YOUR VOICE

Vision Statement

“Students have the power to change the world.”

Mission Statement

“To enhance the educational experience and quality of life for all undergraduates at Western University.”

Want a quick summary of our governance structure?
Please check out this document and this visual representation.

Mitchell Pratt

President

Your USC President is the spokesperson for the Western undergraduate student body. They consistently work to provide a more accessible, diverse, and enjoyable student experience for those attending Western and provide support to the other members of the Student Executive.

Danny Chang

Vice president

First and foremost, your Vice President is here to advocate for you. They build relationships with those in the Western and London community in order to successfully communicate your concerns and ideas both on and off campus. They also work alongside the President to provide support and ensure a cohesive message.

Andreea Bejan

secretary-treasurer

The Secretary Treasurer is here to demystify the financial and corporate world of the USC and make sure you’re well informed about the decisions being made. Their number one goal is transparency and they are constantly working to ensure all members of your Students’ Council are acting in line with the USC’s policies to serve the student population.

Mikaela Harrison

communications officer

In the growing digital world we live in, the Communications Officer ensures that the USC’s message and initiatives are being heard loud and clear by all students on campus. They coordinate important public relations campaigns, interviews, and off-campus media coverage so that you’re always in the know about what’s going on at Western.

Carina Gabriele

STUDENT PROGRAMS OFFICER

The Student Programs Officer is responsible for managing all of the student-run services and programs that contribute to your Western experience. They are your resource for all things student engagement as they work to support and inspire all students taking on their own leadership positions in the community.

ADVOCACY

UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS

The Vice-President and their team is responsible for guiding the advocacy policy making process, the information gathering, and advocating on behalf of students regarding issues within the university. The priorities for the year are brought forward by the Executive Team, the Advocacy Standing Committee, and the Council. In working with the university administration, as well as campus groups and stakeholders, the Vice-President strives to meet the needs of our students and helps to provide them with a higher quality undergraduate experience at Western University. The USC believes their priorities reflect the betterment of students, however, input and communication is welcome regarding these advocacy priorities and affairs

Internal

In universities across Canada, pass/fail credits on select courses have been introduced to encourage students to explore various courses outside of their own modules. These credits have in turn created enjoyment of learning, less stressful situations and increased understanding of aspects of undergraduate life. Essentially, pass/fail credits generalize a pass credit (above 50%) and a fail credit (below 50%) instead of a mark based curriculum. The USC is committed to implementation and education about pass/fail credits during the 2017-2018 term.

At Western, we’re proud to offer a wide and rewarding array of learning opportunities for students of all faculties. The USC is striving to expand the options and grow the opportunities available for students to complete work-integrated learning opportunities, such as internships. Ensuring students can access a meaningful experience both inside and outside of the classroom to support their learning is an important priority for our team.

At Western, the USC always strives to make student life more enjoyable but a major priority this year is to make student life more affordable. With Open Educational Resources, the USC will be innovating and introducing new ways of textbook management for faculty and ease of access for students. By creating open and free textbook sources online, we hope to reduce the thousand dollar burden placed on students every year when purchasing new textbooks. Through coordination with faculty and administration, the USC hopes to see real change soon.

The USC is a member of a federal coalition of some of the largest universities in Canada (UCRU). Collectively, we come together and decide our annual priorities and advocate to the federal government. This year, our priorities will include:

  • Canadian Student Loans Program
  • Indigenous Student Supports
  • International Student Supports
  • Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities

In the case for many students where you require a consideration or an accommodation for an assignment or exam, it is often confusing or difficult to complete the process to seek consideration or accommodation support. The USC recognizes that students need to feel supported through their academics and we’re working to address the confusion and difficulty in the academic considerations & accommodations process.

Western takes pride in its excellent teaching quality and comprehensive support of student learning. The USC is focused on further developing and enhancing the student educational experience at Western. The USC has identified important areas to develop in order to best foster student learning, such as making better use of student feedback, decreasing financial barriers to learning, and expanding the role of peer tutoring services. The USC Teaching Quality policy paper outlines six specific recommendations for improving teaching quality and student learning at Western.

Recommendation 1: Increasing Availability of Student Feedback
Recommendation 2: Western Degree Outcomes
Recommendation 3: Increasing Use of Open Educational Resources
Recommendation 4: Eliminating Unnecessary Textbook and Course Material Expenses
Recommendation 5: Expanding the Role of Peer Tutoring Services
Recommendation 6: Considering Teaching Quality in Hiring and Promotion

Read the full USC Teaching Quality Policy Paper here. (PDF)

Approved at the 4th Meeting of the 2018-19 USC Council. To be reviewed by Council in its 2021-2022 sitting.

