USC Advocacy

USC Advocacy

Advocacy is the process of influencing people and/or institutions to make decisions or take actions that benefit you or the group you represent. It’s not a project, where you have control over making things happen; instead, you need to convince those that have the paper to make things happen to prioritize what you want and when you want it. It can take a long, long time, and requires consistency, good timing, and strong relationships. At any given time, the USC is engaging in advocacy at multiple levels of government, and across the university. However, effective advocacy has to be focused, which means that we can’t advocate on everything all of the time. 

Here’s what we're working on:

Each year, the USC Executive creates a Roadmap for their year in office. The USC Executive have been either elected or hired into their respective position to represent you, enhance student life on campus, and lead the USC for their term. The USC is a large organization with a pre-existing Charter, long term strategic plan, policies, by-laws, and frameworks. What makes the Roadmap unique, is that it is designed wholly by the executive of the day. These priorities are based on their platforms, pitches, and student experience. This Roadmap is their guiding document to highlight their key priorities with distinct initiatives and goals within those priorities.

Policy Papers

Policy papers are different from policies in that policies are a set of documents covering the internal workings of the USC, whereas policy papers contain recommendations aimed at external decision makers that USC Executives can draw from in their advocacy. Policy papers are approved by Council, and with that, have more authority and legitimacy than if they were the personal opinions of individuals. The USC focuses on evidence-based advocacy, with recommendations informed by both research and student consultation. 

Mental Health at Western University (.pdf)

  • This policy outlines the recommendations to improve student mental health at Western.
  • Approved by Council in February 2021. For review in 2023/24.

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.

Transit Policy Paper (.pdf)

  •  The USC is committed to fighting for a safe community where students not only feel safe, but are safe. We built this policy paper in hopes to address the many concerns that we have heard from our campus community regarding the safety of pedestrians.
  • Approved by Council in April 2022. For review in 2025/ 2026

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.
Student Financial Aid (.pdf)
  • This student financial aid policy paper was written at the request of the 2020-2021 Students’ Council. This paper is intended to give comprehensive recommendations about post-secondary student financial aid for Western University, Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.
  • Approved by Council in January 2021. For review in 2022/23.

Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy Paper (PDF)

  • Western University’s return to campus for the 2021/2022 school year has been framed by the hurt and anger coming out of the allegations of sexual violence that took place during Orientation Week. This led Western to create the Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Action Committee and announce a number of new safety and support measures.2 As part of the work we have done this year to prioritize making our campus safer and more equitable, the USC has a number of recommendations to add to the broader conversation on gender-based violence on campus and looks forward to working with both Western administrators and provincial partners to ensure that students are safe both during their time at Western and beyond.
  • Approved by Council in March 2022. For review in 2023/24

Tuition Based Funding (.pdf)

  • This paper is intended to give comprehensive recommendations about post-secondary student tuition for Western University and the Government of Ontario.
  • Approved by Council in February 2021. For review in 2023/24.

Racial and Religious Students’ Policy Paper (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the building a Campus Culture of Equity and Diversity.

Sustainabilty Policy Paper (.pdf)

  • The Environmental Sustainability Policy paperis a call for action from our university and government stakeholders regarding the current climate crisis. This paper reflects the importance of continual change on campus in order to truly cultivate our community and move towards more sustainable practices. This paper has been ratified by USC Council and sets out the USC’s advocacy stances relating to environmental sustainability, to be used by the Executive Team and USC councillors in their advocacy.

Teaching, Learing & Assessment Policy Paper (.pdf)

  • The recommendations in this paper outline a number of ways to ensure that students receive a strong educational experience from professors. We believe that if Western values teaching, learning, and assessment practices as much as it values research, the university will truly be able to offer the very best student experience.
  • Passed by Council on May 4, 2022. For review 2024-2025.

Experiential Learning Policy Paper (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC intended to give comprehensive recommendations about post-secondary experiential learning for Western University and the Government of Ontario.
  • Passed by Council in February 2021. For review in 2023/34.

2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Recreation Centre (.pdf)

  • This report was completed to assess the current state of Western University’s Recreation Centre in regard to 2SLGBTQ+ participation and barriers to participation, and to provide some recommendations on how the Rec Centre could remove barriers and improve 2SLGBTQ+ participation.

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (.pdf)

  • This 2014-21 accessibility plan outlines the policies and actions that the University Students’ Council will put in place and maintain to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.

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.

Performance Based Funding  (.pdf)

  • PBF is a system whereby a portion of an institution’s funding allocation is contingent on meeting specific performance metrics.

COVID-19 Mental Health Policy Paper (.pdf)

  • This policy outlines the recommendations to improve student mental health at Western in light of COVID 19.
  • Approved by Council in February 2021. For review in February 2022.

Open Educational Resources  (.pdf)

  • A standing policy of the USC advocating for the creation and implementation of an open educational resource pilot project.
  • Approved by Council in March 2016. For review in 2022/23.

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.

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.
  • Approved by Council in March 2016.  For review in 2022/23.

Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Advocacy

Everyone deserves to feel safe on campus.

The violence that our students had to navigate this September was unacceptable, and we will not tolerate a campus culture that promotes or enables any form of sexual and gender-based violence.

Advocacy is more powerful when we come together as a community to create change, and we want you to be part of the conversation. The voices of students, survivors, and the individuals most impacted by sexual and gender-based violence deserve to be heard. We want you to get involved, get informed, and join the student-led movement to demand better from Western University and our government.

These recommendations were produced and ratified by the University Students’ Council in September 2021 and have been endorsed by the Safe Campus Coalition, the body of student organizers behind the September 17th, 2021 Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Walkout, attended by thousands of students and community members. Please see the USC’s 2022 AntiSexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy Paper for additional recommendations.

Anti-Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy Paper (PDF)

  • Western University’s return to campus for the 2021/2022 school year has been framed by the hurt and anger coming out of the allegations of sexual violence that took place during Orientation Week. This led Western to create the Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Action Committee and announce a number of new safety and support measures.2 As part of the work we have done this year to prioritize making our campus safer and more equitable, the USC has a number of recommendations to add to the broader conversation on gender-based violence on campus and looks forward to working with both Western administrators and provincial partners to ensure that students are safe both during their time at Western and beyond.
  • Approved by Council in March 2022. For review in 2023/24

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Students have the power to change the world.”

USC Vision Statement

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