Advocacy

Blake Oliver
Vice President (Education)
Email: vped@msu.mcmaster.ca
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 24017

About:

Blake Oliver is a student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program. She grew up in Brockville, Ontario - City of the the 1000 Islands. During her time at McMaster, she has enjoyed getting involved in a variety of diverse extracurriculars, including being a cast member in the annual Health Sciences Musical, acting as a Student Success Leader for Civic Engagement, sitting as a representative on the Student Representative Assembly (SRA), and being the MSU University Affairs Commissioner. Outside of school and work, Blake likes to explore the city of Hamilton and especially loves checking out the Cootes Paradise trails. As well, she is an avid reader and will never say no to a good book.

As Vice President (Education), Blake is looking forward to advocating for a more accessible and affordable McMaster. She hopes to work closely with the MSU’s provincial lobbying organization, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, to ensure that we are advocating for provincial funding for many of our essential student services, as well as for a student-centric tuition framework. Internally, she is hoping to emphasize paid TA training, sustainability, Indigenous students, and many more important student issues. As well, she is hoping to engage both SRA and MSU members in more of our advocacy processes by passing our policy stances conference-style. If you are interested in learning more, never hesitate to come by her office in MUSC 201 – she would love to hear from you.

The VP (Education) Shall:

  • Be elected from the membership of the MSU
  • Be a voting member of the SRA, Executive Board, and an ex-officio member of all other MSU committees
  • Serve as the Chair of the Academic Affairs Council (AAC)
  • Be the main developmental course of MSU policy concerning municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government and politics.
  • Be responsible for the creation and implementation of academic and external lobbying strategies

FAQs:

What is OUSA?

OUSA is the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.  It is comprised of seven member schools (McMaster, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, Western, Trent University (Oshawa), Brock and Queen’s) and about 140,000 students.  Our mission is to lobby the provincial government on issues relating to post-secondary education (university and college).  What makes OUSA stand out is that we're research based and member driven.  We base all of our lobbying on solid information rooted in thorough research, which means our requests and points are respected by the government, and simple to justify.  The term "Member Driven" means that our general direction comes right from the students, through the General Assembly (GA), held twice a year.  GA’s are held in the fall and spring with each school sending delegates who vote on which issues should be addressed.  Therefore, WE (the students) decide on what OUSA lobbies on.

What is CASA?

CASA is the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and is much the same as OUSA, except CASA lobbies the federal government.  CASA is comprised of 18 full member schools, 6 associate member schools and about 300,000 students. CASA is also research based and member driven, which has resulted in a tremendous amount of respect from the federal government.  CASA differs from OUSA in that it focuses on issues the federal government can deal with, such as funding transfer to the provinces and a Pan-Canadian Accord on Education.  CASA also holds an Annual General Meeting, but only once a year. 

Where can I get more information about the MSU Teaching Awards?

Please check out the Teaching Awards page: 

http://www.msumcmaster.ca/TeachingAwards.htm

How can I get involved with MSU Advocacy?

As part of my responsibilities I also supervise the MSU Advocacy Street team; they are an on the ground resource to promote our advocacy initiatives and to garner student feedback. All students are welcome to join the street team year round! You can access the Advocacy web page here.

As a student if you are more interested in hands on policy and project work, I also supervise the SRA External and University Affairs Committee's. Please contact the commissioners as they are always welcoming additional volunteers.

To book an appointment with me, please email me at vped@msu.mcmaster.ca. 

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