October 5, 2007
The fundamental rights of undergraduate students have been declared in two bills of rights passed by the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU).
The Declaration of Student Rights and Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights were passed in early September at a meeting of the USSU Council, and were presented to University Council at its meeting Sept. 20.
Josie Steeves, USSU’s vice president of academic affairs, said both documents have been in the works for more than a year. Although the official rights stated in the documents are fairly straightforward, the bills give both students and the union a solid footing in advocacy work.
“It’s fairly general, but just fundamental human rights that should be unequivocally given to undergraduate students,” said Steeves. “I’ve already used (the Declaration of Student Rights), actually, because we do a lot of advocacy work … so it basically provides a standing point for what the USSU believes.”
The Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights was a project undertaken by last year’s USSU Victim’s Advocate, Ally Clark. Steeves said the bill will be soon posted on the USSU’s Victim’s Advocate website. The Declaration of Student Rights, said Steeves, was crafted largely under the influence of a similar document published by the United Nations. It will be posted on the USSU’s academic support site, and also included in the USSU’s Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.