External

Bus Rapid Transit

The USC remains determined to create a more effective system of London transportation for students with the Bus Rapid Transit system. This system creates an easy and more efficient means of transportation for students to reach central and remote parts of London. Learn more here.

Student Housing (Break-Ins)

Off-campus housing remains a priority for the USC in 2017-2018 as concerns have evolved over summer months regarding break-ins in the London student area. The USC remains committed to keeping off-campus student’s homes safe year-round even as this uptick in crime has brought concerns to our representatives. In communication with the London Police Service, the USC will be launching a campaign devoted to informing and educating off-campus students about the risks of keeping doors and windows unlocked.

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) remains the most effective way to encourage and implement provincial priorities in and around Ontario universities. As a member of OUSA, Western represents one of the largest undergraduate populations in Ontario, and remains an influential and important member of the alliance.

The USC is a member of a federal coalition of some of the largest universities in Canada. Collectively, we come together and decide our annual priorities and advocate to the federal government. This year, our priorities will include:

  • Canadian Student Loans Program
  • Indigenous Student Supports
  • International Student Supports
  • Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities

ADVOCACY POLICIES

Click the drop-down on each item below to learn more about our existing Advocacy Policies…

Student Employment (.pdf)

  • For the USC, student employment should be a top priority because of the benefits it adds to the lives of students.
  • Approved by Council in February 2018. For review in 2020/21.

Affordability (.pdf)

  • All eligible students in Ontario, regardless of socioeconomic status and household income, should be able to access a post-secondary education.
  • Approved by Council in February 2018. For review in 2020/21

Mental Health at Western University (.pdf)

  • This policy outlines the recommendations to improve student mental health at Western.
  • Approved by Council in February 2017. For review in 2020/21.

Pedestrian Safety (.pdf)

  • This policy outlines the recommendations to improve pedestrian safety both at Western and in the City of London.
  • Approved by Council in February 2017. For review in 2021/22.

Student Transit in London (.pdf)

  • This policy outlines the recommendations to improve transportation within the City of London.
  • Approved by Council in February 2017. For review in 2020/21.

Ancillary Fees (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for student controls on ancillary fees and the nature and affordability of such fees.
  • Original Ancillary Fees “Purple Paper”, published in 2012.

Early Outreach (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the continued growth and support of early outreach programming at Western and in the London community.

Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students Enrolled in Non-STEM Faculties (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for a renewed focus on extracurricular and experiential learning opportunities for studies outside of STEM studies – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Open Educational Resources  (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the creation and implementation of an open educational resource pilot project.

 

Teaching Stream Tenured Faculty (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the implementation of teaching-focused faculty within the University and a greater emphasis of teaching as a responsibility of faculty.

Purple Paper: Fair Trade Western (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the visibility and availability of Fair Trade Certified products on Western’s campus.

GOVERNANCE

The University Students’ Council

A councillor is an undergraduate student who is elected by peers to represent their interests on the council floor. These students come from all the undergraduate faculties and professional schools, and are responsible for understanding the business of council – suggesting changes to policies or initiatives as they see fit.

The Board of Directors

When you think USC, you probably just think of student government, support services, events, and elections. And you’d be partially right. But the USC also encompasses a corporate side, manned by a student-led Board of Directors.

The Board focuses in on the business side of the USC and each year, they approve the Council’s budget and assess any financial risks or opportunities. Other important tasks in their job description include developing strategic plans to assist the USC in fulfilling their obligations to undergraduate students, as well as participating in the development of the USC’s organizational plan and annual review.

The Appeals Board

The Appeals Board exists to ensure that all decisions by the USC are made to benefit and support the student population. When a particular decision or action is brought forward for examination, the students on the Appeals Board determine whether or not that decision or action was justified or if it is an infringement on the University’s policies and bylaws. Students on the Appeals Board follow the principles of natural justice, advocating for fairness and good conscience to ensure the USC remains a fully democratic and proactive organization.

 

Elections Governance Committee

The Elections Governance Committee members uphold the vision and principles established in By-Law #2, which governs how elections are run at the USC. They develop and maintain a clear set of criteria and considerations to be used when making decisions relating to elections.

Clubs Governance Committee

The Clubs Governance Committee governs the clubs’ community on campus by enforcing and overseeing policies and procedures to ensure fairness in the clubs’ culture.

DOCUMENTS

This page contains all of the current by-laws, policies, and procedures of the University Students’ Council. To more easily find a specific document, the documents have been divided into categories.  The list of categories can be found below with a brief description of the category’s contents and an example of a policy that can be found in the category.

