September 2020 Advocacy Updates

As your graduate student representatives, the GSA Board of Directors and the Research and Advocacy Analyst work on many advocacy priorities to the best interest of UCalgary graduate students. If you have any questions or concerns, please email askgsa@ucalgary.ca.

For the month of September, the GSA’s advocacy efforts were focused largely on provincial and institutional advocacy. The Government of Alberta was seeking feedback on the Alberta 2030 initiative that re-envisions the post-secondary ecosystem in Alberta. The GSA also successfully advocated to UCalgary administration for the refunding and cancellation of the Campus Recreation fee for the Fall and Winter semesters. The GSA monitored closely UCalgary’s plans for the Winter 2020 semester and decisions surrounding whether students would return to class or continue to learn largely online. The GSA was pleased to see UCalgary continue to be cautious through the pandemic and commit to continue the hybrid model of largely online classes with some in-person classes. 

At the Federal Level

  • The GSA supports the Federal Government’s initiative to connect 750,000 homes across Canada to high speed internet in remote and underserved communities. 
  • Through the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), the GSA is  thrilled to see the launch of ‘the Student Mental Health Standard’ which sets a national standard for mental health and well-being for students across Canada. 

At the Provincial Level

  • Alberta 2030 is a provincial government initiative that aims to transform the adult learning system in Alberta. Its goals are to provide a high-quality education, skills and training for jobs, meet current and future labour market demands, and drive innovation.
    • The GSA submitted its feedback and ideas to the Alberta 2030 system review process which is re-envisioning the post-secondary ecosystem in Alberta. Specifically, the GSA focused on issues around:
      • Micro-credentials and stackable certificates
      • Commercialization and Entrepreneurship
      • Jobs in the new economy
      • Recruitment and talent acquisition

You can read the GSA’s full submission HERE

  • You can read ab-GPAC’s involvement in the Alberta 2030 consultation process HERE
  • Continued advocacy to the Minister of Labour and Immigration on the issue of international students who are unable to return to Canada or start their studies due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic. 

At the Municipal Level

  • The GSA continued to work closely with the Calgary Student Alliance on the UPass issue and potential cost-effective alternatives for students.

At the University Level

  • The GSA successfully advocated for the Campus Recreation fee to not be charged for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters. Students who already paid the fee for Fall 2020 will be issued a credit. The Fitness Centre remains open for any UCalgary student to use. For more information on the fee and Fitness Centre, click HERE 
  • The GSA continues to have regular discussions about Growth through Focus with the University. UCalgary will be holding a town hall on October 13 to discuss the Growth through Focus proposal further. More details are coming and the GSA strongly encourages you to listen in and participate. To register for the Growth through Focus town hall, click here: https://go.ucalgary.ca/Growth-Through-Focus-Town-Hall.html

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