Open Access to the Student Voice

Open Access to the Student Voice

Join the UBC Alma Mater Society and the Students’ Union Okanagan of UBC to learn about student-led advocacy efforts on open education and open access at UBC. This session will highlight the provincial campaign efforts of both groups and examine barriers limiting access to education.


Tashia Kootenayoo, Vice President Internal of the SUO of UBC Vancouver

I’m Tashia Kootenayoo, an Indigenous, queer-identifying woman from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. I’ve been a student-leader on my campus for the past few years and am currently the elected Vice-President Internal of the SUO of UBC. My advocacy work does currently centers on creating more accessibility to education through OERs. I’m continuously mobilizing and leading initiatives that aim to challenge traditional pedagogy in order to improve the university environment and administrative structures for students. A reflection of these efforts is the establishment of a UBC Okanagan Open Education Working Group which I co-chair on behalf of the Students’ Union. It’s my belief that if our governing structures have informed leaders and policies that are intersectional- we can have processes and practices that truly benefit those they’re meant to assist.

Shivani Mehta, Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs at the Alma Mater Society, UBC Vancouver

My name is Shivani Mehta. I am a woman of South Asian heritage and a first-generation Canadian student with the privilege of learning on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam people. Over the past few years, I have actively engaged with leadership roles that have broadened my perspective and reaffirmed my passion for education. Within my current role as the appointed Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs at the Alma Mater Society, I advocate for greater accessible and affordable learning materials for students. I am deeply passionate about removing barriers to learning within our classrooms and within our campus culture. Through initiatives such as the #TextbookBroke Campaign and the Open Champions Award, our team works towards achieving this goal. I am grateful to be collaborating with the UBC Vancouver Open Educational Working Group and the UBCSUO as we engage with our community and promote equity within academia at UBC.

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