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 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.
- This policy outlines the recommendations to improve student mental health at Western.
- Approved by Council in November 2023. For review in 2026/27.
Student Financial Aid (.pdf)
- This student financial aid policy paper was written at the request of the 2023-2024 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 June 2023. For review in 2025/26.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Reports from Working Groups
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.
Students have the power to change the world.”
USC Vision Statement