The mission of the Association is to:
- Be the recognized representative body for its Members to the University
administration, its faculty, staff, and the external communities.
- Ensure its Members have access to quality resources and services that support
their academic success.
- Advocate for the unique needs and concerns of its Members,
- Build a cohesive community among its Members.
Established in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is the largest national student association in Canada. The Federation unites more than 500,000 college, undergraduate, graduate, part-time and international students from coast to coast. The stated goal of the Federation is to represent the collective voice of Canadian students and work at the federal level for high quality, accessible post-secondary education. Students become members of the CFS automatically as a result of paying membership dues to local student unions. Current graduate students are a part of Local 101 - University of Saskatchewan Graduate Student Association.
A large part of the CFS' mandate is to lobby the federal government from its national office in Ottawa. Over the years, CFS representatives have testified to dozens of House of Commons committees, including the Standing Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Humans Resources Development and Persons with Disabilities. In addition to the ongoing testimonies and meetings, the CFS holds an annual Lobby Week that brings together dozens of students from across Canada to meet with their local Members of Parliament and Senators.
All major decisions are made at twice-yearly national and provincial general meetings. Each member students’ union has an equal say in setting the policies, direction and priorities of the Federation with the principle of ‘one member, one vote’. Every motion submitted to a general meeting gets debated by all member students’ unions in attendance at plenary.
Motions are referred to the following four (4) sub-committees for more in-depth analysis: Budget Committee, Organizational and Services Development Committee, Policy Review Committee and the Campaigns and Government Relations Forum. Motions are also examined and discussed from a diversity of student perspectives. The Canadian Federation of Students is the only student organization in Canada with the following constituency groups: racialized students, students with disabilities, Francophone students, International students, part-time and mature students, queer and trans students, student artists and women students. The following Caucus groups will review motions that are relevant to them: College and Institute Associations, Large Institute Associations, Small University Associations, National Graduate Caucus and the Circle of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students. Lastly, member students’ unions gather by province or region to discuss motions from the perspective of students in their geographic area.
A National Executive is elected by member students’ unions at the national general meetings to execute and implement all Federation decisions.