The New Brunswick Student Alliance was first established in 1982 as the New Brunswick Coalition of Students. It was founded to better reflect the diversity and needs of New Brunswick postsecondary students than other student organizations that existed in the province at the time.
In 1983, the NBCS became the NBSA. The organization continued to develop its identity, governance model, and public image throughout the 1980s. In 1986, the NBSA experienced its first major policy success in the awarding of two student representative seats on the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission. Shortly thereafter, the NBSA experienced a decline in participation and folded temporarily.
The 1990s were marked by major cutbacks to the postsecondary education sector in New Brunswick. By 1995, the need for a province-based student advocacy movement had resurged and the NBSA was reassembled. The NBSA gained significant exposure in years that followed. It successfully formed relationships with each of the province’s major political parties, seeing all party leaders sign a pledge to help postsecondary students prior to the 1998 New Brunswick election.
The NBSA hired its first Executive Director in the mid-2000s. The organization went on to advocate for the creation of a Post-Secondary Education Commission and a separate government ministry for post-secondary education. In 2006, the NBSA embarked on a large scale campaign to raise awareness of student issues by hosting a “Day of Action,” which saw television, radio, and media ads run during the 2006 provincial election.
A new Post-Secondary Education Commission commenced in 2007. The NBSA recommended a debt cap, improved repayment options for student loans, and tuition regulation. In 2008, the NBSA held demonstrations across the province calling for a cap on student loan debt. In that year’s budget, the provincial government announced the creation of the Timely Completion Benefit that capped student debt at $26,000 and introduced a new repayment assistance program for recent graduates.
In 2010, the Board of Directors eliminated the Executive Director position, electing to operate on a reduced budget without staff support. In 2013, the position was reinstated.
In recent years, the NBSA has re-emerged as a strong voice for postsecondary students in New Brunswick. It has built upon existing relationships with each of the province’s major political parties, and has successfully forged new relationships with government, university administrators, and faculty associations.
The NBSA’s current policy positions include strategic investments in student financial aid, the elimination of in-study and summer earnings assessments, and an expansion of experiential learning opportunities. In the face of a struggling provincial economy, the NBSA continues to work with all stakeholders toward a better postsecondary sector system and a stronger New Brunswick.
Past Executive Directors
2015-2016: Lindsay Handren
2013-2015: Patrick Joyce
2009-2010: Mélissa Cormier
2007-2009: Heather Elliott
2005-2007: Claude Haché
Past Boards of Directors
2015-2016: Annie Sherry, Katie Davey, Travis Daley, Emily Fox, Megan Thomson, Rachel Barry, Jordan Tracey, Dylan Wooley-Berry
2014-2015: Greg Bailey, Santiago Chavez, Emily Fox, Chris Mahar, Nicole Saulnier, Annie Sherry, Sam Titus, Jordan Tracey, Heather Webster
2013-2014: Greg Bailey, Maryse Collin, Sarah Daigle, Elizabeth Murphy, Melissa O’Rourke, Joshua Outerbridge, Matthew Ranson, Luke Robertson, Nyenda Robichaud, Ian Smith, Ryan Vienneau, Ben Whitney
2012-2013: Shawn Beaulieu, Kevin Bédard, Alex Driscoll, John Hoben, Patrick Lavoie, Alexandre Levasseur, Andrew Martel, Joëlle Martin, Sean McGilley, Adam Melanson, Jasmine Saulnier, Stephen Spence
2011-2012: Dominique Babineau, Shawn Beaulieu, Martin-Michel Bezau, Pat Joyce, Mark Kroeker, Ghislain LeBlanc, Mark Livingstone, Joëlle Martin, Craig Mazerolle, Milaine Roy, Joey O’Kane, Jordan Thompson
2010-2011: Christina Allain, Sylvain Bérubé, Shannon Carmont-McKinley, Gabriel Côté, Katherine Gravel, Sam Gregg-Wallace, Ella Henry, Mark Kroeker, Ghislain LeBlanc, Zoë Lessard-Couturier, Alexandre Levasseur, Craig Mazerolle, Brad McKinney, Valérie Noël
2009-2010: Duncan Gallant, Melissa Wah, Jacob Baisley, Anne Pelletier, Simon Ouellette, Ryan Brideau, Ella Henry, Alex MacDonald, Pascale LePage, Marie-Claire Duguay, Karine Dufresne
2008-2009: André Cormier, Duncan Gallant, Jason Savoie, Marie-Claire Duguay, Gabrielle Vienneau, Danielle Vienneau, Bethany Vail, Jon O’Kane, Tina Robichaud, Melissa Wah, Mark Henick, Christian Campagna, Mike Currie, Mark Brister, Annie Martin, Patrick Jeune
2007-2008: Colin Banks, Jess Hamilton, Justin Robichaud, Stéphanie Chouinard, Duncan Gallant, André Cormier, Sylvie Desjardins, Marianne Green, Albert Lavoie, Brad Mullins, Jessica Stutt, Janie Fauteux, Jordan Graham, Mallory Baxter, France Courtemanche
2006-2007: Marie-Christine Edmond, Sylvie Desjardins, Richard Thériault, Jason Savoie, Brian Gallant, Justin Robichaud, Mike Couturier, Erica Hendry, Rachel Cazabon, Colin Banks, Duncan Gallant, Mallory Baxter