About

USC Structure

The University Students’ Council (USC), University of Western Ontario (UWO), is a student-led organization that first and foremost exists to advocate for and represent undergraduate students at Western University. Since 1965, we have grown beyond an advocacy organization, becoming one of the largest student governments in Canada and one of the largest nonprofits in London. Each day, we work to support, improve and enhance your student experience, because we believe that students have the power to change the world.

The USC is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the Ontario Nonprofit Corporations Act. For more information check out the link below.

At the USC, our strategic planning process is driven by the following key documents:

  1. USC Charter (PDF)
    Sets forth the core mission, vision, and values of the organization.
  2. USC Frameworks
    Identify the lenses through which every member of the organization should examine the development and execution of their work.
    Environmental Sustainability (PDF)
    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) (PDF)
  3. Policy Paper Library
    Presents data-driven principles, concerns, and recommendations on the USC’s core advocacy issues.
  4. USC Roadmap 
    One-year tactical plan, written by the executive of the day and passed through Summer Council, which outlines their goals for their year in office.

2022-2023 Executive Team

Exec 2022-23 Ethan (President)

Ethan Gardner

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.

Exec 2022-23 Jessica (VP External)

Jessica Look

Vice President External Affairs

The VP External of the USC is your advocate to the decision-makers. They bring up the issues that students face on a day-to-day basis to all levels of government: municipally, provincially, and federally. The Vice President’s team works on crafting evidence-based policy recommendations that work in the best interest for students, which the Vice President then advocates on, alongside the President, to enact change.

Exec 2022-23 Lauren (VP University Affairs)

Lauren Jarman

Vice President University Affairs

The VP University Affairs shares much of the same reponsibilities as the VP Internal, execpt her focus in on the way students interact with the University. 

Exec 2022-23 Cameron (VP Student Support and Programming)

Cameron Cawston

Vice President Student Support and Programming

The VP Student Support and Programming 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.

Exec 2022-23 Ethan B. (VP Governance and Finance)

Ethan Biswurm

Vice President Governance and Finance

The VP Governance and Finance 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.

Exec 2022-23 Keemia (VP Communications and Public Affairs)

Keemia Abbaszadeh

Vice President Communications and Public Affairs

In the growing digital world we live in, the VP Communications and Public Affairs 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.

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.

The 2022-2023 Executive Roadmap should be available in September.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Performance Based Funding  (.pdf)

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

Racial and Religious Students’ Policy Paper (.pdf)

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

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Governance

"

Students have the power to change the world.”

USC Mission Statement

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