Annual ISA Board Goals (2021-2022)
Theme - “ISA for 100 Years”
The Board of ISA presents its vision for the International Students’ Association for the year 2021/2022. This document shall govern the priority of the ISA Board for the whole year. Last year, the goal was, ISA for SRA, and it was achieved. The Goals are set by aiming for a 100 years sustainability of the ISA but at same time include plans specific for this year.
ISA for 100:
The most important thing that we all could do in our terms is to give international students an ISA that shall last for 100 years. The history of ISA has always been fluctuating with the student engagement and many factors, thus as our revived ISA is stepping into second year we need to now consider ISA’s sustainability as a top most priority. Last year, we worked on the operations manual, bylaws, constitution, and functional/governance structure of ISA. This year we need to focus on more ambitious things. For the Sustainability of ISA, we shall do ISA100 tasks.
- Review of ESS, OASIS, BSA, ASA, and ISSS (ISA100)
This means that we would do detailed research on these associations, to better understand their operational strategies, their transition plans and day-to-day operations. All these associations have a great and long history thus it would be great to learn more about them and explore things that ISA could implement within itself. ISA shall also learn from UASU and UAGSA regarding their transition processes.
- Office Space on Campus (ISA100)
The ISA needs to have a permanent office space on the campus, this could be a challenge considering the nature of ISA as not being a part of or affiliated with any faculty. The continued discussions with the UASU, UAGSA and UAI would help ISA to achieve this goal. Potential Office Space locations could be SUB, HUB, Telus Center, or Dentistry and Pharmacy. ISA shall also look into making an international students hub and office at separate locations.
- GSA relationship (ISA100)
The ISA needs to revisit the registration of the graduate council of ISA with the GSA, we need to put every effort into it this time. A permanent operational/working strategy is essential.
- Registration of ISA (ISA100)
ISA needs to register as a society with the Provincial Government, thus ensuring our sustainability is not limited to a registration with the University alone. ISA shall also register grad and undergraduate councils with GSA and SU respectively, thus keeping ISA independent and registered as a whole only with the Uni and the Province.
- Board Positions (ISA100)
The ISA needs to revisit the board reservations and work on making ISA Board positions open to both graduate and undergraduate students.
- Internal Culture (ISA100)
The ISA needs to work more closely with its internal members to shape an ISA in which they enjoy working and overall enjoy their experience. We need to ensure that our internal members are well engaged with ISA and together we run ISA. Thus, the ISA shall create a mechanism to address this and also in the long term maintain our internal culture. ISA shall also initiate a recognition program for the current internal members. The ISA also needs to work more on the leadership qualities of the students in a leadership role within the ISA such as President, and VPs.
- Monthly Newsletter (ISA100)
The ISA needs to start a permanent monthly newsletter to directly communicate with the students. This shall help us to stay connected with students and have a better engagement on our events/services around the year. This includes creating a welcome email newsletter for all students from China in Mandrin.
- Connected Column Collaboration
The ISA should establish a framework of collaboration with all the major campus newsletters by having a permanent column space similar to the Global Beats or access to occasionally post vital information via those channels. This would be having the ability to share information via all possible campus platforms.
- Expanding Social Media outreach
The ISA needs to expand our social media presence, by working on the current platforms and also expanding to WeChat, TikTok, reddit, ets. We should continue our work on current platforms such as Facebook page and groups, instagram account, linkedIn page, YouTube channel, twitter account and WhatsApp groups. Every single platform where students are, the ISA needs to be there too.
- Regional groups (ISA100)
ISA is committed to staying connected with all the regional groups and creating a permanent operational framework to support them and walk along with them to stand by them in resolving the specialized needs of their membership. Creation of ISA Bylaws 900, respecting the Regional representative Associations framework, shall enable ISA to achieve it. Creation of committees for continued engagement shall be a part.
- Visual Identity creation
ISA needs to create a visual identity, we have a logo but we need more, thus the ISA needs to look into creating a mascot that could be the identity of ISA and international students on Campus. We also need to work on identity creation such as colour themes, logo designs, templates for ppt, letterhead, google forms and other things, to sync everything together and create a strong visual identity of ISA.
- Inform with Podcast
ISA should start a monthly podcast to inform students of new updates and help them through their university journey.
- Rock on Discord
The ISA needs to ensure that we are able to reach students where they are, and thus we should make an official ISA Discord server. This shall serve as a mechanism for creation of a community that's directly engaged with the ISA.
- Starting a video online news show
This shall help us a lot in bringing imp information directly to the students and share the highlights of things going on within the ISA and student governance in general.
- Transition (ISA100)
This has been a top priority for even last year, and this year it has to be completed. Throughout the year, we need to make the transition documents as our top priority. Infact, this is one of the most important things for ISA for 100 years. ISA’s transition documents need to be an encyclopedia of information for future ISA Execs to know everything that we learn in our terms. This document shall be very important for the creation of the institutional memory, that every year execs shall pass to their successors.
