What is Advocacy?
CSI’s Advocacy Department is committed to improving the student experience by developing data & research-driven solutions and empowering students to be change-makers within the Conestoga community and beyond.
Want to stay informed and up-to-date on CSI’s current advocacy efforts? Click the button below to learn more.
Through CSI’s advocacy efforts, students are provided a platform to be heard within Conestoga College and across all levels of government while acting as a contributing stakeholder to create meaningful change focused on the pillars of Accountability, Affordability, Equity, and Sustainability of the student experience.
What Does Advocacy Look Like?
Advocacy is not a 1-size fit all concept; different issues require radically different approaches!
From research methodologies to outreach strategies to communications with stakeholders, check out all the ways we advocate:
- Issuing informative pamphlets
- Creating informational websites
- Hosting seminars and feedback sessions
- Hosting townhalls with students
- Letter-writing campaigns to policy makers
- Holding conversations with decision makers and politicians
- Creating and circulating petitions
- CASA also lobbies the federal government on our behalf
- Holding news conferences
- Taking interviews with local media
- Press releases
- Authoring op-eds
- Building relationships with stakeholders in areas of interest
- Finding cross-issue solidarity with other advocacy and stakeholder groups
- Encouraging members to participate in political action in support of an issue i.e. protests, rallies, and demonstrations
- Solicitating feedback from members on issues important to them
- Using this feedback to conduct research on best practices, policies, and methods moving forward
Where Do We Advocate?
Issues at the college level include tuition rates, student housing, academic fairness, truth and reconciliation, student rights, and more.
CSI represents our members by ‘being at the table’ within the college’s several governing boards, including representation at Conestoga College’s Board of Governors, and various Internal and External Committees, including Academic Appeals and more.
Issues at the municipal level that affect our students include access to affordable housing, transportation, community safety, and more.
CSI engages the municipalities where Conestoga College has campuses and students reside in various advocacy and political initiatives. We do this to ensure students’ voices are heard on municipal issues that affect them. CSI does this by:
- Participating in municipal Town and Gown Committees
- Being active members of City and Regional Taskforces
- Developing partnerships with local Student Associations for collaboration and solidarity
- Creating and maintaining relationships with local officials and stakeholders
- Establishing advocacy campaigns to pressure local stakeholders to favour policies beneficial and important to our students.
Issues at the provincial level that affect our students include tuition regulation, post-secondary education funding, international student equity, housing, healthcare, and many more!
Colleges & university regulation and funding are the responsibility of the Provincial government. Therefore, much of CSI’s advocacy efforts are directed at and towards policy and law at the provincial level that impacts the student experience. CSI engages in advocacy at the provincial level by:
- Working with stakeholders to uphold the rights, and advocate for the needs of college students
- Engaging and organizing collective voice organizations, including participating in working groups with other college student associations across Ontario
- Building and leveraging positive relationships with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)
- Participating in provincial taskforces when they arise on issues that affect our student members
- Providing the student voice on issues of relevance through press releases, interviews, op-eds
- Organizing and engaging in direct action campaigns to ensure students’ concerns are being heard and represented in legislation (Student Protests, Rallies, Strike Support etc.)
For more information on CSI’s efforts at the federal level, please see the following link to our federal advocacy group CASA