Organization Chart

Lines of Authority

Advocacy

Policies and procedures relating to the USC’s advocacy strategies and any advocacy papers passed into standing policy by Council.   Advocacy Papers Policy

  • This policy outlines the process, participants, and parameters of creating advocacy papers that represent the academic, socio-economic, and political concerns of its students. This document sets guidelines for developing paper topics, researching principles and concerns, and passing papers into standing policy of the USC.

Please visit the Advocacy Page for all current and archived documents.

Board of Directors

Policies and procedures relating to the organization and operation of the Board of Directors.              Board of Directors Rules of Procedure

  • A policy detailing the format and protocols of Board of Directors meetings. These procedures are meant to establish consistency and transparency in Board proceedings, including procedures for notice, meeting times, and confidentiality.

Social Responsibility Procedure

  • This policy establishes a social responsibility audit format, to be conducted annually, on each of the USC’s Operations and programs.

Budgets

By-Laws

The By-Laws of the Corporation.

By-Law #1

  •  A By-Law governing the affairs of the corporation and specifying the structure of the organization. This document outlines the composition of the various bodies that make up the organization, specifies powers, and contains the necessary provisions for the USC to remain in compliance with the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

By-Law #2

  • A By-Law governing the proper administration of USC Elections, containing all of the rules and regulations that both the candidates and Elections Committee must abide by.
    (Updated Nov 2017)

By-Law #4 – Rescinded by Council

  • A By-Law governing the staff position of General Manager and her duties as the senior administrative staff of the organization. This document outlines all of the General Manager’s powers and responsibilities to the corporation.

By-Law #5

  • A By-Law governing the President and Vice-Presidents as leaders of the USC’s Executive branch and the accompanying portfolios.

By-Law #6

  • A By-Law governing the election, composition and role of the Appeals Board – the USC’s dispute resolution body.
    (Updated Nov 2017)

Clubs Policy

Communications & Media

Policies and procedures relating to the communications strategies of the USC. Example: Social Media Usage Policy.

Advertising Materials Policy

  • This policy defines what constitutes Advertising Materials and what is and is not acceptable content in order to maintain a University environment that is safe, inclusive, and free from discrimination and harassment. This policy should be read in context with the Advertising Oversight Procedures and the Advertising Oversight Committee: Terms of Reference.

Advertising Oversight Committee Terms of Reference

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the Advertising Oversight Committee, the body tasked with enforcing the Advertising Materials Policy. Specifies the membership of the Committee and certain Committee procedures. This policy should be read in context with the Advertising Oversight Procedures and the Advertising Materials Policy.

Advertising Oversight Procedure

  • This procedure outlines the approval process for Advertising Materials and specifies individuals with the authority to approve advertising materials. Contains the procedures for appealing a decision to approve/reject materials. This policy should be read in context with the Advertising Materials Policy and the Advertising Oversight Committee: Terms of Reference.

Advertising Priorities Policy

  • A policy that prioritizes the use of the USC’s advertising resources to ensure that events, programs, and initiatives are communicated effectively. This policy classifies which groups shall get priority to use the USC’s resources as well as specifies the USC resources in question.

USC Visual Identity Guideline

  • A guideline to creating a cohesive brand and vision for the USC through regulation of the USC’s visual identity. Contains regulations for the display of the USC logo and how to present the USC’s brand on stationary, Power Point presentations, and business cards.

Corporate Logo and Letterhead Policy

  • This policy regulates the use of the USC logo and letterhead and specifies which individuals may use the logo and letterhead and under which circumstances. Specifies when and how USC operations are to use the USC logo.

USC Social Media Guide

  • Best practices in social media when representing the USC.

Social Media Usage Policy

  • A policy governing the use of social media by USC operations, services, portfolios, and departments. Establishes criteria for creation of USC affiliated social media accounts and specifies the members of the organization responsible for these accounts. Gazette Policy Policies and procedures relating to the operation of the Gazette. Example: Gazette Editorial Policy.

Coordinators & Volunteers

Council & Standing Committees

Policies and procedures relating to the organization and operation of the Council and its Standing Committees.

Senior Operations Terms of Reference

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the Senior Operations Committee, consisting of chairs from all the standing committees and the speaker of council.

Budget Review Sub-Committee

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the Budget Review Committee, a sub-committee of the Long-Term Plan and Budget Standing Committee. Includes breakdown of committee members and specifies the committee’s role in approving the USC budget.

Legislative Calendar 2016/2017 (.doc, .pdf)

  • A timeline of Council and Standing Committee meetings. Outlines meeting dates, deadlines, and election timelines.

