UVSP is an accessible and inclusive student-organized group dedicated to connecting, promoting, and engaging in action that utilizes sustainability as a tool for building a healthier future.
Sustainability has traditionally been described of as consisting of three pillars: an environmental, a social, and an economic. These pillars are deeply integrated with one another and require critical reflection and understanding if they are to be continued by future generations. UVSP recognizes that sustainability does not inherently focus on promoting “green lifestyles and initiatives”, but on working to repair the currently destructive imbalance between the economy, the environment, and society by focusing on building a healthier, regenerative future.
Furthermore, we believe that sustainability should be autonomously defined by communities around the world, in how they identify what this balance looks like for their people within the lands they inhabit.
Currently, on unceded Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ territories, UVSP focuses on building a healthier future through developing, supporting and engaging in action that:
UVSP will act by supporting all of the currently-active groups on and off campus that promote these focuses, as well as creating and organizing our own fun, creative, and effective action! Feel welcome to get involved! Just contact us via email or visit our space in the Student Union Building room B118.
[The UVSP has adopted the following anti-oppressive policy. If you recognize any oppressive dynamics in our interactions with you or anyone else, please let us know. This document is intended for use, and to hold us accountable - not simply as a token gesture to make ourselves feel better.]
The UVSP recognizes that the dynamics of hierarchy, power, and privilege that define mainstream society are also prevalent in the environmental movement. These dynamics are expressed in systems of oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, speciesism, etc.), which intersect to inhibit equal access to resources and safety, disrupt healthy communities and effective movement cultivation, and severely—sometimes irreparably—harm our movements by harming our allies, our friends, our loved ones, the planet, and ultimately ourselves.
We further recognize that oppressive behaviours exist in a diversity of forms. We define oppressive behavior as any conduct that demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms any living being on any of the following bases (though this list is not exhaustive): ability; age; class; education; language; cultural background; ethnicity; race; nationality; immigration status; religion; marital status; gender; sexual orientation; spirituality; physical appearance; way of relating to the land.
Perpetuated by institutionalized systems of power and privilege, oppressive behaviours are deeply embedded in dominant culture, typically functioning to reinforce the status quo. Thus, in order to be overcome, systemic oppression must be overtly acknowledged and consciously challenged by both those who suffer from and those who benefit from it. To this end, the UVSP Anti-Oppressive Policy aims to:
The UVSP plans to holds board meetings regularly in the basement of the SUB (the undergraduate Student Union Building at UVic). Check out our contact page to start getting our email updates, or check the door/bulletin board of our office at SUB B118 to find out what we’re up to! Our meetings are intended to discuss current projects, listen to and brainstorm new projects, and vote on grants. All students are welcome to join meetings, as they are an excellent opportunity to meet new people, hear what events are taking place, put forth ideas and questions, and discover where volunteers are needed.
The UVSP is run by up to nine student members, as well as up to two community members, elected every April. The board members run the day to day tasks of the UVSP, but the organization is participatory, and we are always open to ideas! The UVSP aims for full transparency, so people who are interested are welcome to attend board meetings, make presentations, and help organize events.
The UVSP operates according to a set of bylaws that was developed when the group was created. These bylaws insure that the organization functions in an effective and efficient manner, and all UVSP activities operate inside these guidelines. If you would like a copy of the UVSP’s constitution and bylaws, please send us an e-mail and we would be happy to provide you with a copy. Amendments to both documents can only be made at the annual general meeting or at a special general meeting.