OISE GSA Ignites Change: Launches Empowering Activism Campaign

August 23, 2023
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In 2019, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Graduate Students’ Association (OISE GSA) went inactive. Until that point, it had received most of its funding from the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU). The 2018-2019 OISE GSA budget lists over $100,000 in funding from the UTGSU. 

On March 18th, 2023, OISE students voted to reactivate the OISE GSA. In April of 2023, elections were held and the OISE GSA has since been active. The OISE GSA previously received funds from the UTGSU and these funds were sourced from OISE student fees. The UTGSU continued to collect student fees from OISE students during the inactive periods. However, the UTGSU has not supplied any funding to the OISE GSA since 2019 and has not returned to its previous 2019 funding model. The OISE GSA is currently only receiving funding from OISE, which amounts to around $4000 in funding per year. The lack of funding for the OISE GSA would result in the collapse of most of the OISE GSA’s services including but not limited to conference assistance funding, student awards, academic conferences for OISE students, and emergency funding for students in need. Many OISE students who are aspiring or current teachers, principals, and other education workers in K-12 and higher education, rely on these OISE GSA services. 

We believe that funding for these services should continue to ensure OISE student success. For this reason and due to the UTGSU's failing to respond to our inquiries surrounding our funding, we launched an activism campaign to allow for OISE student voices to be heard. 

We call on the UTGSU to do the following:

  • Bring back OISE GSA funding to 2019 levels;
  • Backpay the OISE GSA the funds it would have received for the years it was inactive, not including the funding that was received by the Departmental Student Associations at OISE;
  • Ensure UTGSU officials maintain regular communication with the OISE GSA. 

Here are some ways OISE students and allies can support our activism campaign:

  • Sign the petition supporting our above statement
  • Sign up as a volunteer for collective actions
  • Contact UTGSU officials by email using this template
  • Attend UTGSU Board of Directors and Assembly Meetings and voice your support for the campaign
  • Share, interact with, and support posts on OISE GSA’s LinkedIn and Instagram
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