in.
As the VP External I will work with the AUGSA president and larger executive team to create articulate and actionable plans that address the following priorities:
1- Advocate for an increase in non-repayable grants and student funding programs, with a particular emphasis on students with multiple barriers.
2- Advocate for increased repayment flexibility and decreased interest on student loans. Governments need to invest in students, not make money off of their them.
3- Advocate that all student support programs are designed to include an Indigenous framework that appreciates Indigenous history and creates pathways for Indigenous learning to affect mainstream education systems.
4- Insist that student support is delivered with inclusive policy and language that create safe environments for LGBTQ2s+ students to thrive.
5- Encourage a deep appreciation for a diverse student population by sharing the stories of students who are pursing their studies and contributing crucial research despite barriers to their learning.
Your presence in our educational institutions is important. Your contribution to our collective knowledge is valuable. Please consider voting for me on March 10th so that I may take up the honour of sharing your story on provincial and federal stages.