Student Issues

When it comes to advocacy and working on behalf of students, for student issues, there are three main areas we invite you to explore:

1. Submit a Student Issue

Is there a particular issue students are facing that you think we should be advocating for? Have your voice be heard!

2. Learn How We Advocate

Learn about how we affect change throughout the system, from Institutional to high levels of government.

3. View Our Work

Check out some of the areas where we have already been working hard to improve for students.

1. Submit a Student Issue

While no two students’ experience is the same, certain issues impact significant segments of the SAIT student demographic. To understand what these issues are and what SAIT students want us to do about them, Saitsa collects data and input from students to form positions and propose change.


How do we collect the ‘student voice’?


  • Annually and during each election Saitsa conducts surveys that collect information on a variety of topics related to the student experience.
  • The Board of Directors conduct regular classroom talks to collect opinions and input
  • Students are welcome to email their Board of Directors at any time to provide input or inquire about an issue they’re having


What we do with the ‘student voice’?


  • We analyze the data to see if there’s trends or new issues that need to be addressed.
  • The data is incorporated into our asks and positions; occasionally quotes may be used to demonstrate a specific need or issue.
  • Confidentiality is key – Saitsa respects student’s right to privacy and does not associate certain quotes or information with specific students.


Submit a Concern

2. Learn How We Advocate

Your Saitsa student representatives advocate to all levels of institution and government to ensure the student voice is represented and so student issues are brought to the forefront. The advocacy process for student issues can exist, or travel through four main areas:

Institutional (SAIT)

Each member of our Board of Directors represent and advocate directly to specific schools & departments within SAIT.


These schools are:

  • MacPhail School of Energy
  • School of Advanced Digital Technology
  • School of Business
  • School of Construction
  • School of Health & Public Safety
  • School of Hospitality & Tourism
  • School of Information and Communications Technologies
  • School of Manufacturing and Automation
  • School of Transportation


Some examples of SAIT departments include:

  • Learner & Academic Services
  • Chinook Lodge
  • International Students Services
  • Office of the Ombuds – Leadership Committee
  • Centre for Academic Development & Innovation
  • Lamb Learner Success Centre (+ many more)


To connect with our current BOD and find out who represents each area, click here.

Municipal

Post-Secondary students comprise one of Calgary’s biggest constituencies; though PSE is provincially regulated, there are many municipal issues that affect SAIT students:

  • Transportation & Public Transit
  • Secondary-Suite Housing
  • Community and Protective Services

Saitsa is a founding member of the Calgary Student Alliance; a local advocacy group designed to bring Student Unions and Associations in Calgary together to advocate on municipally regulated issues.

Find your local representative.

Provincial

Post-Secondary education is provincially regulated, which means there are a lot of areas that affect SAIT students:

  • Tuition Regulations
  • Transfer Options
  • Mental Health Supports
  • Standardized Sexual Violence Policy for Campuses


Saitsa is a founding member of ASEC, a provincial student advocacy group. In addition to providing leadership and learning opportunities for Alberta’s student leaders, ASEC brings its members together to establish advocacy priorities so that we can concentrate our efforts and make a difference.


Find your provincial representative (Member of the Legislative Assembly – MLA).

Federal

Though PSE is provincially regulated, there are many federal issues that affect students:

  • International Study Permits
  • Work Integrated Learning
  • Financial Aid
  • Apprentice/Trades
  • Voting

Saitsa is a member of CASA, a federal student advocacy group. In addition to providing leadership and learning opportunities for Canada’s student leaders, CASA brings its members together to advocate on federal issues to improve the student experience. They also develop campaigns to bring awareness to student issues, such as Get Out the Vote!


Find your Federal Member of Parliament (MP).

3. View Our Work

You spoke, we listened! Here is a dive into issues Saitsa has been working on.

Affordability

What is ‘affordable’ when it comes to Post-Secondary Education? That’s what we’re trying to figure out in collaboration with SAIT.


View our report on affordable education in Canada here!

Open Educational Resources (OER’s)

Open Educational Resources are free or low-cost educational resources; textbooks are expensive, free or low-cost resources help students and institutions keep PSE affordable.

Saitsa established an award in 2019 to reward instructors who focus on using OER’s in their classroom.

More info on the Athena Award here!

Mental Health

Our Peer Support Centre was established to support student’s mental health by providing a space for students to relax and make friends. More info on the Peer Support Centre here!

Sexual Violence

We successfully advocated to SAIT to establish victim-centric policies and supports. We’re continuing to advocate to the province for standardized policies across the province.


Check out an article about Saitsa’s Executive Council’s work on this here.


SAIT’s Sexual Assault and Violence Resources can be found here.

Ombuds Office

We successfully advocated to SAIT to establish an Ombuds Office; set to open in 2021/2022 the Ombuds Office will provide impartial, accessible and independent support to students facing academic or non-academic issues.

Visit our Ombuds page

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

In 2020 SAIT established its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy; Saitsa is currently collaborating with SAIT and identifying areas where Saitsa can transform to become a more inclusive organization.

More info here. 

Upass & Transit

Saitsa is working with Calgary Transit and the Calgary Student Alliance to ensure the UPass and public transit benefit SAIT students.

SAIT announces new exemptions for UPass and Recreation fees! Read our Press Release here.

Read the UPass Report here

Academic Council

Saitsa recruits students to sit on SAIT’s Academic Council.

In 2020 two sub-committees were established to address issues that were brought to Saitsa’s attention: one to address affordability, and another to ensure that a set of best-practices for online delivery were generated.

Academic Council is mandated by the Post-Secondary Learning Act, and has the power and duties to review proposed programs of study, to review and propose policies and procedures that effect the student’s academic and non-academic journey at SAIT, and make recommendations or reports to the SAIT Board of Governors on matters that the Council considers advisable. The Council is comprised of three major groups: the SAIT administration group, the SAIT academic staff members group, and the student group. Saitsa recruits the 9 students-at-large that sit on Academic Council, and including Saitsa’s Vice President, Academic who is traditionally voted in as the Vice Chair of the Council, all 10 students have voting rights.

Want to Make a Difference?

If advocating for and working on issues that affect SAIT’s student’s daily lives interests you, then consider running for one of Saitsa’s student leadership positions on the Board of Directors!

Support Saitsa, Support our Sponsors:

Community

Find Us

Saitsa Resource Centre 

MC107 Stan Grad

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

The Gateway Restaurant & Bar

Monday – Friday

11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

V203 Campus Centre

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Odyssey Cafe

Monday – Friday

7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

V211 Campus Centre

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Station Market

Monday – Thursday

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

NN120 Senator Burns Building

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Station Express

Monday – Thursday

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday

7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

MB108 Stan Grad Building

1301 – 16 Ave N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

Health & Dental Process for Fall 2021

As of July 5, 2021; Saitsa will be accepting Health & Dental Opt-Out forms for the Fall 2021 semester. As soon as you are registered or begin self-registration for the Fall 2021 semester you are able to submit a Health & Dental Opt-Out form.

You have until July 26 to send your completed Health & Dental opt-out form to Saitsa for processing before the tuition fee deadline in order to receive Opt-Out credits before paying tuition fees. All other Health & Dental opt-outs processed after July 26 will follow SAIT’s refund policy where credit balances may be applied to future terms.

SAIT Refunds: Credit balances, for students who are registered or plan to register in a future term, will be carried forward and applied as appropriate to that future term.  Refundable balances will also be assessed at the end of the academic year for refunding. More info here.