Reinforce the Foundation

Division of Students Strategic Plan 2020-2025Reinforce Our

Build Culture

Create a common language and understanding about our values and lenses and apply them to assess our growth. Share that language widely.

Application and Accountability

Individuals and units will decide how to define the values in ways that reflect what is important in the moment and going forward. Definitions of lenses will be created to help staff use each lens as a tool to evaluate and create programs and services, and frame accountability.

Intentional Relationships

We will identify important relationships and partners to collaborate with, support, and build impactful programs and services.

What's New?

York’s Appreciative Approaches are highlighted in a Keynote address to Waterloo Advising Colleagues

Spotlighting York’s journey, Cristina Bregar and Lara Ubaldi illustrated how the relationships we build with each other and with students can unleash the power to elevate advising practice across an institution.

attendees joined York’s appreciative approaches keynote.

During the week of January 22, the Centre will host several events to educate and empower York community members. Explore mindfulness sessions, writing letters of love to survivors, a riveting talk with the esteemed queer Pakistani Canadian Samra Habib, a Wen-Do self-defence class and more.

Learn more about these events
These events aim to raise awareness about the issues surrounding consent, empower community members to advocate for themselves and others, disrupt myths and share survivor stories.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

During the annual global campaign against gender-based violence, a variety of workshops were held at York. Topics included healthy relationships, misogynoir awareness, empowering student-athletes to advocate against violence against women, children and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and more.

Learn more
York community members were reached.

During fall Well-being Week, the Centre organized an online workshop entitled Self-Care Through Art. Participants were encouraged to delve into therapeutic techniques aimed at cultivating a sustainable self-care practice that could be incorporated into their daily lives. 

Art therapy workshops create environments that encourage healthy self-expression and facilitate meaningful self-connection.

During Consent Action Week, community members can attend a series of educational events teaching how to communicate consent and desire to partners, managing rejection, reclaiming personal agency and feeling safe and empowered in situations that may require self-defence.

Learn More About These Events
events will be available throughout the week to promote Consent Action Week.

Athletics & Recreation reflects with Rosemary Sadlier as she, and a panel of guests, honour the work done in getting Emancipation Day on August 1 recognized in Canada and celebrating Black Women in Leadership.

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In celebration of Black Women in Leadership, 3 out of the 4 panel experts who participated in the second annual Emancipation Day event were local Black female leaders.
Recognizing National Indigenous History Month

In honour of National Indigenous History Month, Larissa Crawford, a restorative circle keeper and published Indigenous and anti-racist researcher, was highlighted by the Athletics & Recreation department.

In honour of National Indigenous History Month, York Lions Spotlight Larissa Crawford!
Larissa Crawford is a York Alumna! She's a published Indigenous, anti-racism and climate justice researcher, policy advisor, influencer and restorative circle keeper with over a decade of experience.
Pride Month: Discussing issues faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Staff and students shared what pride meant to them, as well as issues faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community during a Pride Month video.


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Athletics & Recreation embeds the principles of EDI into our strategies, plans and operational processes in a purposeful and intentional manner.
Engaging in summer OUR Learning Day

The Office of the University Registrar gathered in person for the first time in several years in June to reconnect, celebrate accomplishments related to the OUR Strategic Plan and engage in professional development on the change and project implementation for the Student Systems Renewal Program. 

Over 50 unique positive and congratulatory messages were shared by staff during the session.
Mark Tewksbury shares powerful keynote during Inclusion Week

Athletics and Recreation proudly hosted Olympic icon and champion, Mark Tewksbury. Tewksbury shared his experiences and reflections with coaches, students and staff with a focus on the role that community, allyship and language played in his journey of self-acceptance and success.

Learn more
Mark inspired students, staff and coaches during Inclusion week.

International Women's Day is a global celebration of the achievements of women, and a call to action for gender equality. This year's campaign theme was #EmbraceEquity and the Centre hosted events that seek to challenge gender stereotypes and bias. 

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Black History celebrated & acknowledged in Athletics & Recreation

Initiatives included a student-led Black Excellence speaker series & BHM fashion line. Black student-athletes and coaches were profiled throughout the month & Winston Larose received a YU Lions lifetime achievement award.

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February was a vibrant month in A&R recognizing Black culture & contributions.
Establishing a New Core Concepts of Assessment Discussion Group

As follow-up to assessment-related workshops delivered by the Divisional Assessment Analyst, a virtual discussion group has been established. After core concepts of assessment workshops, attendees are invited to continue their learning and development with their peers, and at their own pace.

As a part of Consent Action Week, the Centre hosted a series of educational events that focused on self-advocacy and care with the goal to increase awareness of matters of consent, sharing existing support for survivors and promoting ally engagement.

