Over 480 students applied for a spot on the 2017-18 Minister’s Student Advisory Council, of which only 60 positions were up for grabs. The overwhelming response of applications made it difficult to choose final candidates to represent Ontario’s great cultural, social, economic, and geographic diversity. However, Connor, a student from IE Weldon Secondary School, was selected from TLDSB.

Connor loves public speaking, debate, and discussion, so the Student Advisory Council seemed like a great opportunity to pursue those interests. However, the primary motivation for him to apply was to articulate concerns about safe spaces in schools.

“The teachers at IE Weldon SS are truly amazing,” says Connor. “I believe they really bolstered and encouraged my intuition to speak my mind and pursue the truth.”

Connor is excited to have the opportunity to meet people with similar interests, and bring important ideas to the forefront. He believes he accomplished what he wanted to at the first meeting, which was spark discussion around Safe Spaces on May 4, 2017.

As for post secondary goals, Connor plans on utilizing his skills in leadership and public speaking and continue to participate in student unions. His larger goals include pursuing a career in law.  

What is the Minister’s Student Advisory Council?

The Minister’s Student Advisory Council is a group of approximately 60 students from all parts of the publicly funded education system and regions of the province.

These students share their ideas and provide advice to the minister on a variety of topics regarding Ontario’s publicly-funded education system. MSAC is a place where students have a voice and where they will be heard.

The first council made an important contribution to Student Voice by identifying Nine Student Voice Indicators. These indicators reflect the ideas of students from across Ontario about what helps strengthen student engagement in learning. Each subsequent council has made its own unique contributions.

Who can apply?

If you are an Ontario student in grades 7 to 12 at a publicly funded school, you are eligible to be part of the council. Everyone is welcome and no special qualifications are required. The Minister is interested in hearing your ideas. If you have applied in previous years and are in grades 7-12, you are encouraged to reapply. Also, if you are or have been an MSAC member, you are still eligible to apply for next year’s council.

The council celebrates student diversity and welcomes all perspectives and lived experiences.

Who is selected?

The council celebrates student diversity. Successful applicants combine lived experience with a perspective that they are genuinely interested in representing. They demonstrate passion for issues affecting youth and a desire to make a difference. Consideration is given to each applicant’s past involvements and/or their proposed actions.