CASA’s 2018 Policy and Strategy Conference was hosted at the University of British Columbia in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Throughout the conference, from July 23rd to 26th, student leaders from across the country joined together to devise their advocacy and policy development plans for the year.
1. Gave feedback on the Prime Minister’s youth policy
CASA was honoured to have Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Youth, Peter Scheifke, attend the conference. After providing a short presentation on the youth policy the federal government is working on, he collected feedback from the student leaders in the room. It's great news that perspectives of youth in post-secondary will be included in the development of Canada’s youth policy!
2. Formed a brand new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
Spearheaded by CASA’s Director-at-Large, Yana Titarenko, this committee will work to ensure that CASA takes an intersectional approach to understanding student issues and that its policy development and advocacy efforts are reflective of diverse student experiences. Six students were elected to sit on the committee, and will work throughout the year to figure out how to better integrate voices of students from traditionally marginalized groups, such as Indigenous students. For more information, read our press release.
3. Decided on areas of focus for this year
In order to use its resources most effectively, CASA’s members selected priority areas to focus its advocacy and research efforts on in the 2018-2019 academic year.
- Financial aid for graduate students
- Financial aid for undergraduate and college students
- International students
- Skills and employment
- Indigenous student issues
- Sexual violence prevention
4. Approved a new sexual violence policy
This new sexual violence policy aims to keep students safe on campuses. Specifically, it calls upon the federal government to:
- Have Statistics Canada regularly report on and release pertinent data on sexual violence on campuses, so that progress can be tracked and analyzed;
- Secure long-term funding for the implementation of the national framework on addressing gender-based violence at post-secondary campuses. This funding should be reliable and flexible as institutions of different size, location, and type of study will have diverse needs; and
- Create a watch dog organization within Status of Women Canada that would regularly release assessments on how post-secondary institutions are addressing issues of gender-based violence on campuses.
5. Approved a new research paper on employment challenges faced by graduate students
CASA’s Graduate Committee, chaired by Gurjot Singh from the University of British Columbia, will be conducting research and writing a paper to better understand the experiences of Master’s and PhD students in seeking employment after graduation. The findings from the paper will then inform policy in the federal realm, as CASA works to improve the experience of graduate students in Canada.