Date: April 26, 2022
Office of the President
The International Students’ Association (ISA) has successfully completed its second year of operations since its revival in 2022. This report shall outline some of the key achievements of the ISA in the academic year 2021/2022.
Key Highlights of the Year:
- International Students’ Association Fee (ISAF) was implemented by a student referendum for $3.5 per trimester for all undergraduate international students. The fee shall be valid for the next 2 years and generate annually 45,000-50,000 CAD.
- ISA hosted the first United International Students Union of Canada conference on International Students’ Day, Nov 17, with 8 ISAs from all over Canada unanimously voting to form a federal advocating body.
- ISA hosted its first-ever new students welcome program and International Students’ Day.
- ISA launched the I-Card program to provide students with free discounts and benefits in Edmonton. Launched I-Cast as our podcast.
- ISA is set to get an office space in near future after Telus Centre Space Review and register as a Society under the Societies Act.
- ISA encouraged and thus 10+ international students got elected to SU Council and 13+ international students to GFC. Due to ISAs encouragement, students were able to elect its first-ever international SU Exec.
- ISA successfully completed the first-ever transition of its senior leadership.
- ISA's operating budget was approx 20,000 CAD this year with no student fee.
Annual Strategy - ISA for 100 years - Update:
- We Learn:
- Completed a full governance review and implemented structures with new council composition, CoISA, FOC, Hearing Board, etc.
- We Create:
- ISA was very very close to getting an office space in HUB, however, due to miscommunication between SU and Uni, we missed it. However, ISA will get an office space in Telus after the Telus space review in April.
- We Fix:
- Our relationship with the GSA improved a lot, in fact, this was the first year that we had a successful relationship with the GSA.
- ISA will soon register as a society under the provincial government. Bylaws are ready to register as a society. In May, the ISA shall be a registered society, We decided not to register ISA separately with SU, as it threatened future split within ISA.
- Board Positions were decided to be kept reserved as currently, due to low engagement from graduate students in ISA.
- ISA improved its internal culture, with more policies and procedures in place, ISA meets appreciation nights and includes directors/coordinators in decision making at Board. We even started an internal newsletter.
- We Connect:
- ISA started its monthly newsletter with great success. We were also able to save our newsletter in Uni restructuring and now VP ER sends our newsletter.
- We decided not to go for connected column space as our newsletter was started.
- We expanded our social media outreach with more followers on Insta, and a new Insta Exec Account. We also started a Reddit and TikTok account. Our Twitter account was made to the ISA President account and our LinkedIn page was more used to promote professional events.
- We created a new committee i.e CoISA with all regional groups and successfully conducted its meetings.
- We changed our logo to remove all the flags, and created a uniform visual identity. Soon we will have a mascot also as Arctic Tern.
- We launch I-Cast as our own podcast.
- We added discord in the international student's orientation UofA course and also got 500+ members on discord.
- We decided to not launch a news show due to oversight and value reasons.
- We Pass:
- ISA implemented a strong transition policy and made a very effective E-Class transition course. This year we had our largest transition so far.
- A long-term strategy will be worked out in the last week of April.
- We Reach out:
- We had a full-fledge welcome program this year for new international students.
- We launched I-Card on campus with info links as distribution hubs. ICard is our most famous program so far.
- We Expand:
- We created an advisory committee instead of an alumni branch, to ensure our long-term sustainability and minimum influence from graduate students.
- We advocated to be included in CORA and COFA during SU Elections, and we are promised guest seats.
- We Strengthen revenue:
- We successfully created an SRA Fee, ensuring our next 2 yr financial sustainability.
- The food stall was not launched due to covid, but now we have AMA to support us with it so the next execs should be able to start it.
- We have a lot of new sponsors this year generating a lot of new revenue.
- We also got different awards this year for our operations. We also got a 10,000 CAD grant from UAI.
- We launched our merch this year and had some success in it. Better than last year.
- We Stand:
- Our advocacy leads to more need-based financial aid, nearly double.
- We advocated to reduce online learning challenges and got a very good response from UofA.
- Our advocacy leads to residents refunding student deposits this year.
- Provincial Government recognized ISA for its role in Alberta 2030 drafting especially the internationalization part.
- We advocated for SU policy to advocate for reduced coop fees and got the SU policy amended.
- We advocated addressing Asian racism by changing SU policies.
- We go Beyond:
- ISA built strong connections with CSSA and translated imp info in Mandarin to reach out to Chinese students.
- We included treaty acknowledgment into our policies to ensure we read it in our events and official council meetings.
- We created political policies to ensure ISA continues to advocate for more student safety. Our advocacy leads to the municipality hiring new peace transit officers with $3.9 million in funding.
Overall we had a very successful year, and a huge thank goes to my entire team. Following were the ISA Execs for this year.
President: Chanpreet Singh
VP Academic: Harikrishna Rao Mohan Rao and Abigail Ameley Quaye
VP Communications: Mohit Sinha
VP External: Gurbani Baweja
VP Finance & Marketing: Dhir Bid
VP Internal: Warren Leung Kam Tsang and Madina Usserbayeva
VP Student Life: Nikita Adekar
I would also like to take the time to thank all ISA volunteers and council members to support our operations and giving your time to the ISA.