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A Message from our President

In the coming weeks, college students will be returning to their studies or for some, just starting. This is normally an exciting time when you get to see your friends and enjoy all the college experience has to offer. However, as you are very much aware, the Covid-19 Pandemic has changed everything. Your classes are no longer on campus; they are on your computer at home. Everything costs the same though, and in the case of our international students, has gone up; even though the quality of education and your experience at college has gotten worse. Combined, the financial burdens, school work, and the pandemic itself have created a volatile environment for students and their mental health.


This needs to change.


The pandemic began six months ago and it has caused serious hardship for Ontario’s college students. The loss of summer jobs and the overall reduction of the province's labour market have made a big impact on student’s finances; women and BIPOC were especially affected by these losses. During this time the Government of Canada introduced the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit, both programs significantly helped students. However, many students didn’t qualify or had their money clawed back by the Government of Ontario because they were receiving support through the Ontario Disability Support Program or the Ontario Student Assistance Program.


While the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, the Government of Ontario must step up to work with and support college students. CSA is calling on the province to:


1. Increase non-repayable grants for low- and middle-income students.

2. Remove expected individual and parental contributions in OSAP calculations.

3. Dedicate funding and tuition support specifically to international students.

4. Create a plan for delivering mental health supports that are accessible to all students for the 2020/21 academic year.

5. Create standards for online-hybrid course delivery.

6. Provide resources to ensure the effective delivery of virtual accessibility services at Ontario colleges.


CSA will continue to advocate for all of Ontario’s college students during this turbulent time. We all must come together to support those trying to get a post-secondary education with practical solutions. To Ontario’s college students, I want you to know that CSA is here for you, do not hesitate to get in touch; we’ve got your back.


Sincerely,


Tori Arnett

President

College Student Alliance

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