Julia Pereira has wasted no time getting to work and furthering the advocacy priorities of students under her leadership as OUSA President. Julia has done an exemplary job leading a provincial advocacy organization virtually. She has reviewed OUSA’s student consultation process, conducted a virtual lobby week, and attended countless conferences and interviews on behalf of OUSA.
Julia’s leadership has shone even through zoom. Beyond her busy schedule, she is always willing to take on an additional meeting, discuss ways to improve OUSA’s student advocacy or lend a hand to help another student union executive. Julia has also worked with OUSA’s home office to ensure the organization has relationships with elected officials in the Provincial Government, regularly meeting with the Minister of Colleges and Universities to elevate student concerns.
Julia has also created a sense of community among student unions at OUSA, which is no easy feat considering we have never met in person. She has held virtual events that were not lame (which is hard) and coordinated a distanced secret Santa with student union executives at OUSA. Julia has been instrumental in creating a supportive group of student leaders through OUSA schools across Ontario. We are stronger when we work together and Julia’s leadership brings us together even though we’re so far apart.
Julia has accomplished all this while leading advocacy efforts on her own Campus. At the beginning of her term, she successfully advocated to Wilfred Laurier’s administration to discontinue a policy that required students to purchase an external webcam to write online exams in Mathematics or Computer Science as their courses were moved online. She was the first student union executive to understand synchronous and asynchronous learning before those words were commonly used in university circles.
She has also run a successful campaign to expand the Wilfred Laurier Student Union’s health plan to cover birth control. This campaign was run entirely under her direction, with graphics, marketing and research done by her portfolio and was a great success.
Julia’s legacy at the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the Wilfred Laurier Students’ Union will be one of dedication and steady leadership through the COVID-19 crisis.