What are Student Unions and Constituency Groups?

Tired of being the only person advocating for change? Do you want better support for creating student-driven initiatives? Get organized with other students! 

What are Student Unions (SUs)?

Student Unions are the elected, student-run bodies that represent all 30,000 undergraduate students at Simon Fraser University. Each department has a Departmental Student Union (DSU), and some faculties have Faculty Student Unions (FSUs).

DSUs and FSUs bridge the gap between you, your department and/or faculty, and the Simon Fraser Student Society. As of May 1, 2015, there are 59 Departmental Student Unions, Faculty Student Unions, and Constituency Groups within the SFSS. All students automatically belong to the student union for the department and faculty in which they are registered in: whether you are completing a major or minor, or just taking one course. 

What are Constituency Groups (CGs)?

Constituency Groups are elected, student-run bodies that represent undergraduate students that share an experience of oppression, systemic discrimination and/or barriers.

The 2 Constituency Groups that are housed within the SFSS Student Union Organising Office are:

  • International Students Group
  • Students United for Disability Support

There are other Constituency Groups that are not housed within the SFSS Student Union Organising Office, but hold voting seats on the SFSS Council (cross-campus meetings between representatives of each department, faculty, and constituency group). They are:

  • First Nations Student Association
  • Out on Campus Collective
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Student Athletic Advisory Committee
  • Women’s Centre Collective

How are Student Unions different from SFSS Clubs?

DSUs and FSUs are the democratic foundation of the Simon Fraser Student Society. Clubs are created from specific interests, like the Ski and Snowboard Club or the UNICEF club. Student Unions, on the other hand, represent student interests in an academic department or faculty. A DSU or FSU might host career fairs, socials, pub nights, and conferences, publish journals, can be involved in faculty hires, advise on curriculum changes, and take on special projects.

The SFSS Supports SUs and CGs with Funding and Resources

Student Unions and Constituency Groups are the foundation of the SFSS, and they are supported with 3 types of substantial funding:

  • SFSS Core Funding to support day-to-day operations
  • SFSS Grant Funding to support big projects, and
  • Travel & Conference Funding to subsidize student attendance at conferences

Support for SUs and CGs

The staff in the Student Union Organising Office are here to help you organize your DSU, FSU, or CG, and to provide ongoing support and assistance.

We can help you with promotion, classroom speaking, training, trouble-shooting, and much more. If you would like to activate your union, please contact us.

Who are we?

Anna Reva, SFSS Student Union Organiser, organiser@sfss.ca

How to find us?

Our office: MBC 2238 (SFU Burnaby)

Phone Number: 778.782.3131