CASA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was hosted by the University of New Brunswick Student Union, with assistance from the St. Thomas University Students’ Union, in Fredericton, New Brunswick from March 20th to 22nd. During the conference, CASA’s student-led committees and their Board of Directors representative(s) presented the work they accomplished over the past year. Student leaders then discussed, debated, and voted on these initiatives, which were designed to improve CASA’s effectiveness as a student advocacy organization. Additionally, during CASA’s end-of-year reception, awards were handed out to student leaders for their exceptional work over the past year and for their dedication to the student cause.
1. CASA Approves Conestoga Students Inc. As New Member
CASA’s members enthusiastically voted to accept Conestoga Students Inc.’s application to join the organization! CASA is pleased to be expanding its representation of both college and Ontario students, and can’t wait to begin working with Conestoga Students Inc. to advocate for post-secondary students across the country. Their membership will officially kick in on May 1st, 2018.
2. New Strategic Plan and Updated Operating Procedures
CASA’s Internal Review Committee presented to the membership a comprehensive review of the operating procedures which govern CASA. The update saw the committee recommend merging, simplifying and clarifying the rules which govern many of the internal operations of the organization.
The Internal Review Committee also presented a new strategic plan to guide CASA’s operations in the years 2018-2021. The changes to this direction-setting document were established following a membership consultation and many committee discussions. The strategic plan is now further refined and streamlined, with five key areas of focus: advocacy, communications, policy and research, membership and, a new addition, governance.
Both the operating procedure reforms and the new strategic plan passed unanimously.
3. New CASA Policies and Policy Updates
CASA’s Trades and Technology, Policy, and Graduate Committees presented the membership with new position statements supporting more funding for applied research at colleges and polytechnics, the creation of a university in northern Canada, and implementation of the fundamental science review’s recommendations. Since being approved at CASA’s AGM, these are now CASA’s official position on these questions. The committees also presented the membership with a series of policy updates on existing policy statements.
4. New Video, Transition Plan, and Campaign Proposals from Committees
CASA’s membership reviewed the work of the standing committees of the organization. In addition to the previously mentioned policy and governance updates, CASA’s Member Relations Committee presented a new promotional video to help with general awareness of CASA amongst students and potential members, as well as a new plan to improve transitions of member representatives at CASA from year to year. The National Advocacy Committee presented four campaign proposals, addressing the issues of student employment, campus sexual violence, student mental health, and student debt, that will be provided to next year’s membership for their consideration. These pre-prepared campaigns are intended to give next year’s membership a head-start in launching a campaign to improve post-secondary education. Members were given an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the committee chairs.
5. CASA Awards
During the end-of-year banquet, CASA’s delegates voted for the winners of a series of internal awards, a tradition that is affectionately known as the CASSIES. Some more serious than others, these awards provide recognition to some of our hard working student leaders. That said, there are just not enough awards to recognize everyone for their awesome work with CASA! The awards presented this year were as follows:
- Governor General Award – Brianna Workman, St. Thomas University Students’ Union Vice President Education
- Most Valuable Participant Award – Branden Cave, University of Calgary Students’ Union President
- Future Prime Minister Award – Ossama Nasrallah, St. Mary’s University Students’ Union President
- Most likely to have the largest CASA pin collection – Lauren Slegers, Red River College Students’ Union President
- Most likely to fill up your newsfeed during #AdvoWeek – Reed Larsen, University of Alberta Students’ Union Vice President External
- Most likely to become CASA’s next Executive Director – Annie Sirois, StFX Students’ Union President
- Most likely to sleep beside a copy of CASA’s policy book – Parvin Sedighi, Students’ Association of MacEwan University Vice President External
- Most likely to forget something on the way to a lobby meeting – Guillaume Lecorps, Quebec Student Union Vice President
- Most likely to bring a copy of CASA’s bylaws on a date – Branden Cave, University of Calgary Students’ Union President
- Most likely to live off a caffeine diet during CASA conferences – Sara Camus, Mount Allison Students’ Union President
- A motion to adopt various sustainable business practices at CASA, as outlined in the sustainability report, was passed by the membership
- CASA’s budget for the year 2018-2019 was passed by the membership
- The membership voted that CASA’s 2018 Policy and Strategy Conference be hosted by Capilano Students’ Union in Vancouver, BC this coming July