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When discussing sexual violence prevention, it is crucial that we provide our community with an opportunity to discuss sex education and healing through self-advocacy and self-care.
Sharing ideas to advance the Division of Students Strategic Plan

On Monday, January 23, and Tuesday, January 24, Division of Students colleagues were invited to share their experience and passion for student success at facilitated brainstorming sessions. Attendees were encouraged to think and discuss five specific questions posed by the Vice-Provost, Students.

Read the Strategic Plan
colleagues participated and most felt more connected to the Division of Students as a result of attending the brainstorming session
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

As a part of the 16 Days of Activism, an annual memorial service was hosted to commemorate the tragic mass shooting at L'École Polytechnique in Montréal on December 6, 1989. This ceremony honours the 14 murdered women and inspires our community to act against gender-based violence. 

Watch the Memorial Ceremony Here
people viewed the memorial service, virtually and in-person.
Divisional holiday luncheon in candyland!

The annual holiday gathering was held in-person for the first time since 2019. The theme was Candyland, because nothing is sweeter than spending time together. Division of Students staff enjoyed a turkey lunch with all the fixings and a performance by the Vanier College Productions.

of non-perishable food items were generously donated by staff to the YFS Food Support Centre.
Establishing a new assessment community of practice

The Assessment Community of Practice is a member-driven resource to help deepen knowledge and understanding among assessment experts in the Division of Students. They provide an informal space to refine approaches and practices, brainstorm solutions to challenges and celebrate successes.

Join the Team
Launch of the Division of Students 2020-2022 Annual Report

The annual report captures stories, initiatives and projects that have advanced the 5-Year Strategic Plan. Learn about recent achievements and celebrate the Division's successes over the last two years.

Read the Division of Students' Annual Report
First annual report created for the Division of Students Strategic Plan 2020-2025 Preparing for a Better Future
Launch of digital ad campaigns to boost student recruitment

Developed in collaboration with campus partners, the 2022-23 Digital Program Marketing Strategy launched in September. The strategy includes 13 advertising campaigns that support Student Recruitment & Admissions application goals. 

Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) Learning Days

In collaboration with campus partners, the OUR recently hosted the inaugural SEM Learning Days. Colleagues from across campus came together to share best practices in recruitment, retention and learned innovative approaches to support and build a stronger SEM competency across York University.

Learn More About the SEM Learning Days
SEM sessions took place from July to August, covering a variety of topics such as initiatives, trends, current practices at York and how to improve student recruitment approaches.
Creating an intersectional holistic society

A recent speaker series featured Jack Saddleback baring raw stories with humorous musings to uplift spaces for identities like his, a Cree, two-spirit, transgender gay man. Weaving experiences of personal resilience and community compassion, Saddleback inspires an intersectional holistic society. 

Learn More About the Intersectional Futures Speaker Series
“I really enjoyed the personal nature of the session and would definitely recommend this session to the larger York community. Super well organized and great energy. So glad I listened in!"
Advancing Freedom of Expression

In collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, the team presented about the community impact, proactive event planning and considerations surrounding offensive expression at student-led events at a Canadian Association of College and University Student Services session.

Learn more about the session
"Really enjoyed the session today, you and the team did a fantastic job with the content and approach."
Supporting education to tackle child poverty

York University Athletics & Recreation hosted the annual Start2Finish run, which aims to help to break the cycle of child poverty through educational support, and celebration at York Lions Stadium, with special guest Yeo! 

Learn more about Start2Finish
Start2Finish is committed to promoting the health and wellness of children in Canada through literacy and fitness education.
Celebrating Pride month with Athletics & Recreation

Participate in this month’s events and sport the Lion's Pride Collection gear. 

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Launch of York's first Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey

In March, the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey was issued to all York students, giving them the opportunity to share their experiences and shape a culture of wellness on our campuses. Survey results will be used to enhance health and well-being resources and services available to students.

Learn More About the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey
responses from students were gathered over the duration of the survey, offering valuable insights on York’s health and well-being programs, services and initiatives.
Division of Students hosts Learning Days in February

Staff learned about key findings from student journey maps developed last fall and how these findings have been applied (SAVY, SSRP and the website re-development project) during the Learning Days on Feb. 22 and 23. Participants contributed to interactive breakout sessions to pave the way forward.

Learn More About the Division of Students' Strategic Plan
Division of Students' staff and friends participated in the February Learning Days
Connecting York students with inclusive and equitable employers

Career Education & Development invited students to connect with hiring recruiters during the Employer Meet & Greet: Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Event, where they learned about upcoming career opportunities with inclusive and equitable employers. 