Standing Committee Terms of Reference (.doc, .pdf)

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the Standing Committees of Council. The four Standing Committees of Council are Senior Operations, Student Experience, Advocacy, and Governance and Finance.

Standing Orders of Council (.doc, .pdf)

  • Rules of procedure enacted by Council regarding the agenda, meeting times, time limits, powers of the Speaker, and other conduct during Council meetings. A supplement to Robert’s Rules of Order.

Standing Resolutions of Council

  • Council motions that affect the legislative operations of the USC.
    (Updated Nov 2017)

Summer Council Authority

  • This policy is to ensure the continuity of the work of the Board, Executive and Council during the summer months – detailing the extent of their power while council is not meeting in the summer.

USC Voting Member Attendance Policy

  • Sets expectations and specifies penalties for attendance at Council meetings and Standing Committees. Contains rules regarding submission of regrets, demerit points, and when a member can be removed from Council.

Elections

Policies and Procedures relating to the USC Elections. Example: Elections Governance Committee Campaign Finances Procedure.

By-law #2: Elections By-law 

  • A By-law governing the proper administration of USC Elections, containing all of the rules and regulations that both the candidates and Elections Committee must abide by.

Elections Governance Committee Terms of Reference (.doc, .pdf)

  • A terms of reference that details the composition and mandate of the Elections Governance Committee.

Elections Governance Committee Campaign Finances Procedure (.doc, .pdf)

  • A procedure that details the necessary processes for both candidates and the Elections Governance Committee involving campaign finances.

Elections Governance Committee Nominations Procedure (.doc, .pdf)

  • A procedure that provides information necessary for candidates to complete a Nomination Form for a USC Election.

Elections Governance Committee Violations Procedure

  • A procedure that outlines the steps by the Elections Governance Committee follows during an allegation, including hearings, investigations, and criteria of offenses.
    (Updated Nov 2017)

Nominating Committee Terms of Reference

Nomination Forms

  • Faculty President Nomination Form (.pdf)
  • Constituency Representative/Councillor Nomination form (.pdf)
  • President and Vice-President Slate Nomination Form (.pdf)
  • Note: Senator and Board of Governors Nomination Forms are available through the Western Secretariat.

Executives

Policies and Procedures relating to the USC Executive. Example: Executive Terms of Reference.

Conference and Retreat Policy

  • This policy establishes a requirement for gaining approval to attend discretionary conferences, and also establishes reporting requirements for the Executive Council after they attend conferences and learning retreats, such as the annual Executive Research Trip.

Executive Officer Accountabilities and Discipline Process

  • This policy is a guide on how to positively correct any misconduct of performance issues related to the work of the Executive Officers of the corporation. This Policy is the guiding policy for coaching, discipline, and termination decisions rendered in regards to the Executive Officers.

Executive Officers` Salaries Procedure

  • This procedure outlines the earning power of an Executive Officer, as well as the procedure by which salary adjustments may be made.

Executive Officers Terms of Reference (.doc.pdf)

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Officers of the USC, outlining the limits of each respective portfolio.

Executive Council Terms of Reference (.doc, .pdf)

  • A description of the scope and responsibilities of the Executive Council of the USC.

Honoraria Policy

  • This policy outlines the criteria that must be met in order to qualify as a position eligible for honoraria, the criteria that will determine the honorarium available for the position, and the guidelines for awarding and withholding honoraria. This policy should be read in tandem with the Interim and Final Reports Procedure.

Interim and Final Reports Procedure

  • A guideline for the writing (format and style), submission (to whom), and approval (criteria and deadlines) of interim and final reports as submitted by Coordinators, Interns, Executives, and Gazette Front Office Staff. This policy should be read in tandem with the Honoraria Policy.

External Strategies and Relationships

OUSA Policy and Procedure

  • Outlining the USC’s membership in and relationship with the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

External Strategies and Relationships (.pdf, .doc)

  • Outlining the USC’s relationship with external bodies.

OUSA Review 2010

  • A review of the USC’s membership in the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance from the Council year 2009/10.

CASA Review 2013

  • A review of the USC’s membership in the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations from the Council year 2012/13.

OUSA Review 2014

  • A review of the USC’s membership in the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance from the Council year 2013/14.

Financial Documents

Policies and procedures relating to USC financial practices, including distribution of external grants. Examples: Travel Policy, Grants Fund Policy.

Grants

Documents and policies relating to Grant Applications, the Grants Committee and the Grants Fee.

Grants Application (.doc, .pdf)

  • This is the Grant Application that will be the foundation throughout the 2015/2016 academic term. The Grants Committee may make revisions where they feel as though the application is not targeting the necessary information.

