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Mental Health and Wellness

building a supportive community that responds quickly and effectively to student needs

  • Expand the network of mental health support to the University community to further improve the treatment of students.

  • Lobbying the government to expand accessibility to professional mental health resources off-campus and push for greater use-ability of Counseling Services for students on co-op and across satellite campuses. As a co-op school spread across multiple campuses, it’s essential that students have equal and accessible resources when they need them the most.

  • Work with UW to hire more Counsellors with linguistic and cultural backgrounds that mirror campus demographics.

  • Lobbying to require Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training for all University staff and faculty. Your friend group can be your strongest support, we hope to market to and train students in QPR.


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Financial Responsibility — Transparent Budgets

DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR MONEY IS SPENT?

We believe strongly in financial responsibility; Feds expenditure is growing at a rate that is not sustainable with current income levels. Feds collects more than $3.44 million in student fees (excluding administered fees), provides 23 services, operates a handful of businesses, and is involved in oversight of University services.

  • Feds is a student advocacy and governance organization first. By refocusing our dedicated support staff on advocacy and governance, while balancing service delivery, we can see greater change for students in the community and at various levels of government to reduce financial barriers and improve your student experience.

  • Negotiate more joint-funding arrangements to formalize support for student-run services from the University.

  • We will re-evaluate $169.00/term mandatory non-refundable Student Services Fee, ensuring that money works to serve students best. We think greater student input on spending priorities is essential for University fees.

  • The recent announcement to lower tuition rates by 10%, restructure OSAP, and make ancillary fees opt-out is going to dramatically change the way both UW and Feds do business. The University needs to generate an additional ≈ $52M to support existing costs, this likely means increased fees and hiked international tuition rates to generate revenue. We will use the student voice and vote on the UW Senate Finance Committee and Board of Governors to lobby for reduced management and administrative staff, and consolidation of redundant services or offices that could be shared between Faculties.

  • Restructure the current clubs system so that clubs work more financially independently but maintain accounting oversight from Feds. Increase clubs funding by 33% to enable great opportunities for community and social activities.


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Environmental Sustainability — Go Green!

Improving our footprint and building a Greener University

We will employ responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. To start, we will conduct a review of the environmental practices of Feds and the Societies to create a sustainability report and set improvement benchmarks. We believe that a top-down approach and policy on reimbursement and purchasing can drive some change; education around single-use plastics and water potability in KW can do more

  • Expand the Sustainable Campus Initiative and work with UW Food Services (UWFS) to expand campus garden and farm spaces.

  • Expand the Farmers and Second-hand market in the SLC for students, including hosting a St. Jacob’s-style opportunity.

  • Remove boxed water, offer discounted reusable bottles to students, and lobby the university to allow more reusable bottles in exams.

  • Remove all styro-foam, minimize single-use plastic, and collect organics for composting on campus.

  • In collaboration with UWFS and Societies, expand the Eco-Container program to any food location across campus!

  • Reduce food waste across campus (including in residences) by working with the KW Regional Health and Safety Inspection Office to permit creating a student soup kitchen for excess food from Feds and UWFS businesses.

  • Most students in SLC’s food court get food and stay for some time, but a good portion of students also want take-out. We want to expand take-out/Grab-and-Go options while introducing reusable metal cutlery and trays for students staying to eat.


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Accessibility & Engagement

Listening and Supporting Student needs across multiple campuses and on Co-op

We will revamp Executive Office Hours and priorities to spend more time hearing what’s important to students and interfacing with students. Executives and Councillors get too mired down in operations and governance and it’s time to calibrate priorities, hire associate VPs to support delegated workloads, and engage with you directly!

  • We will put a new face on Feds by holding office hours and activities in buildings around campus (not just the SLC!) and at satellite campuses.

  • We will generate opportunities for engagement between students and their representative bodies through Town Hall meetings, reform General Meetings to be less technical, and increase access to services and resources for co-op, part-time, and satellite campus students.

  • Increasing ease of access to satellite campuses with busing. Working to increase inter-regional transit support for Stratford Campus by working with the Kitchener-Waterloo Region and Perth County.

  • Working with Off Campus Community (OCC), Co-op Connection, Rez, and the CECA/CEE to host a database of landlords and rental locations in cities with many regular co-op opportunities. This provides a vetted tool to help co-op students find housing in cities they aren’t familiar with, reducing the risk of being taken advantage of.


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Legal Protection for Students

Supporting Students on the Job (co-op & Part-time), on campus (appeals & grievances), and against predatory Landlords!

We have pushed to create a Feds Legal Protection Service (insurance for legal coverage, access to toll free legal-aid on any matter, and more) to protect you. We drafted the motion to approve-in-principle the Legal Service referendum, helped write the referendum language, and have supported the proposed UW Tenancy Association.

"Students have little to no access to legal services/advice and an average trial can cost upwards of $56k" (StudentCare)

We recognize Feds can do more here to support students from property management corporations who routinely violate tenant rights, advocate on behalf of students during the academic appeals and grievances process, and protect your employment and contract rights on Co-op!

  • Standardized Leasing — Feds has excellent marketing resources that run information campaigns during the Fall term on the Standardized Lease Template. We will work with faculty Student Societies to extend this information campaign beyond SLC and Feds media through Society channels. We will make sure marketing materials highlight examples of predatory tactics employed by landlords and emphasize your rights as a tenant!

  • Tenancy & Rental Database — We look into creating a "UW Flow" type website accessed through CAS-login for rating off-campus housing, tenancy corporations, and landlords to increase awareness about predatory agents.


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ACCOUNTABLE REPRESENTATION — SERVING YOU!

TALK TO US AND TELL US WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU.

We have regularly polled students for their input on Feds and University proposals, policies, and ideas. We will increase opportunities for your input and involvement.

  • Did you participate in the Fall Reading Week Extension survey in 2017? Hundreds of students responded and your input helped formulate policy to protect O-week from more cuts while enabling international and out-of-province students to visit home over Thanksgiving break! This year the Fall Reading Break Referendum had more than 10,000 respondents asking to trial an extended Fall Reading Week break!

  • We know co-op accountability is important to you, that's why we worked with CECA on the Co-op Student Council to publish more accurate employment statistics and supported the deep-dive into the co-op fees


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TRANSPARENCY — IS FEDS CLEAR TO YOU?

Plate Glass is 95.74% transmissive, we could be just as clear

The most essential question of any organization is how well it serves its members. This year we helped improve Feds transparency with a new policy to limit what can be made confidential, but we can do more! Commercial Operations is an area of Feds that needs to be public to members for scrutiny and that’s why we pushed for all Feds Budgets to be developed and vetted by the student Budget & Appropriations Committee. We will work with the Board of Directors to ensure all budgets are public to students. Over the past two years we have worked hard to increase student understanding and involvement in Feds.

As Executives we will be accountable to and transparent with students; we will give regular town-hall meetings with students and hold regular conferences with Societies and Senators. We can start by holding meetings with incoming Society executive teams to help align and inform our goals on an ongoing basis.