Advocacy

Learn more about how the RRCSA is advocating for you at different levels.

Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions. Advocacy includes activities and publications to influence public policy, laws, and budgets by using facts, their relationships, the media, and messaging to educate government officials and the public. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning, and publishing research.

The RRCSA is here to advocate for you, hear your needs and concerns, and assist you to the best of its ability and resources.

Advocacy is one of the 5 Pillars in the RRCSA’s Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Advocacy refers to the RRCSA’s ability to represent the unique needs of its members to potential decision-makers, including the College, and all levels of government. The SA shall look to work with individuals, organizations, and stakeholders to advocate for issues that have an impact on post-secondary students.

The RRCSA shall work to create and strengthen relationships with stakeholders in post-secondary education. The RRCSA shall advocate for the individual student, but never to the harm of the larger student body or the Association. All advocacy efforts by the RRCSA shall remain strictly non-partisan.

Core Objectives:

  1. The RRCSA’s internal advocacy efforts shall be focused on issues specific to the Red River College Polytechnic students. The RRCSA shall work with the College administration to solve student issues and shall strengthen the relationship between the association and the institution.
  2. The RRCSA shall seek partnerships with external advocacy organizations, where possible. The RRCSA shall work to build and maintain relationships with post-secondary stakeholders external to the College.
  3. The RRCSA shall seek student involvement in advocacy initiatives. The RRCSA’s advocacy priorities shall be created based on the consultation of our members.
  4.  The RRCSA shall be focused on Analysis Driven Advocacy, and the advocacy priorities should be supported by reliable data, analysis, and quantifiable research as effective advocacy is well-assessed and based on facts.

Student Issues

 

Some of the student issues that the RRCSA always advocates for–

 

  • More Financial Aid for students
  • Lowering the cost of Health and Dental Plan for International Students
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Sustainability
  • Availability of Open Educational Resources
  • Mental Health Initiatives
  • Feminine Hygiene Products

How does the RRCSA advocate for students?

The RRCSA is a part of various Red River College Polytechnic committees, where the SA brings students’ issues to the table and puts forward its opinion and ideas on how the college can improve student life on campus.

The RRCSA sits on the following RRC Polytech Committees –

• Board of Governors
• Lieutenant Governor
• Healthy Minds Healthy College
• Anti-Racism Committee
• Academic Integrity Committee
• Tributes Steering Committee
• Students’ Association and Management Executive
• Health and Safety Committee
• Parking
• Directions Business Conference
• Gender and Sexual Identities Network

Here are some examples in which the RRCSA is advocating for students within the College –

o Advocating for students, as the College revised its S2 and S3 policies.
o Advocating to the College for creating additional Mental Health spaces.
o Advocating for more athletic activities like intramurals with the new college Wellness Unit.
o Working along with College’s International Education Department and Indigenous Support Centre to create healthy and diverse student life on campus.
o Assisting students with the process of appeals.

The RRCSA is a member of two external Advocacy Organizations i.e., the Canadian Alliance of Student Association and the Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students, through which it advocates for the needs and issues of students at different levels

CASA – Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

CASA is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. It represents undergraduate, graduate and polytechnic associations.

At its core, CASA advocates on behalf of post-secondary students to the federal government.

Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association became a member of CASA in 2006. Vice President External Affairs and SA President are the primary and the secondary delegates respectively, who represent the RRCSA in this organization.

There are 4 annual conferences that our delegates attend, and these conferences are – The Foundations Conference, Policy and Strategy Conference, Advocacy week, and Annual General Meeting.

Mission

Through its member-driven structure and grassroots approach, CASA’s mission is to advocate for students using policy development and research, awareness campaigns, government relations, and partnerships with other stakeholders.

Vision

Canada will achieve an accessible, affordable and high-quality post-secondary education system whose students enjoy an excellent quality of life.

Values

• CASA will focus exclusively on post-secondary and student-related issues.
• CASA will remain a strictly non-partisan organization.
• CASA will be member-driven, with opportunities for all members to contribute to and be heard by the organization.
• CASA will have a membership structure that will remain easy to join and easy to leave.

     

    CASA’s Policy Principles

    Accessibility Affordability Innovation High-Quality

    CASA believes that any academically qualified student with the desire to pursue post-secondary education should not face a barrier – financial, social, political, physical, cultural, or otherwise.

     

    CASA believes that students should not accumulate an unreasonable or insupportable amount of debt in the pursuit of post-secondary education or in continuing such an education.

     

    CASA believes in a post-secondary education system that has sustainable research programs across all disciplines, with the benefits of such research shared across all levels of the student body.

     

    CASA believes in a quality public post-secondary education system that is properly funded, effective and accountable; and cooperatively maintained and enhanced by the federal and provincial governments.

     

    CASA is a member-driven organization, meaning that its members set the organization’s policy agenda and goals.

    CASA currently has 22 members from post-secondary institutions across Canada.

