AUSU Advocacy Efforts with CASA
Every year, CASA (Canadian Alliance of Students’ Associations) gathers its 21 member schools together from across Canada to discuss issues students are facing, and select priority areas to advocate about to the federal government. AUSU members have very unique challenges, so it is important for AUSU to be at the CASA table to raise concerns that otherwise would not be raised because they are not big issues on other campuses.
This year, AUSU has seats on two CASA committees as well as a CASA board position. In June 2016, CASA had a working retreat for the board to meet in person and discuss the plan of action for the coming year. The AUSU VP External (VPEX) attended this retreat as a member of the CASA board to raise issues important to AU students.
One topic of note that was addressed was the “Pan Canadian Accord”. This is discussed every year by CASA, but never makes it to the top of the priorities because it is a long term objective. However, this could greatly benefit AUSU members as it addresses the need for inter-provincial agreements to help regulate tuition and make it easier for students to transfer between schools across the country. This could also help AU to eliminate higher out of province student fees. AUSU VPEX Brandon Simmons was able to convince the board to identify it as a long term project that can be set up and worked on in the various committees or an ad hoc committee.
This is only one instance where AUSU’s heavy involvement with CASA has allowed the unique needs of AU students to be heard. AUSU is capitalizing on our elected positions with CASA’s Federal Policy and Trades and Technology Committees to create policies that reflect the values of students at AU. If you have any questions, contact the VPEX at firstname.lastname@example.org.