Grants Committee Terms of Reference (.pdf)

  • A document that outlines the scope, composition and responsibilities of the Grants Committee.

Grants Fund Policy (.pdf)

  • This policy details the origins and intent of the Grants Fee that is levied on undergraduate students.

Grants Guide (.doc, .pdf)

  • This document helps provide guidance to the application process and contains criteria that is used in the adjudication process of the Grants Committee.

Human Resources

 Policies and procedures relating to the workplace environment, health and safety, conflict of interest, and other matters of human resource concern.

Conflict of Interest Policy

  • A guideline to identifying and managing conflict of interest, ensuring the USC conducts its business and political affairs in conformity with the highest ethical and moral standards

Personal Information Protection Policy

  • A policy establishing the USC’s compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which lists ten principles for personal information protection. Contains provisions for the collection, storage, and disclosure of personal information.

Injury-Incident Investigation Policy and Procedures

  • A policy establishing a consistent means of recording accident/incident investigation information, which is used to prevent a recurrence of the same or similar accidents. A part of the USC’s health and safety procedures.

Health and Safety Orientation Policy

  • A policy relating to health and safety training for staff and volunteers, detailing the frequency and nature of such training. Outlines the responsibility of the organization to train and make workers aware of health and safety concerns associated with the job.

Health and Safety Policy

  • Outlines the USC’s commitment to providing and maintaining a healthy and safe work environment for all employees, customers, suppliers, and visitors. Details the responsibilities of management, supervisors, and employees with regards to a collaborative approach to health and safety.

Health and Safety Responsibilities of Managers & Supervisors Policy

  • A policy detailing the specific duties of managers and supervisors in the workplace with regards to health and safety.

Human Resources Directive

  • A policy empowering the General Manager to maintain human resources policies and procedures to ensure that the USC’s full-time, part-time, and volunteer employees are managed responsibly in compliance with government legislation.

Joint Health and Safety Committee

  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the USC’s Joint Health and Safety Committee. Specifies the Committee’s membership and includes procedures for meetings, workplace inspections, investigations, and member certification.

Media Spokesperson Policy

  • A policy providing guidelines for the conduct of full-time and part-time staff, including Executives, in relation to the media. Outlines who is and is not an authorized spokesperson of the organization. To be read in conjunction with the Media Spokesperson Procedure.

Media Spokesperson Procedure

  • Outlines the specific procedures for dealing with media requests for both internal and external media sources. To be read in conjunction with the Media Spokesperson Policy.

Social Media Policy

  • Provides guidelines for staff and volunteer conduct in relation to social media communications. Ensures consistent representation of the USC across all social media platforms.

USC Discrimination Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy and Reporting Procedure 

  • A policy outlining the expectations of the organization regarding the prevention of discrimination, harassment, and violence. Specifies the responsibilities of members of the organization in upholding the standards of the USC.

USC Early and Safe Return to Work

  • A policy establishing the responsibilities of the USC and its employees after a work-related injury or illness has been sustained. This Policy is guided by the requirements of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and its primary objective is to ensure an early and safe return to work.

Workplace Conduct Policy

  • A policy established to maintain a professional workplace environment free from interpersonal conflict and discrimination. Governs the interaction of employees and volunteers with each other and their workplace environment.

Workplace Wellness Policy

  • A policy outlining the development and implementation of a workplace wellness program, including management and human resources responsibilities.

Long-Term Strategic Plan

Policies and procedures relating to the creation and amendment of the USC’s Long-Term Strategic Plan and previous iterations of the Strategic Plan.

Long Term Plan – “Dear Students” 2017

  • Outlining our Vision, values and areas of focus.

Strategic Plan – 2012

  • The current strategic plan of the USC. A reference document for the Corporation to provide strategic direction for all facets of the Corporation.

Tactical Plan – 2010-11

  • A guide to the execution of the previous strategic plan, A Vision to Lead. Specifies areas of action that should be undertaken to meet the expectations of the strategic plan and identifies the individuals responsible for carrying them out.

A Vision to Lead (2009)

  • A previous strategic plan of the USC. Superseded by the 2012 Strategic Plan.

Built To Lead/ Executive Summary (2006)

  • A previous strategic plan of the USC. Superseded by A Vision to Lead. See attached Executive Summary for an introduction to the plan.

From Gauntlet to Stairway (2002)

  • A previous strategic plan of the USC. Superseded by Built to Lead.

Operational Policies

Policies and procedures relating to the administration of the USC’s general and business operations. Examples: Building Usage Policy, Community Standards Policy.

Student Services

(Definitions)