Updated: Jul 10
We're so glad to have you here on the brand new OCA Student Association website. This site has been about nine months in the making - we're sorry it's taken longer than expected but we're glad it's finally in your hands.
The last 18 months have been an amazingly difficult time for all of us, It's certainly had its effects on the SA exec team and I am sure many of you have found the balance between our work, family and studies extremely taxing.
To do all of that is hard at the best of times, in the midst of a global pandemic it's frankly heroic. Throughout it all, we've tried to stick together as students as best as we can. But not everyone finds the social groups and the official forums are not the kind of student experience we deserve.
A Manifesto For OCA Student Life
When the rebooted Student Association exec first met almost a year ago there were so many things we identified that needed to change and improve. It was almost overwhelming. But the one thing that underlined everything we saw was a lack of community.
If we were at a brick-and-mortar university, the student union would be the hub for student life on campus. A place to relax, to meet others with similar interests and to find direction and support when we need it. We decided that we didn't need a physical building to fulfil those needs.
The OCA is unique not just because of the distance learning, but because of you. With that in mind, we realised that we couldn't (not should we) be like every other student union. We didn't need to own the student community, we needed to facilitate it.
In the gaps created by lack of support, multiple student-run social groups have been created. We should point to them.
As volunteers were are not trained to be able to negotiate for individual students, but we can signpost to where students can get help and support.
We still need to see improvement in the way OCA communicates. The best way to do that is to be an example of how to do it better, and how to learn to improve. So that they can follow that example.
Our meetings should be as transparent as possible.
Student events should be easy to find and sign up for.
There should be a space for groups to form around interests as well as geographic location, and students shouldn't have to sign up to a social network like Facebook in order to get involved.
We hope this first version of the Student Association website meets those needs, but we are able to learn quickly and make changes, so if you have feedback, please let us know via the form on the homepage or via our new Live Chat.
You also have access to an app that will allow you to get updates and interact with groups and events any time you like, just search for "Wix Spaces" on your App Store and log in with your account to this site - you may be asked for an invite code, in which case use: 04VW58 If you have any problems use the Live Chat on the OCASA website and we'll do our best to help you!
We can't wait to see how this website evolves over time and sincerely hope that you make the most of it. It will only become the centre of student life if you use it. We're so happy to have you here.
With all my affection,