The Council Handbook outlines in plain-English the governance of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Assocation (WUSA). It is used to to support Councillors in understanding their duties to set advocacy priorities, prepare budgets, drive high-level change on campus, fight for student interests, and oversee the Executives, Board of Directors, Clubs, Societies, Services, and represents and advocates on behalf of all students. The handbook provides information about the WUSA, the Students’ Council and its Committees, the Board of Directors and its Committees, and the University. This document is a good introduction to how WUSA works and for what your student government is responsible for.
The Charter of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association is a founding document of the organization, and establishes the Association as a legal entity, setting broad rules that still govern everything we do. The Charter was approved by the University of Waterloo Board of Governors’ and subsequently by the Provincial Secretary on 27th of April 1967 and received Supplementary Letters Patent in 1980. Any amendments to the Charter must be approved by the Students’ Council, Board of Directors, and students directly and is then subject to approval from University of Waterloo Board of Governors before changes may be presented to the Provincial Government for final approval.
The By-laws operate as the Constitution of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, governing all aspects of the Corporation. Included are such things as requirements for membership, the structure of our governing body (the Students’ Council), the body-corporate (the Board of Directors), and the Executive. The By-laws cement the roles, responsibilities, and powers of each part of the student government. By-laws are established by the Board of Directors, on the advice and consent of Council, and must be ratified by the general membership at a General Meeting.
The Policies of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association represent student legislative directives established by Council that set out the beliefs, governing principles, or views of the Corporation. Policies affect the objectives, operations, plans, and the interpretation of governing documents. Policies affect the interpretation of the Charter, By-laws, and other governing documents; outline the beliefs and high-level rules governing the Association, such as advocacy objectives or corporate standards; devolve Council powers or functions to other bodies or build additional checks-and-balances; and set standards for and responsibilities of the Board of Directors.
Policies are divided into two classes: Corporate Policies and Advocacy Policies. Corporate Policies do not expire, but come under review at least once every three years; Advocacy Policies expire after three years but may be renewed.
To take active, conscious steps to create a positive working environment for all employees and volunteers. The Federation of Students, currently operating as the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, is committed to providing and maintaining a professional working environment that is based on respect for the dignity and rights of everyone in the organization.
Students’ Council is the representative body of the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, and the By-laws and Policies it is empowered to create operational rules to manage those areas directly overseen by Students’ Council. Examples of Council Procedures include guideline for elections and referenda, budget preparation and approval, regulation of societies, and the management of the student-administered endowment funds.
The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association is constituted as a corporation without share capital under the Ontario Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990. As with most corporations, the student government maintains a Board of Directors which primarily oversees its financial, legal, human resources, contractual, and strategic affairs. In addition to Federal laws, Provincial laws, and the By-laws and Policies of the Corporation, the Board of Directors is also bound by the Board of Directors Procedures and precedents, which regulate affairs of the corporation with regard to such matters, from authorization of expenditures and financial controls, to risk management, to rules for employment. Review of Board procedures occurs annually, led by the Chair of the Board and President, and is the responsibility of each member of the Board of Directors.
The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association governs elections and referenda for the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. This procedure was passed by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association’s Council. It governs elections for Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Executive positions, including by-elections for vacancies occurring before November 1st; Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association Councillor positions, including by-elections for vacancies occurring before November 1st; and Undergraduate Student Senator positions for the University of Waterloo Senate, except with regard to spending limits, reimbursement and appeals, which are dealt with in Senate Bylaw 5.
The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association has developed a number of agreements and contracts with the University of Waterloo, since our inception. Agreements between the University and Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association include terms for the use of certain spaces, contract for business transactions and general improvements at the university.
The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association and Student Societies enjoy a rich tradition of supporting and advocating for undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo. The WUSA/Society Agreement is a memorandum of understanding that exists to better establish a relationship that can continue to be increasingly more fruitful and beneficial to all undergraduate students.
In order to operate the Bombshelter Pub and Federation Hall, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association has reached a series of agreements with the university focused around our use of the space and the sale of alcohol.
This agreement lays out the process for the collection of fees and provision of services regarding the universal bus pass. It is between the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, the Region of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo.
After the successful completion of a student referendum in the winter of 2010, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association entered into an agreement with the University of Waterloo about how to move forward with an agreed upon expansion of the Health Services Complex.
The WUSA’s Health & Dental Plan provides students with unique health and dental benefits. The Plan was designed by students for students to provide many important services and cover expenses not covered by basic health care (i.e. OHIP or UHIP), such as prescription drugs, dental care, travel health coverage, vision care, and more. WUSA is pleased to offer this valuable service and hopes you make the most out of it.
The Student Life Centre is managed by the Student Life Centre Management Board, which is made up of representatives of the University of Waterloo, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association and the Graduate Students Association. The day-to-day management of the building is further governed by the Student Life Centre Operating Agreement.
The Constitution of SLEF is the founding document in the fund, and is part of a series of agreements with the University of Waterloo under the “Student Coordinated Plan” to improve student life at UWaterloo. This constitution was drafted by the University and WUSA and approved by the University’s Board of Governors. Included is also the bylaws adopted by the SLEF Board of Directors and ratified by the Students’ Council, which is filed as a procedure of the Students’ Council under Procedure 17: Bylaws of the Student Life Endowment Fund.
Every year, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association contracts an independent auditor to perform an audit on its financial statements to ensure that they are free from material misstatement. An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.
This report seeks to address the systemic barriers that affect and impact the Indigenous students at the University of Waterloo to access and succeed in post-secondary education. In this report we advocate for territorial acknowledgements, larger Indigenous spaces, increases in financial assistance, more data and research on Indigenous students, staff and faculty at the University of Waterloo, inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in curricula, and the hiring of more Indigenous staff and faculty across all departments and faculties.
In October 2020, WUSA surveyed students on their experience following the University of Waterloo’s transition to remote and online learning. The overall goals of this fall survey were to hear more on students’ overarching experience with remote and online learning, whether instructors were following the strategies provided, assessing the effectiveness of the guidelines, and determining how else instructors and WUSA could support the academic success of students.
The objective of this plan is to cement WUSA’s reputation as a strong, innovative organization that is responsive to the developing issues and needs of its membership, while remaining focused on activities that support its vision and mission. The mission, core values, enduring principles and long-term strategic goals will remain unchanged year-to-year. The strategies will guide future executive in focusing on deliverables throughout their term, to ensure that WUSA remains responsive to our internal and external environments.
WUSA’s 2022-2023 Roadmap is our version of an annual plan for what is admittedly a very unusual year with lots of learning still left to do. To clearly guide us in the work we do, we have divided the plan up into three categories: 1) Advocacy priorities, 2) Organizational goals and 3) Further work required to implement the new governance structure. In keeping with the ethos of the new governance model, new to this plan is space for those doing the work to propose their own approaches and strategies to achieving the outcomes specified by the Board.