Foundations Conference 2017 Schedule

Monday, May 22nd


5:00-7:00 pm


Description: Upon arrival at the Four Points Hotel in Gatineau-Ottawa, delegates can come to the hotel lobby to meet CASA home office staff and pick up their registration packages.


7:00-8:00 pm

Social Ice Breakers 

Description: This will be your first chance to meet and socialize with other CASA delegates from across the country. We encourage you to wear your school clothing if you have some! This session is taking place in the Renaissance A room of the Four Points Hotel.


Tuesday, May 23rd


9:00-9:30 am

Elder Opening and Introduction

Description: CASA welcomes new and returning delegates to the organization. CASA’s staff and board will run an overview of the conference and what the objectives are. The conference will open with an opening address from a First Nations Elder who will acknowledge the Algonquin People, on whose traditional land the conference is taking place.


9:30-9:45 am

Code of Conduct in Brief

Description: Introduce you to our Code of Conduct policy, including expectations on conduct at conferences.


9:45-10:15 am 

Opening Plenary

Description: CASA’s members officially open the conference with an opening plenary session. The minutes from AGM are presented, the agenda is voted on and Code of Conduct Officers are officially selected.


10:15-10:30 am



10:30-12:30 pm

Getting to Know CASA

Description: This session will contain a broad overview of CASA, its governance, its resources and its operations. The aim will be to provide all delegates with a general understanding of what CASA is, what it does, and how they can use it to achieve their goals.


12:30-2:00 pm 



2:00-4:00 pm 

Discussing Student Issues that Matter to You

Description: This facilitated discussion will allow delegates to brainstorm on issues of importance to them in the area of post-secondary education. A mix of silent discussions and group discussions will allow for a productive issue-based exchange.


4:00-4:15 pm 



4:15-5:00 pm 

Role of the Federal Government and Political Climate Update

Description: CASA will provide a general overview of the role of the federal government in post-secondary education in Canada. CASA’s staff will also provide an update on the political climate in Ottawa.


7:00-9:00 pm

Escape Room Challenge

Description: Delegates will be placed in teams and locked in a room, with only your wits and a few clues to help you escape.


Wednesday, May 24th 


On this day of the conference, CASA will be hosting guest speakers to provide greater context and detail on some of the major questions in post-secondary education.


9:00-9:15 am

Day 2 in Brief

Description: CASA's Executive Director will provide an overview of the day’s sessions.


9:15-10:00 am

Guest Speaker: Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP)

Description: This presentation, led by CSLP, will delve into Canada's student loans system and how it currently functions. As CSLP is one of the major distributors of student financial aid at the federal level, this presentation will help when you begin to think about developing policy solutions that work.

Student leaders also have the option to attend an alternative presentation by Mitacs during this time. Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that links graduate students with paid research positions. This presentation has limited spaces and is recommended for graduate students and those with a special interest in graduate issues.


10:00-10:45 am

Guest Speaker: World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

Description: This not-for-profit organization works with a network of post-secondary institutions, private-sector partners and volunteers to provide education, employment and empowerment opportunities that improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged youth around the world. Their presentation will be focused on the challenges of refugee students and the current state of international education in Canada.


10:45-11:00 am



11:00-11:50 am

Guest Speaker: Abacus Data

Description: Abacus Data is a public opinion firm who will using their polling data to describe the levels of political engagement among Canada's youth as well as the priorities of students from across the country. Data will be taken from CASA's The Next Canada report as well as other recent surveys conducted by Abacus Data. 




Yoga on the Hill (optional activity from 12:00-1:00pm): Join hundreds of people for a free yoga session on Parliament Hill. Have fun and get centered! Don't forget to bring clothing you can stretch in. You may also want to bring a yoga mat if you have one, or a towel to lay on the ground. Parliament Hill is a five minute cab ride away from the conference.


