By Breanne Coulter, for Skedline.com
Students in the Greater Toronto Area are gathering at Queen’s Park, today, Friday to protest the provincial government’s changes to financial assistance. Many students may not be able to participate in the weekday protest to exercise their democratic right either because of class or work… But don’t lose hope quite yet!
For those who cannot join the picket lines, there are still a few ways to have your voices heard and make the most of social media “slacktivism.”
- Sign the Petition
A quick and easy way to make your case is to sign the petition. Started the day the changes were announced, the “Stop Doug Ford Cuts to OSAP” petition has gained over 212,000 signatures out of 300,000 in a week. Adding your name to the list of other protesters will strengthen the movement, minus the pen and paper needed in the past.
- Talk to your Student Union
Student unions are getting involved in the protest too. These organizations have a vested interest in the matter, as it affects not only their constituents, but their school as well. IGNITE has released a statement that they will be submitting a letter to Premier Ford on behalf of Humber students, but be sure to get your two-cents in and encourage IGNITE representatives to join the picket lines on your behalf.
- Contact your local MPP
Members of Provincial Parliament speak with other government representatives directly and work to forward the interests of their ridings. Contact your local MPP as a way to put extra pressure on the Provincial government. Humber students can reach out to Etobicoke Lakeshore MPP Christine Hogarth or the MPP of their home riding as an alternative to holding up a protest sign.
- Reach out to the Ministry of Education
If you want to get more direct, you can contact the Ontario Ministry of Education. The Ministry has opened their operations to student input in the past, and is a good resource to reach out to with concerns. The Ministry of Education has direct influence over education policy in Ontario so it is a great way to present ideas without being present.
By following the methods of communication outlined in this guide, you can be sure that the proper people are seeing what you, Ontario students, have to say. With enough noise, there may be hope for change and slacktivism yet.