OTTAWA, August 3, 2018 – Last week, at the Canadian Alliance of Student Association’s (CASA) second conference of the year, the organization’s student leaders chose to establish an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. The first of its kind, this student-led 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.
CASA’s Director-at-Large and chair of the committee, Yana Titarenko, states, “It’s imperative that CASA’s policy reflects the experiences of all students, including those of different ethnicities, sexualities, and financial backgrounds. This year, I will be working with my awesome team of student leaders to make this goal a reality, thereby strengthening CASA’s work for students.”
As an organization that advocates to the federal government for improvements for post-secondary students across the country, CASA’s work touches on several issues. This includes advocating for: financial aid for students who need it, changes to immigration requirements for international students facing bureaucratic barriers to their education, more mental health resources to be available on campus, financial and cultural supports for Indigenous students, and paid work experiences for students in their field of study. Each of these issues affects students from all different backgrounds, and CASA makes it a priority to consider these differences when developing the policies it pushes for at Parliament Hill. This new committee will further ensure that CASA regularly examines each student issue through these different lenses.
Ms. Titarenko continues, “One of the ways in which we may look at integrating voices of students from traditionally marginalized groups into our work is by bringing some of these students out to our conferences. In particular, Indigenous students lack representation within our student leader body, and we want to have their voice at the table when we’re working to develop policy that helps all students.”
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee currently has six elected members plus the chair, and will be holding its first meeting in the coming weeks.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 270,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. Through its partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU) and its 8 members representing 79,000 students, CASA presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224