- Long Term strategy (ISA100)
ISA needs to create a long term strategy, similar to ISA for 100, that shall guide the top priorities of ISA Execs to continue working on during their terms, to achieve the ultimate goal of 100 years.
- Orientation (ISA100)
The ISA needs to be part of both Transition and the Orientation, this shall be our time to reachout to our membership and welcome all the new students at the UofA. We need to create an annual program along with ISS, UASU and UAGSA to welcome all new students. Our programs such as the welcome booklet should continue to be developed. ISA also need to create programs to connect new and returning students such as senior peer program.
- Student Benefit Card
The ISA needs to create a benefit card program to stay connected with students, this card shall be available to all international students, and help the local Edmonton community and international students at the same time. The card shall be used to avail discounts at the University and Edmonton atlarge.
- Alumni Branch of ISA (ISA100)
ISA needs to create a framework to engage with international alumni. They are proud members of our extended family and thus ISA needs to create a strategy for staying engaged with them.
- Committee engagements
ISA shall continue expanding its reach by getting more seats for ISA in and not limited to the CORA, COFA, and RAC. These committees enable ISA to advocate and stay up to date around the year.
We strengthen revenue:
- Creation of an SRA Fee. (ISA100)
The ISA needs to create a fee to be able to provide permanent support to students. We need to create a framework for creation and implementation of the SRA fee. The ISA also needs to work on a similar mechanism with the GSA.
- Starting an on-campus mobile food stall program
The ISA needs to start its first mobile affordable food stall program on campus. This program shall be to support students by providing healthy food at a highly affordable price on campus. This program shall also help us to support the vulnerable international students.
- More Advertising and Marketing programs.
The ISA needs to look into more avenues where we could provide our marketing services to our sponsors while maintaining our policies of never recommending students anything but rather only share information that our sponsors want to. This also includes providing customized events to sponsors that benefit the students such as Financial Literacy Week.
- Funding from different sources
The ISA needs to explore more alternatives for permanent funding in terms of grants, we need to explore options within our university and at the provincial/federal level.
We need to use our licensing agreement to be able to make UofA branded merch, this shall generate more revenue for us as ISA and at same time provide students with branded merch at a lower price.
- Need based Financial Aid
The ISA needs to firmly advocate for the need based financial aid for the students rather than the merit based financial aid. The whole purpose of aid is to support students and the most vulnerable students are those who can not afford education and thus need based funding need to be prioritized.
- Online Learning
ISA shall continue its advocacy to resolve online learning related issues.ISA shall stand firm where needed and use soft politics as needed. We shall continue our engagement at the online learning task force and other platforms.
ISA shall continue advocating for the residence students, we are committed to ensure that isolation programs are affordable, welcome services are meaningful and student experience is memorable. The ISA shall continue its engagement with the Res services and the Res associations.
- Alberta 2030
ISA shall continue its engagement with the Ministry of the Advance Education to ensure that international students' interests are safeguarded within Alberta 2030 and international students policy of Alberta. We shall continue being engaged with the Ministry.
- Co-op Fee
Many faculties charge a very high coop fee and this inhibits international students from being able to earn at coop to support their education. The ISA need to work with the faculties and work on reducing this amount to a reasonable level.
- Asian Racism
The ISA will be working along with all the asian community focussed associations to work on a strategy that shall bring a strong campaign to end the asian racism on campus. It’s high time that we international students' representatives need to address the racism that international students face and most importantly students from asian countries. With no campus association effectively advocating for it thus the ISA shall take the lead.
We go beyond:
- Students from China
This ISA needs to ensure that the unique needs of the students from China are met as they feel most comfortable. ISA need to make reservations were needed for their adequate representation. ISA shall create a framework with the chinese student groups on campus to reach out and engage with the students from China. The ISA shall closely work with the New Chinese Generation (NCG), and Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA). ISA is committed to communicate and provide services in Manderin to better support our membership.
- Respecting Indigenous cultures and spreading awareness
The international students need to be informed about Indigenous cultures. We need to make sure that students respect the Indigenous Peoples and their traditions. The ISA is committed to working with Aboriginal Student Council (ASC) and the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Association (IGSA) to create more inclusive programs and spread awareness within the international students’ community. The ISA shall also involve ASC and IGSA in the international students' orientation programming. The ISA also needs to be mindful about its advocacy not harming or contradicting the ASC or IGSA priorities, thus effective communication for our advocacy efforts needs to be ensured.
- Public policies and standings
The ISA needs to develop its public policies, such as a diversity policy and other long term standings that the ISA deem important to the interests of the international students. These policies shall govern our overall external advocacy.