Who We Are
CASA is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. We represent undergraduate, graduate and polytechnic associations.
At its core, CASA advocates on behalf of post-secondary students to the federal government. When Canada’s leaders make decisions affecting our post-secondary education system, they turn to CASA for solutions.
Mission, Vision, Values
Through its member-driven structure and grassroots approach, CASA’s mission is to advocate for students using policy development and research, awareness campaigns, government relations, and partnerships with other stakeholders.
Canada will achieve an accessible, affordable and high-quality post-secondary education system whose students enjoy an excellent quality of life.
- CASA will focus exclusively on post-secondary and student related issues;
- CASA will remain a strictly non-partisan organization;
- CASA will be member-driven, with opportunities for all members to contribute to and be heard by the organization;
- CASA will have a membership structure that will remain easy to join and easy to leave.
Successful lobbying and advocacy starts with research and policy development. CASA researches the issues facing students and develops creative, pragmatic solutions. All policies are developed and reviewed by CASA’s members, ensuring government hears the true voice of students. CASA has four main policy principles:
CASA believes that any academically qualified student with the desire to pursue post-secondary education should not face a barrier – financial, social, political, physical, cultural, or otherwise.
CASA believes that students should not accumulate an unreasonable or insupportable amount of debt in the pursuit of a post-secondary education or in continuing such an education.
CASA believes in a post-secondary education system that has sustainable research programs across all disciplines, with the benefits of such research shared across all levels of the student body.
CASA believes in a quality public post-secondary education system that is properly funded, effective and accountable; and co-operatively maintained and enhanced by the federal and provincial governments.
CASA is a member-driven organization, meaning that our members set the priorities and steer the actions of the organization. Our member associations select delegates to represent them at CASA, including working with the organization and voting on their behalf at official CASA meetings. All together, this group is referred to as the General Assembly.
The General Assembly elects a Board of Directors, the body responsible for making decisions for the organization when the membership is not all together. Because student leaders are busy and making timely decisions is important for an organization’s ability to be effective, the Board’s role is very important.
The Board of Directors then oversees the Executive Director, who in turn manages the Home Office staff. Each of these bodies are responsible for implementing the priorities of the membership in line with the mission, vision, and values of CASA.
The General Assembly also elect permanent members to CASA’s standing committees, which are responsible for accomplishing much of the work that drives the organization forward and secures advocacy wins for post-secondary students across the country.