President's Update: Student Choice Initiative

Dear Sheridan Students,

Lately, there has been a lot of media coverage related to the Student Choice Initiative and recent comments from the PC government - statements that are, quite simply, an unfair and inaccurate representation of the true value of student leadership within our institutions. 

Our advocacy efforts have always centred around student feedback - not only through our elected student Board of Directors, but also through 12 Student Leaders, almost 300 student positions within the organization, and consistent feedback acquisition on campus. We help bridge the gap between the students and administration, ensuring the student voice is truly heard, our institutions are held accountable to your needs, and we work collaboratively to give you the community, resources and activities you make the best of your time here at Sheridan. Most recently;

  • We launched a new service called Empower Me - a mental health and wellness service that connects you with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches for a variety of issues. This is available to all students, 24/7.

  • We introduced an online community and resource centre called Clubs Corner to further support and foster the vibrant Clubs community we have at Sheridan.

  • We introduced the Sheridan Student Union Academic Achievement Award to recognize and support the achievements of our students.

  • We gathered feedback about what students want to see on campus at HMC, and used that feedback to plan our the new HMC Student Centre, set to open in 2020.

These examples go in tandem with the valuable services we have continued to provide our students - from health and dental coverage to our Food First Food Bank.  From help with off-campus housing and legal advice to year round events and our on campus food services including The Marquee, The Den, Booster Juice, Union Burrito, Bruin Coffee House and the Coffee Loft, Sheridan Student Union exists to serve our members.

While there has been a lot of conjecture surrounding the Student Choice Initiative, it’s important to remain mindful of the facts. To ensure we keep you updated, we want to inform all Sheridan students of recent developments, and outline where some further clarity is needed:

  • Multiple changes have been proposed to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) that will affect most students who use the program.  We encourage you to visit the following website to assess how these changes affect you:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/osap-ontario-student-assistance-program

  • On February 5th, Sheridan Student Union became aware of potential guidelines were circulated related to the Student Choice Initiative. A few questions remain about which SSU services are deemed essential. We are waiting for more information from the government and are working with College administration to gain further clarity on this. 

The SSU board and administration are exploring all options to ensure the impacts of the Student Choice Initiative are well-planned for, and to attempt to mitigate any unintended consequences of this action.

We have been and will continue to work with the College administration to clearly define how the "Student Choice Initiative" will affect our services and your on campus experience moving forward. As always, our goal is to advocate for your best interests, and to ensure you continue to have access to important SSU resources. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us below. Thank you for all your support!

Enrique Ponce, SSU President 

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