The Equity Student Advisory Council (ESAC) is made up of passionate equity-minded students who value advocacy, community, and systemic change. As a unified and collective voice for students at UBC who are connected to the Equity & Inclusion Office, we share the common goals of accountability and system change with UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan commitment to historically, systemically, and persistently marginalized communities at UBC1.
Who are we?
To reach the ESAC’s objectives, we aim to create safe spaces for students to advocate, support effective policy, imagine, and evoke system changes at UBC. We provide meaningful, empathetic, and impactful engagement to inform the policies of the Equity & Inclusion Office and the projects of other organizations at UBC. To empower the student body, we highlight a way of thinking from the Indigenous Strategic Plan in which we consider ourselves “uniquely positioned to generate and mobilize knowledge that can produce systemic change”2. We are a diverse group of students with a variety of lived experiences and expertise, however we acknowledge that even our collective group may not fully represent all equity needs. We recognize the importance of working together to move ideas into action — specifically as a reminder to UBC that leadership needs to “[not only] come from top down”, but also “from the ground up and the middle out”3.
What do we do?
We inform decisions and practices that promote equity at UBC. From research projects, to climate justice initiatives, to equity-enhancing policies, we provide our meaningful perspectives to add student voices into the consultation process. By drawing from our own experiences to bridge the gap between students and institutional actors, we are able to further progressive change and strive for a student-envisioned definition of an equity-oriented framework. As a collective, we can assist with:
- Student Advocacy & Resource Toolkits (horizontal and accessible student support)
- Policy Drafting & Editing (development of equity-impacting policies and guidelines)
How can we work together?
We are happy to work with you to make your projects more equity-driven and student-informed. Our perspectives are informed by the intersectional lived experience for our student members and our shared commitment to social justice principles. While we cannot and do not pretend to represent the full diversity of student voices or the experience of all equity-seeking groups, we encourage you to consider the ESAC as one point of consultation and continue to seek out more voices to achieve wider representation and engagement.
Here’s what we can do together:
- Discuss your project, initiative(s), and community with the intent of providing consultation or feedback from ESAC to improve the quality of the project and/or to ensure that student perspectives inform the work you do
- Partake in genuine engagement from both sides to avoid the sentiment of tokenism
- Develop equity-related priorities and strategies accounting for diverse student experiences
Sound like a good fit?
Let’s establish and achieve our equity-enhancing goals together. We would love to add student perspectives into your initiative, project, or policy. After becoming familiar with the ESAC’s Consultation Guidelines on our website, connect with us by sending an email to co- firstname.lastname@example.org so we can coordinate a meeting and our next steps.
1 Inclusion Action Plan 2020, Inclusion at UBC, 13
2 Indigenous Strategic Plan 2020, 7
3 Inclusion Action Plan 2020, Working Together to Move Ideas into Action, 6