Where did we come from?
Since the mid-1970s, student groups that would unite to form the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA) have been advocating on behalf of post-secondary students across the province. Throughout its history, the NBSA has remained committed to improving the quality of life of students studying in New Brunswick by creating an affordable, accessible, and high quality postsecondary sector.
In its most recent iteration – founded in 1995 – the NBSA has grown to become the leading voice for students in New Brunswick and now represents almost 13,000 students across five campuses.
As a pivotal stakeholder in the sector, the NBSA has been crucial in the development and implementation of numerous programs that have markedly improved the lives of students in New Brunswick, including the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class, the Free Tuition Program (formerly the Tuition Access Bursary), and the inclusion of international students in provincial medicare coverage.
While 2016-2017 marked a highpoint for the organisation, the NBSA has consistently and successfully been the voice for students in New Brunswick for the past thirty-five years.
Characterized by its resilience in promoting student issues, even during periods of financial neglect and under-appreciation by government, in many ways the history of the NBSA is the history of post-secondary education in this province.
Past Executive Directors
2019 Kjeld-Mizpah (KJ) Conyers-Steede (Current ED) 2018-2019 Emily Blue 2017-2018: Samuel Titus
2016-2017: Robert Burroughs
2015-2016: Lindsay Handren
2013-2015: Patrick Joyce
2009-2010: Mélissa Cormier
2007-2009: Heather Elliott
2005-2007: Claude Haché
Past Boards of Directors
2018-2019: Brianna Workman, Emma Miller, Emelyana Titarenko, Emma Walsh, Sam Palmer, Caitlin Grogan, Richard Du, Simal Qureshi.
2017-2018: Sara Camus, Brianna Workman, Danica Garner, Philippe Ferland, Herbert Bempah, Haley MacIsaac, Kyle Rogers, Kenya Plut, Jason Poirier, Madi Banks, Nicholas Hussey.
2016-2017: Travis Daley, Tina Oh, Ryan Lebreton, Sam Titus, Katie Beers, Fernanda Damiani, Jordan Tracey, Kjeld-Mizpah Conyers-Steeds, Sara Camus.
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.
1979: Discouraged by a lack of success, the largest student group in New Brunswick, the then-called New Brunswick Coalition of Students, holds a vote to either increase fees or fold, with the fee increase winning.
1983: Name changed to the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA).
1985: First foundational documents drafted, emphasizing the need for increased student financial aid, employment opportunities, and debt relief; held first meetings with government officials from all parties; first wins: the creation of a separate cabinet position to address postsecondary education issues, the Minister of Advanced Education and Training, and the appointment of two provincial student representatives on the Maritime Provincial Higher Education Commission.
1986: Spurred on by internal disputes, Université de Moncton (UdeM)- Moncton and University of New Brunswick Students’ Union briefly leave the NBSA, only to rejoin later that year.
1989: Organised Summit 89, which brought together government officials, university administrators, and representatives of the private sector to discuss student and postsecondary issues; due to a desire for a national voice, the NBSA reorganises as the New Brunswick representative of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), the only national student movement at the time.
1992: Major tuition hikes are announced, forcing the organisation to become more active.
1993: Following lobbying efforts, a tuition freeze is announced and praised.
1994: Delegate Kelly Lamrock published “No More Smoke No More Mirrors”, which gains national attention and elevates the status of the organisation and postsecondary education issues more generally.
1995: Dissatisfaction with the direction of the national CFS movement, the organisation moves to reorganise as the NBSA without a national affiliation; UdeM-Moncton rejoins.
1996: Leaders of all political parties sign an NBSA-drafted pledge to help students.
1997: In response to the NBSA publication, “Open Doors Open Minds”, the government implements the Interest Relief and Debt Repayment Program.
2005: Claude Haché is hired as the Alliance’s first executive director (ED); successfully advocates for the creation of a postsecondary education department separate from the Ministry of Education.
2006: Hosts “Day of Action” in lead-up to 2006 Provincial Election.
2007: Post-Secondary Education Commission opens, provides avenue for NBSA advocacy efforts.
2008: Successfully lobbies for the introduction of the Timely Completion Benefit (TCB) to assist with student debt levels.
2010: In efforts to reduce costs, the ED position is eliminated and the NBSA works without staff support.
2013: Following disagreement over direction, all three UdeM campuses vote to leave; Patrick Joyce hired as the new ED; all by-laws and foundational documents are revised and updated.
2014: Office space is leased, providing the NBSA with its first independent, permanent location; successfully advocates for the elimination of parental contribution from student loan assessment.
2015: Huge cuts are made to postsecondary education, including the elimination of the Tuition Rebate Program and slashes to the Timely Completion Benefit, at the height of the decade’s increasing tuition fees and decreasing enrolment, forcing the NBSA to reconsider its government relation strategies to regain lost ground; Lindsay Handren is hired as new Executive Director.
2016: The announcement of the Tuition Access Bursary marks a historic win for students towards addressing issues of access to postsecondary education, but comes with series of problems such as the lack of a feasible debt relief program and the strictness of the eligibility of the Tuition Access Bursary. Robert Burroughs is hired as new Executive Director.
2017: Burroughs improves relations with key stakeholders including the business sector, universities, and the department of Postsecondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL); announcement of several major improvements to postsecondary education, including: the Free Tuition and the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class programs (FTP/TRMC), provincial health care coverage for international students in New Brunswick, the establishment of a provincial steering committee on experiential learning with university and government government officials, student representatives, and the business community, an overhaul of the SEED program, and increased funding for public universities; welcomed the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design Student Association as a new member; the 2017-2018 Board elected its first Indigenous executive member as part of an all-female executive; the NBSA held its largest and most successful Lobby Week to date, featuring 30+ meetings with all key ministers, senior civil servants, and external partners; Samuel Titus is appointed as Acting Executive Director.
2018: Appointment of first majority-female Board of Directors, including a second-consecutive all-female executive; Emily Blue is hired as new Executive Director; major funding announcement made to provide more than $18M for experiential learning, including a $5M investment for tailor-made experiential learning opportunities for traditionally neglected fields of study.