Hello friends and supporters of OLIP,
We hope you and yours are doing well during these uncertain times.
You may have noticed that our social media channels have been much quieter than usual over the past several weeks. During this time we have been adjusting to the changing environment and responding to how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our programme. We hope that this post will provide all the updates and announcements you’re looking for!
As everyone across the country is experiencing, our daily lives have taken an unexpected turn as Ontario works to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and flatten the curve. Despite our current situation not quite being the direction we were expecting our internship to go, we are all keeping in good spirits! Our placements have been continuing from a distance, as we are now into our fourth week of working from home. It has been a challenging time for everyone down at Queen’s Park, our MPPs included, so we are grateful to our Members for continuing to include us in their work and the daily operations of their offices. It has been an interesting learning experience for all of us, but there is still much to be done as all members are working hard to assist and support the people of their communities.
We have been continuing to work on our OLIP research papers, keeping with our originally planned schedule. Last week we learned that the annual CPSA Conference would not be going ahead at Western University due to the pandemic. Despite this, the research paper is an important aspect of OLIP as an academically based program. We want to maintain our connection to the academic community and we are working on coming up with a way we can still present our findings in a way emulating the conference. Keep posted for more information on potential virtual presentations.
Speaking of virtual alternatives, we have been discovering new ways to utilise technology to create learning opportunities and continue taking advantage of our positions as interns. Our weekly Friday morning team meetings have been replaced by video conferencing meetings where we can continue to share updates about the week’s affairs with each other and our admin. It is always nice to be able to connect with each other to discuss how things are going and it simply helps us to stay grounded in these times of isolation. In addition, we are beginning to reach out to replace our other in-person Friday meetings with online video conferencing sessions. This is an exciting opportunity as we believe using video conferences may allow us to reach out to even more stakeholders and interesting people who were previously out of reach, opening up chances for new and exciting discussions!
Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, the OLIP Spring Reception is now being postponed until a future date. We are working on finding alternative arrangements and are hoping to still host our reception before the end of our OLIP term in June. In the meantime, we are considering virtual ways in which we can stay connected to our alumni network, so we advise all alumni to stay tuned as we will likely have more updates in the coming weeks.
Finally, this week is interview week! We want to wish the best of luck to all candidates who will be participating in video interviews this week for the OLIP 2020-21 cohort! Holding our interviews remotely is just another example of how technology is helping us to stay connected and productive while we adjust to our new reality. We are so excited to chat with all of the candidates, and especially to meet those who will comprise next year’s group of interns!
Well folks, that is about all we have to say for now. Stay tuned for further updates and posts about what we are up to over the next few weeks. As a last word, we want to give a big shout out to all the front-line workers who are still venturing out to keep our province running and to keep us safe in these unprecedented times. We hope that everyone is practicing good physical distancing and continues to support each other in the weeks to come!