The Bulletin Board – April

On behalf of the 2023-2024 Board of Directors:

Hello, Centennial Fam.

As we unwrap our last week as board members of the Centennial College Student Association, we collectively wrote this to share a few words about our experience and report our significant achievements to you.

Let’s start with our internal advocacy and the wonderful connections that we built with the Centennial College community. Both vice-presidents for Progress Campus, Ketan Kumar Sharma and Suchansinee Jongpermwattanapol, also known as Zasar, were able to see the power of the student voice by participating in College Council meetings and connecting with professors and coordinators. We kept a wonderful relationship with our Dean of Students, David Ip Yam, and learned a lot from the wonderful team of leaders at this school.

Our interim vice-president for Progress campus, Zasar created a unique structure for transition documents that aims to support new board members with the resources they need in the start of their terms. All of this to ensure that transition processes are effective and that new board members are able build further continuity to our strong advocacy and leadership.

With a career dedicated to serving communities, Ashtonbee vice-president Javier Jardealeza represented CCSAI at the municipal level. Amid pitfalls with the TTC and the security and commute of students being a huge concern this year, we joined forces with TTC riders and other advocacy organizations to ensure that the system transit was improved in the city, and because of that, more investment towards security was put into place and we saw more bus routes bring created around Scarborough campuses.

Through our provincial advocacy led by Morningside’s Kamaljot Kaur, Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced an investment of $1.3 billion in Ontario’s post-secondary education system. Although grateful for these new resources, our advocacy won’t stop. We’ll still work for more mental health funds and policies and initiatives that aim to make the province of Ontario a sustainable and innovative place for post-secondary education.

As members of the Ontario Student Voices, also known as OSV, Centennial and five other colleges gathered multiple times this year to provide effective advocacy strategies for the students that we represent.

But our work doesn’t stop there.

This year, Ajané Adams, Sanaa Bayi and Luis Felipe Mussalém joined the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and students from across Canada to discuss and advocate for issues faced at the federal level. We had our learnings, we had our losses. But most importantly, we heard from you, sat down with parliament members, and were able to extend the off-campus work hour limits for international students. Many student-oriented housing units are being developed across the country, we participated in a copyright campaign that aimed to show the government that we cannot afford textbooks to go any higher and now, the federal government is investing $500 million in youth mental health.

Not only that, but for the first time in the history of the organization we took our advocacy to the international level. We joined committees of the United Nations and Global Affairs Canada to talk about issues that affect students all over the world like affordability and climate change. This serves as proof that collaboration will take us far, and we can’t wait to see how much this will grow years from now. We also collaborated with so many talented people on our team to come up with a communications strategy, and our board newsletter was just a part of it.

And the board keeps growing…

Logan Routhier joined us this year to be the campus representative for the Performing Arts Centre, also known as PAC. Although new to the role, he has been able to connect with such a vibrant community in and outside of CCSAI. PAC has a lot to offer to the creative sphere of this city, and he’s here to represent those voices.

But don’t worry, just like your president, Ajané, you’ll see him again and they are ready to help the coming board to make a change.

Starting as a student leader is intimidating. A year ago, we, either appointed or elected leaders, stood in front of you aiming to empower the student voice across all campuses. Little did we know that you empowered us. We are part of a community, one made up of thinkers and dreamers who wish to pursue knowledge and have a better future.

Thank you for believing in us. It’s been a pleasure serving you.

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