Last week our Vice President Advocacy, Simal Qureshi, travelled to Ottawa to attend the CASA (Canadian Alliance of Student Associations) Foundations Conference. CASA is a student-run, non-partisan and not-for profit student organization focused on improving post-secondary education through advocacy. This organization represents 22 student unions as member schools and approximately 270, 000 students across Canada.
As an advocacy organization, CASA recognizes that successful lobbying starts with research and creating policy solutions that the government can then adopt to help solve common student issues. Therefore, CASA researches the problems students are facing and works with members to develop and review policies. When working on such policies to improve post-secondary education, CASA has four principles: innovation, quality, accessibility, and affordability. After developing policies, CASA presents them to influential people within government, such as Members of Parliament, Senators, and Ministers.
Foundations was the first CASA conference for the new academic year and was primarily a learning conference. The conference was incredibly insightful for learning about CASA’s structure, governance, purpose, and history as an organization. Additionally, Foundations enabled members to have the opportunity to learn about government relations, policy development, advocacy training, and become familiar with several valuable organizations that hold potential for partnerships in the future. Finally, this conference provided valuable insight into how student organizations can work alongside each other to be effective advocates to the federal government.
Simal Qureshi, VP Advocacy, and Richard Du, President, serve as the primary and secondary delegates, respectively, to CASA. This representation allows them to have the opportunity to sit in on CASA committees, such as National Advocacy, Federal Policy, and Member Relations. As a result, these UNB Student Union executives are responsible for sharing any updates on policies that are created and passed with UNB students. These students then have the opportunity to be involved in CASA initiatives such as the Get Out the Vote campaign, Sexual Violence Prevention campaigns, and Mental Health campaigns, for example.
You can find out more about CASA at www.casa-acae.ca. If you have any questions about CASA or its campaigns, please contact Simal Qureshi at firstname.lastname@example.org