Participating employers included BMO Financial Group, Bruce Power, KPMG, Labatt Breweries of Canada, LCBO, NielsenIQ, RBC, Rogers Communications Inc., Scotiabank, SNC-Lavalin and TD Bank Group.
Join us and celebrate Black History Month

The Division of Students is hosting multiple events during Black History Month (BHM), including, but not limited to: Black Excellence in COVID Times: Connections & Conversations Celebrating Black History Month; Career Resources for Black Students; Racialized Students Support Groups and more.

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Training service providers on accommodations and supports

High school special education teachers, guidance counsellors, school board psychologists, and special education consultants attended a workshop that highlighted information on accommodations supports, documentation, registering and accessing financial information on Dec. 8, 2021.

20 Years
This workshop has helped educators develop their understanding of accommodations and supports at the post-secondary level so that educators feel prepared to answer questions from students.

Join the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education as we raise awareness about consent during Consent Action Week at York U from Jan. 24 to 28. Virtual workshops, guest lectures and training is open to students, staff and faculty.


Learn More
Join us for Consent Week from January 24 - 28, 2022
Exploring 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators

This 10-part eLearning series, This Place: 150 Years Retold, was based on the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed graphic novel anthology. Each session guided participants through the stories that reflect a rich history of Indigenous resistance and resilience.

participants across this ten-part virtual series
Celebrating the #BestOfYU 2021

Despite a challenging year, the Division of Students continues to advance York’s mission by providing services and programs that facilitates and fosters academic success, student development and an engaged community. The #BestOfYU 2021 YouTube playlist celebrates our successes and accomplishments.

Watch the Youtube Playlist
SAVY answers 34,000 questions in 2021

SAVY, York's student virtual assistant, answered 34,555 questions from 9,964 unique students since January 1, 2021. The busiest days for questions were January 13 and September 7. In its lifetime, SAVY has answered more than 62,000 questions from just under 16,500 unique students.

Learn More About SAVY
times SAVY responded to the most popular question linking students with campus advisors based on their needs
Virtual Education Series: "Unlearning Hate"

Student Community and Leadership Development has partnered with The Centre for Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion to host a three-part virtual education series about recognizing, dismantling, healing and ultimately – “Unlearning Hate”.

Learn More and Register to Attend
This series is timely as we begin our return to campus and it continues to build on the work being done to address dialogue across difference and freedom of expression on campus.
Exploring 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators

This 10-part eLearning series, This Place: 150 Years Retold, is based on the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed graphic novel anthology. Launched this fall, each session guides participants through the stories that reflect a rich history of Indigenous resistance and resilience.

Sign-up today!
participants have attended the first 6 sessions.
First Student Equity & Diversity Census closes

After consultation with students and the York community, York introduced its first Student Equity & Diversity Census. Students were invited to participate from Sept. 21 to Oct. 29. Twenty per cent of York's students responded. A report will be made available on the VPS website in 2022.

Learn More about the Student Equity & Diversity Census
response rate to the 11-question Student Equity & Diversity Census.
Division of Students October Learning Days

The Division of Students hosted Learning Days for staff on October 14 & 15, 2021. Staff learned about York University's student demographics, heard from a panel of Divisional staff about how they are living the Divisional values,  and worked across units to develop student journey and empathy maps.

Learn More About the Division of Students Strategic Plan
staff attended the Division of Students October Learning Days!
Two Mental Health Workshops for Staff

SCHW's Health Education & Promotion team is offering two mental health workshops for staff and faculty. Navigating Mental Health Resources 101 & Mental Health 201 provides well-being resources and strategies to support students in their academic journey.



Register Online
To register or request a workshop, contact colleagues in Student Counselling Health & Well-being.

From October to December 2021, Art Therapy group sessions are available for all York University community members. Participate and explore the therapeutic benefits of art making, such as: self-expression, stress relief, relaxation, and much more!

Sign-up Today!
No artistic experience is required and all artistic levels are welcome! Paper and colouring instruments are all that is needed to participate.

This campaign, Kindness is the New Normal, is being celebrated and encouraged throughout the community during the months of October and November 2021.

Spread Kindness
This is a semester like no other. As we all adjust to new ways of being around each other, let’s show kindness online and in-person as we return to campus this Fall and Winter.
Back to school questions? SAVY's got the answer!

SAVY, York's student virtual assistant, answered 15,382 questions in 8,153 conversations held during York's back-to-school period, from August 25 to September 29, 2021. During that time, SAVY saw a total of 3,138 student logins and was able to answer 88.6% of all their questions.

Learn More About SAVY
SAVY answered 88.6% of 15,382 questions in the period from August 25 to September 29, 2021.
Office of the University Registrar (OUR) Strategic Plan

The Office of the University Registrar (OUR) is developing strategic priorities, aspirational goals, and supporting actions that align with the Division of Student's Strategic Plan. OUR staff reviewed the draft OUR plan on October 14 and 15. The final OUR plan will be released in early November.

