The Path Forward
For the past few months after the election, we have been settling into our roles and taking time to reflect on how the USSU could best represent you and help create a better campus community. Our strategic goals moving forward are to Promote Education, Revitalize Community, Decolonize Systems, and Facilitate Leadership.
As the student voice to university administration, the provincial and federal government, it is our responsibility to advocate for accessible and equitable education. We plan to promote student rights and responsibilities throughout the year in our advocacy. We continue to lobby on behalf of students at all levels and have recently partnered with Saskatchewan Polytechnic Students’ Association Inc., Graduate Students’ Association, and the University of Regina Students’ Union in forming the Saskatchewan Student Coalition to uplift the student voice in our province. Federally, the USSU plans to work with the Undergraduates of Canadian Research Intensive Universities (UCRU) in an alliance of students’ unions in Canada. Their common objective is to protect the interests and advocate on behalf of over 240,000 undergraduate university students from Canada’s largest research intensive universities (U15) and to provide research and recommendations to the government on how to improve post-secondary education in Canada.
We want to enhance our outreach and encourage a healthy, safe, involved, and engaged student body, while celebrating interconnectedness. Our executive team plans to set up pop-up tables all over campus throughout the year to provide students with an avenue to meet us and discuss your needs or concerns. The USSU operates several centres for enhancing your experience. These centres include the Women’s Centre, Pride Centre, Help Centre, and Food Centre. The USSU centres are open to all students and provide resources, support, and services in a warm and positive atmosphere. The centres’ events and campaigns are a vital part of the USSU’s outreach. We want to commit to expanding our presence on campus and being on the ground with students. The culture we want to foster among students is one where we encourage and celebrate one another’s achievements and success.
With the guidance from our Elders, we plan to unpack what “practicing treaty” means in our province today by hosting conversations and formalizing relations with Indigenous and Métis communities. We seek to raise awareness on the importance of self-determination through dialogue and will evaluate how our practices can be improved to be more inclusive and reflective of our campus. We will ensure the University of Saskatchewan honours commitments of Decolonization, Indigenization, and Reconciliation, and that the voices and experiences of Indigenous people are amplified in this ongoing journey. We will call on governments to play their roles in these efforts, so students coming from Indigenous communities can have accessible, equitable and quality post-secondary education, that is enriched with traditional practices and languages, and taught from the lens of Indigenous people.
We plan to examine the barriers that prevent students from taking on leadership roles and being involved on our campus. We want to create an atmosphere where students want to be a part of all the amazing opportunities that the USSU offers. Whether it be volunteering at the centres, being a member of our committees, being a centre coordinator, represent your college or community, or becoming an executive member. Increasing awareness of these positions and getting more students involved will help the USSU be a better students’ union! In cooperation with administration and community partners, we want to equip students with opportunities to develop and strengthen their leadership capabilities.
All our activities this year will be associated with these four themes. We encourage students that have questions or concerns to reach out to us as we will be more than happy to meet with you and talk about anything that interests you. We’re really excited about The Path Forward, and we hope that you will be too.