1:30-2:45 pm

State of Issues at the Federal Level: Update on CASA’s Advocacy, Government Initiatives

Description: CASA’s staff will provide an update on the state of CASA’s advocacy from the previous year. This will include an update on issues advocated on, as well as successes and failures. It will also highlight any important developments or initiatives the federal government will be undertaking in 2017-2018. This session will be amended and updated to reflect the interests of members from the previous day’s student issues session.


2:45-3:00 pm



3:00-3:30 pm

What's the Deal about Fair Dealing?

Description: With the Copyright Act of Canada coming under review this fall, it is critical to understand how fair dealing impacts students and their education.


3:30-5:00 pm

Guest Speaker: Ross Finney

Description: Ross Finney is a professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and is a Director of the Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI). He has conducted considerable research in the areas of post-secondary education in Canada and employment outcomes for graduates.


7:00-9:30 pm

First Nations Blanket Exercise

Description: In this interactive session, participants will be walked through the historical experience of First Nations peoples in Canada.


Thursday, May 25th


9:00-9:15 am

Day 3 in Brief

Description: CASA's Executive Director will provide an overview of the day’s sessions.


9:15-10:30 am

Policy Development at CASA

Description: CASA’s staff will provide an introduction to policy development. This session will provide delegates with the tools to begin thinking about how they can create solutions to the problems they have identified on campus. This session is designed to introduce the topic, and more significant training will be provided to all of the policy-focused committees.  


10:30-10:45 am



10:45-11:45 am

Advocacy and Government Relations Training

Description: Professional advocates will provide training on advocacy and government relations. The session will focus on the work that delegates perform in their roles at CASA and in their own institutions.


11:45-12:30 pm

Media Training

Description: In the second session, government relations experts will provide training on media and crisis communications.


12:30-1:30 pm



1:30-3:30 pm

Advocacy and Media Practical Training

Description: Following the morning training session, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in mock lobbying and mock media interviews according to both their interests and their levels of experience. During this session, CASA presents a practical component to advocacy and media relations by teaching effective lobbying and interview techniques and by providing useful feedback to delegates.


3:30-3:45 pm



3:45-5:00 pm

Working at CASA

Description: CASA is a student-led organization, and thus requires that students take on leading roles. This session will outline the various ways in which you can contribute to CASA throughout the year.


7:00-8:30 pm (approx.)

Board of Directors Update and Board of Directors Elections

Description: The outgoing Board will give a final update to the membership and present ongoing projects they have been working on. The membership will then elect a new Board of Directors.


Friday, May 26th


9:00-9:15 am

Day 4 in Brief

Description: CASA's Executive Director will provide an overview of the day’s sessions.


9:15-10:00 am

Financial Update

Description: In this presentation, the treasurer will give an update of 4th quarter actuals (financial statements).


10:00-10:30 am

Building Tools for Effective Advocacy: Basecamp and Highrise

Description: CASA uses digital infrastructure tools to help with communication and storing information. This session will prepare delegates to make use of these tools in the course of their work with CASA.


10:30-10:45 am



10:45-11:45 pm

PSE Themes at CASA: Group Discussion

CASA uses a thematic approach to priority setting for the organization. This session will explain and discuss some of the larger thematic areas that exist within the realm of post-secondary education, and CASA in particular. During this group discussion, delegates will brainstorm ideas on themes that matter to them, as a means to begin thinking about areas they would like to prioritize in 2016-2017.


11:45-12:15 pm

From Here to Policy and Strategy Conference

Description: This session will inform delegates of the dates of the next conference, what we will be discussing/deciding at the conference, what will be occurring at the membership level from May to July, and how to prepare in advance of this conference, as well as the rest of the year.


12:15-1:15 pm



1:15-4:00 pm

Closing Plenary

Description: Delegates decide on CASA business. Before plenary begins, our plenary chair will run an introductory session on Robert’s Rules to help delegates understand the rules to follow during this session. Delegates will also elect permanent members to CASA’s standing committees.

Note: It is possible that closing plenary may run later into the evening. Please plan travel accordingly.



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