What is Advocacy Week?
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) organizes one of the largest advocacy efforts in Ottawa every year. Student leaders from across the country gather together to meet with Members of Parliaments (MPs), Ministers, Senators, public servants and stakeholders to press for improvements to Canada's post-secondary education system. This conference takes place in the month of October or November, depending on the parliamentary schedule.
What kind of improvements?
Student leaders at CASA are committed to making sure that higher education is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality possible. That means coming to government with clear, evidence based solutions that help students.
- It means expanding student aid.
- It means providing targeted student aid to those who need it.
- It means expanding research opportunities for students.
- It means creating job for students.
So how does CASA get results?
CASA is a student-run organization. CASA's student members drive policy creation, they choose CASA's priorities and they take the lead on advocating for student issues in Ottawa. Last year that meant hundreds of millions of dollars of new funding for students.
CASA provides student leaders with the tools to make a difference
CASA makes sure that student leaders attending Advocacy Week are prepared to not only present their priorities to government, but also to make a convincing case for their cause. CASA provides the following support and training to conference attendees:
- Lobby meeting training sessions and practicums
- Prepared talking points
- Background information on MPs and Senators
- Documentation and supporting research
- Live feedback from CASA's experienced staff
- Experienced staff and delegates providing support in meetings
- Guaranteed four meeting minimum
- Meeting swag
CASA allows for two delegates from each member association to register for Advocacy Week at no cost. The full breakdown of registration fees are as follows:
- Early Bird registration fee for the first two student delegates from a CASA member: FREE
- After the Early Bird deadline or for each additional delegate (over two): $300/person
- Registration fee for non-members: $300/person
This conference takes place in October or November each year.
Code of Conduct
All Advocacy Week participants are required to abide by CASA's Code of Conduct.
CASA welcomes observers to all of its conferences, particularly Advocacy Week. This is an excellent opportunity for a student association to become familiar with CASA, but to also to develop their understanding of federal politics. CASA welcomes undergraduate, graduate and college associations to come and participate. Should you have any questions, please contact either our Board Chair or one of our helpful staff members.
Participation during CASA Conferences:
- Members shall decide before the beginning of any breakout sessions, committee meetings or other similar informal planning sessions held by CASA members, what rules they wish members to adhere to for the session in question, and shall be responsible for communicating those rules to observers prior to the session commencing.
- Observer schools are encouraged to participate in discussions, ask questions of member schools, and otherwise to engage in lines of inquiry that help clarify for themselves the nature of CASA operations, policy and advocacy goals.
Participation during Plenary:
- Observer schools are invited to view the plenary session, but will not be permitted to sit at the plenary table.
- Speaking permissions can be given to an observer by a CASA member school.