    1. ASU – Acadia Students’ Union, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
    2. AUSA – Athabasca University Students’ Association, Edmonton, Alberta
    3. MASU – Mount Allison Students’ Union. Sackville, New Brunswick
    4. RRCSA – Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association, Winnipeg, Manitoba
    5. SMUSA – Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association, Halifax, Nova Scotia
    6. SAITSA – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Students’ Association, Calgary, Alberta
    7. STFXSU – St. Francis Xavier Students’ Union, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
    8. STUSU – St. Thomas University Students’ Union, Fredericton, New Brunswick
    9. SAMRU – Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta
    10. SAMU – Students’ Association of MacEwen University
    11. UASU – University of Alberta Students’ Union, Edmonton, Alberta
    12. UCSU – University of Calgary Students’ Union, Calgary, Alberta
    13. ULSU – University of Lethbridge Students’ Union, Lethbridge, Alberta
    14. UNBSRC – University of New Brunswick Students’ Representative Council, Saint John, New Brunswick
    15. UNBSU – University of New Brunswick Student Union, Fredericton, New Brunswick
    16. UPEISU – University of Prince Edward Island Student Union, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
    17. UFVSUS – University of Fraser Valley Student Union Society, Abbotsford, British Columbia
    18. CSI – Conestoga Students Inc., Kitchener, Ontario
    19. CCSS – Camosun College Student Society, Victoria, British Columbia
    20. UCGSA – University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association, Calgary, Alberta
    21. KSA – Kwantlen Student Association, Lower Mainland, British Columbia
    22. UMSU – University of Manitoba Students’ Union, Winnipeg Manitoba

    What are CASA’s ASKS for the Federal Government?

    1. Maintain current funding levels to Canada Student Grants past the 2022-23 school year, permanently doubling grant maximums for eligible students from $3,000 to $6,000 per academic year.
    2. Initiate a pan-Canadian strategy on mental illness detection, prevention, and intervention for post-secondary students.
    3. Increase funding for student scholarship programs by $120 million on a recurring basis, thus re-establishing the importance of student scholarships within the overall envelope of the Canada Research Granting Agencies.
    4. Establish multi-year funding for community-based youth organizations to deliver programs on reconciliation and establish a national network to share information and best practices per Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 66.
    5. Allow international students to participate in co-op programs without requiring them to apply for an additional permit.

    RECENT Wins for Students:

    1. $90 million investment helps First Nations and Inuit peoples attend post-secondary education.
    2. $395 million investment helps Youth to get jobs.
    3. $100 million investment to establish a National Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence.

    To check CASA’s wins over the years, Check out here

     

     

     

     

    MAPSS – Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students

    MAPSS is an informal coalition of five post-secondary student associations in Manitoba: The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU), The University of Manitoba Graduate Students Association (UMGSA), and the Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association (RRCSA), University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) and Assiniboine Community College Students’ Association (ACCSA). Together, these associations represent over 61,000 students.

    Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association is the founding member of MAPSS (founded in 2020). Vice President External Affairs and SA President are the primary and the secondary delegates respectively, who represent RRCSA in this organization.

    Mission

    To improve the accessibility, affordability, and quality of post-secondary education in Manitoba, and ensure all students receive fair and equitable treatment. MAPSS will fulfil its mission by advocating the Provincial Government and other relevant stakeholders by:

    • Conducting research on issues concerning post-secondary students in Manitoba, including consultation with students province-wide.
    • Developing policy briefs, formulating recommendations, and delivering ideas in a manner that prioritizes healthy dialogue.
    • Organizing provincial educational and advocacy campaigns.

    Vision

    MAPSS will strive to be the gold standard for collaborative, professional student advocacy in the province of Manitoba, becoming a key stakeholder in consultations that impact post-secondary students.

    MAPSS envisions a Manitoba where students are treated equitably, are provided numerous experiential learning opportunities, and experience barrier-free access to high-quality post-secondary education and support.

    1. UMSU – The University of Manitoba Students’ Union
    2. RRCSA – Red River College Polytech Students’ Association
    3. UMGSA – University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association
    4. UWSA – University of Winnipeg Students’ Association
    5. ACCSA – Assiniboine Community College Students’ Association

     

    What are MAPSS’s ASKS for the Provincial Government?

     

    1. To allow our institutions to bargain fairly and openly with faculty.

    With wage control on Manitoba’s public sector workers being enacted in 2017, this has made it harder for educational institutions to sign labour agreements with faculty, as recent mandates have restricted salary increases. This might lead to a strike for a better deal.

    1. To increase funding to post-secondary institutions and reduce tuition.

    The government has consistently reduced operating grants, leaving institutions to do more, with less. Institutions are forced to raise tuition, reduce the number of courses they can offer, put off necessary repairs to infrastructure, and reduce the support services offered to students.

    1. To make Health insurance for international students more affordable.

    In 2017, the government eliminated international students’ free access to the public healthcare system- forcing thousands onto private plans. The prices went up for 3 consecutive years. The government could continue saving 3 million dollars while providing healthcare to international students at half the price of costly insurance plans.

    Do you have any questions regarding Advocacy?

    Advocacy Question
    Start Over