History of CASA PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 07 July 2008 08:44
In 1990, the University of Alberta hosted the first Winds of Change conference. In what would become an annual meeting, student leaders from across the country were invited to come together to discuss challenges facing post-secondary education students in Canada. To be sure, there would be many.

By 1994, many student leaders felt it was time for the student movement to move in a new direction. In the summer of that year, Carleton University hosted a conference. The outcome of that meeting: student leaders decided that the time was ripe to form a new Canadian post-secondary student organization.

The 1994 Winds of Change conference took up the challenge issued at Carleton. The final step to a new national organization was made in Fredericton, N.B., in January 1995. The constitutional framework set up in Alberta was filled out and ratified. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) was born. CASA was officially incorporated on June 27, 1995.

In the years that followed those conferences, CASA has continued to evolve and mature governed by a critical set of founding principles.
  • First, CASA would be member-driven in that the members of the Alliance would set the organization's policy agenda and define its goals.
  • Second, CASA would focus on issues specific to post-secondary education, establishing a strong orientation toward policy development rather than social development.
  • Third, CASA would ensure that membership within the alliance would not unfairly burden member associations. Joining CASA would be made easy through clear and flexible by-laws. Membership fees would be capped and kept to the lowest possible level.
  • Lastly, CASA would focus its attention on those challenges facing post- secondary education students within federal jurisdiction only. Provincial advocacy would be best left to member associations. In effect, CASA established principles and practices that would promote a strong, grassroots, pragmatic alliance focusing exclusively on the problems facing post-secondary education students in Canada.

In its short history, CASA has developed an unparalleled rapport and profile with decision-makers and policy-makers within the ranks of the federal government, opposition parties, and the post-secondary education sector. In addition to its many publications and policy briefs, CASA has brought about real results for students across the country.


Past National Directors:

1994-1996 Alex Usher
1996-1997 Mathew Hough
1997-1999 Hoops Harrison
1999-2000 Jason Aebig
2000-2001 Mark Kissel
2001-2003 Liam Arbuckle
2003-2005 James Kusie
2005-2007 Phillippe Ouellette
2007-present Zach Churchill

The five founding members of CASA:

University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society
University of Alberta Students' Union
University of Saskatchewan Students' Union
University of Waterloo Federation of Students
Student Society of McGill University

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 August 2008 13:56 )