This Strategic Plan sets out commitments that will drive the priorities for Student Life on the St. George Campus over the next 5 years. The goals and objectives are rooted in our mission, vision, and values, which looks to enrich and support the university’s academic mission by supporting students’ learning, development, and experience, and by fostering a culture of care and a culture of inclusion. In working with students and partners, we work towards this mission and vision through supporting our diverse campus community, within and beyond the university. The Division of Student Life is a broad portfolio that looks to foster a student-centric community through both student-facing programs, services, and resources, and divisional and institutional resources, systems, projects, and policies (see an organizational chart). To support the goals and objectives outlined in this plan, an assessment framework and unit-level operational plans will outline the concrete steps we will take to achieve and measure our progress over the next 5 years.
Students at the centre
Through our work, we look to support all students in achieving their current and lifelong academic, personal, and career goals, which depending on the focus, includes undergraduate, professional, and graduate students; recent alumni; part-time and full-time students; mature students; students with family responsibilities; international and domestic students; and students in affiliated programs. With students at the core of our mission, we acknowledge student lived experience as expertise, and support students through direct service, and through the systems, policies, and practices that support the Division’s and University’s goals and operations.
Commitment to Reconciliation, Equity, and Belonging
In striving for these goals, we acknowledge the work that needs to be done to break down the societal, university, and divisional structures, systems, attitudes, and actions that have oppressed, marginalized and excluded many members of our community and society. Breaking down structures involves acknowledging the truth of our histories and current context, and then identifying, addressing, and adapting our work in ways that challenge colonial and oppressive structures and discrimination, and proactively engages and creates opportunities for members from communities who have been affected by systemic exclusion—including (and recognizing intersectionality) Indigenous, Black, Asian, racialized staff and students, LGBTQ2S+, people with disabilities, international individuals, students with family responsibilities and all equity-deserving communities. We commit to understanding the truth of the history and continual oppression of Indigenous peoples, and take active steps towards reconciliation, which includes drawing on Indigenous practice and ways of learning and knowing to shape our programs, services, resources, policies, and practices.
Connection to other priorities & policies
This Strategic Plan supports and aligns with existing University priorities, including but not limited to, the institution’s Three Priorities, the Undergraduate Student Educational Experience (USEE), International Strategic Plan, Student Mental Health, and Wecheehetowin (U of T’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada). We will also continue our commitment to upholding existing codes and policies, including the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
We recognize that our values, commitments, goals, and objectives, are words until they become actions. Accountability and transparency matters, and the Strategic Plan will be accompanied by an assessment framework that incorporates our values to measure our progress in broad and diverse ways that speak to both the individual student and staff experience, as well as our progress in working towards addressing oppressive structures, systems, attitudes, and actions. Over the next 5 years, this Strategic Plan will be used to guide our planning and work, where we will hold ourselves accountable to the objectives that we have laid out.
Our work is supported by and in collaboration with our partners. With students at the centre, we work with and for students to evolve our programs, services, and resources to meet their needs. Through our partnerships with faculty, instructors, librarians, student affairs and registrarial staff, university and divisional administration, employers, community partners, alumni, families, landlords, universities around the globe, and health networks, we look to support a rich, vibrant, and responsive student experience.
Language in Strategic Plan
We recognize that language matters, but also that it is constantly evolving. Language changes as we engage in dialogue and discussion, and so we recognize that certain language in this document is contested as these discussions are ongoing. We commit to discussing and evolving our understanding of the language, terms, and concepts used in this plan on an annual basis during the summer months.