More than 100 staff participated in the OUR Learning Days on October 14 and 15, 2021.
The Letter of Accommodation Student & Faculty Portal

We have moved to a NEW way of delivering our Letters of Accommodation. Student and faculty log in to Passport York to request, review and approve letters that will be sent to the faculty portal. Faculty will be notified by e-mail and log in using passport York to receive student’s letters.  

requests made my students -- a record-breaking amount! The portal was launched on August 23, 2021.
Kindness is the New Normal and it all begins with YU.

This is a semester like no other. One thing we all have in common is that we are all adjusting to a new normal. This adjustment all begins with YU. This fall, we launched the Kindness Campaign complete with tips for spreading kindness, a Kindness Toolkit, and a list of support services for students.

Spread Kindness across our Community
page views to the Kindness Campaign website since it launched this September 2021.
Division of Students August Strategic Planning Days

The Division of Students Strategic Planning Days were held Aug 5 & 6 2021. Staff learned about and contributed to the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan through engaging in dialogue, reconnecting & working across units in the Division. More learning opportunities will be provided in October.

Learn More About the Division of Students Strategic Plan Here
Recordings of the Strategic Planning Days will be made available for staff on the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students website shortly.
Emancipation Day Virtual Celebration

Canada Celebrates First-ever Emancipation Day with Virtual Celebration 

This year marked the First National Emancipation Day across Canada, as championed by Rosemary Sadlier. Over 25 years ago, Sadlier initiated the first of many commemorations of August 1st as Emancipation Day. 

Learn More
The Emancipation Day promotional videos were viewed over 3,000 times on the York Lions Instagram page, the Emancipation Day Canada webpage was visited over 1,300 times.

Fathers have had a lot on their plates during this pandemic. To provide a safer space for dads, The Centre is hosting weekly support groups starting on June 20 to connect, converse and share coping strategies about during these unprecedented times.

Learn More

Student Counselling, Health & Well-being launched its inaugural Health & Wellness Student Needs Assessment Survey in June to better understand student perceptions on health and well-being services. Data from the survey will be used to evaluate and enhance services available to York students.

Learn More
The survey, running from June 14 - August 5, 2021, asks what students think about our services, the way they are offered, what is working and where we can improve.
Setting a New Standard for Strategy Websites & Newsletters

Most strategy websites are static and short lived. To set the right tone for the Division of Students Strategy 2020-2025, a dynamic website has been created with monthly updates, filters by commitment, and views by unit and by progress. The site is also mobile optimized and printer-friendly.

Continue to Enjoy the Website
success stories collected from Divisional units in time for website launch.

York University Pride 2021 will be held on June 21-25, 2021, and will celebrate and honour Artists and Activism. The week of Pride is being organized by SexGen, with the support of The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education and the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion.

Learn More

Over the past year, the OUR engaged in an external review process that made various recommendations, including creating a strategic plan. Across the OUR, staff engaged in meaningful conversations about the process and the development of a strategic plan that is student centered and service focused. 

Supporting BIPOC & Queer Students on Campus

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, SCHW engaged in bi-monthly clinical consultations on the topic of anti-oppressive practice. In May 2021, guest speakers from CAMH facilitated a departmental workshop on supporting Black Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and queer students.

When supporting student well-being, it is crucial that we address power dynamics, validate lived experiences, and create opportunities for students to actively participate in their care.
Division of Students Releases 2-Year Strategy Report (2018-2020)

We’ve accomplished a lot -- and it’s time for us to celebrate! Check out the 2-year report that highlights major accomplishments completed across the Division.

Celebrate our Success
2018-2020 Division of Students strategy report launched!
Streamlining Communication Planning Across the Division

A new suite of templates has been developed to help Divisional units map, plan and execute yearly communication activities. The templates will strengthen relationships and collaboration between units to advance the student experience. More information will be shared with units in the near future.

Athletics & Recreation Honours Black History Month with Virtual Celebration

In partnership with local Jane & Finch community leaders and groups (Jane-Finch Concerned Citizens Organization, JFCCO), Athletics & Recreation produced a 3.5-hour virtual celebration called “Rooted & Resilient” with candid personal stories from homegrown Black Canadian trailblazers.

Find Out More
Posts about the event generated 200,000 impressions via the York Lions Social Media community. The event website received 1,800 views, and the YouTube Live Stream received 650+ views.

This year, York joined ARUCC to deliver digital documents to students through MyCreds - a trusted, centralized digital wallet that is easily accessible. This development is a critical step in modernizing our services to meet student needs and help them succeed, which is a central tenet of the UAP.

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York becomes one of the earliest adopters of digital credentialing in Canada.