In 2014, student leaders from seven graduate student associations across Ontario came together and formed the Ontario Graduate Students' Alliance. These students recognized a dire need for graduate student representation in the rooms and at the tables where critically important decisions were made by administrations and governments which affect their education. The OGSA is the only organization in the Province of Ontario which exclusively represents the interests of graduate students. The graduate student experience is fundamentally different from that of undergraduate students and an organization which lobbied for policy and system change was long overdue.
The OGSA strives to work collaboratively, informed by the voices of graduate students residing in Ontario, to advocate for policy and system change to support the continued improvement of the graduate student experience in the Province of Ontario. This mission is accomplished through:
- The development of collaborative partnerships in the area of post-secondary education;
- The initiation of solution-focused research on issues affecting the graduate student experience in Ontario, including those related to increasing the affordability, quality, and accessibility of post-secondary education, and develop robust policy which addresses these challenges;
- Meeting with and lobbying political representatives in order to affect policy around post-secondary education in Ontario;
- Facilitating a shared framework within which graduate students are encouraged – through purposeful and solution based dialogue – to participate in the development of a collective voice to drive the work of the OGSA;
- Enhancing knowledge development and mobilization to simultaneously influence and educate the opinions of stakeholders at all levels, including those of Ontarians and the provincial government
The OGSA will advocate and support graduate students residing in Ontario to have access to an enriching, affordable and quality graduate student experience.
The OGSA believes in and is guided by the following values:
- Member Driven – The business of the OGSA is driven entirely by its member associations and ultimately, by the graduate students of Ontario who are members of these associations. This means that all research, knowledge mobilization and policy development undertaken as well as communications to the government and deliverables are all reflective of the interests of the OGSA membership.
- Research and Knowledge Mobilization – An important priority for the OGSA is the transfer of research and knowledge into communities, institutions and ultimately policy, in order to enhance existing knowledge and to seek solutions to problems
- Solution Focus – When engaging in policy development and advocacy, the OGSA focuses on providing well-researched and educated solutions which focus the continued improvement of the graduate student experience in Ontario
- Community and Collaboration – The OGSA provides an inclusive forum where every voice is respected and valued. We collaborate wherever possible with the knowledge that this adds strength and depth to our advocacy efforts.
- Transparency – The OGSA strives for full disclosure with member associations and graduate students of Ontario with the goal of ensuring members’ capacity to monitor the performance of the OGSA
Get in touch with the OGSA
The OGSA exists to advocate for graduate students, but we don't advocate just for our members. If you have an issue at your campus which you want to know more about, we're here to help. We can research issues, provide policy analysis, and give presentations to your Board or Council, just let us know if you need an advocate and we'll do our best to support you.
Board of Directors
Max Salman is the Vice President of the Graduate Student Association at the University of Waterloo. His industry experience has been very diverse, having travelled to many places around the world, and living in remote areas working as an airborne geophysicist and project manager on airborne geophysical surveys. His research interests involve optimizing airborne methods by exploiting innovations in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and the miniaturization of geophysical sensors.Max holds an Honours Bachelors Degree of Science in Geology (’07), and a Masters Degree in Geophysics from the University of Waterloo (’17). Max is also a commercially licensed airplane pilot.
Anuja is a first year Graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University pursuing a Masters in a Social Justice and Community Engagement program. Her research interests is around Racialised Immigrant women, and how they find decent employment while navigating their political identities.
Lindsay is a 2nd year Master's student at the University of Guelph pursuing a degree in Neuroscience and Applied Cognitive Science, with a Collaborative Neuroscience specialization. She conducts basic research on human memory, attention, and perception. Specifically, she is interested in why certain long-term memory representations may bias attentional capture. She plans to pursue a PhD in a similar area of research.