From Student to Leader: Your First Few Months on Board

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2024

If you’ve ever wanted to run for WUSA’s Board of Directors but weren’t sure that you had enough time or background knowledge, this is your sign to do it! Here’s what the onboarding for a new Board looks like and how you’ll be prepared when you officially become a student leader.  

What is the Board of Directors? 

The Board of Directors is WUSA’s strategic governing body. They guide the organization’s financial, human resources, legal, and contractual affairs. The Board is comprised of the President, Vice-President, and usually 11 at-large directors. The Board can operate with fewer than 11 directors if 2/3 of the seats are filled. This year’s Board has 10 directors. The nomination process for the 2025-26 Board will begin in the fall term, so keep an eye on our website and socials!  

If you’re interested in learning more about student governance, you can sign up for our Student Leadership E-mail Newsletter here. We also have a WUSA Governance page on LinkedIn that shares all things related to student leadership, so be sure to give it a follow!  

Board Retreat 

This Board’s first order of business was the WUSA Board Retreat at the beginning of May.  These few professional development days ensure the incoming Board is prepared to be an effective voice for you on campus, from professional development to community building to a deeper dive into WUSA’s organizational structure. Some of the other sessions in this year’s retreat focused on the Board’s legal responsibilities under the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (ONCA), an overview of WUSA’s student services, a how-to on annual planning, and an intro to the budget process.  

Regular Onboarding 

In the weeks following the Board retreat, the Board received media training which outlines guidelines for interacting with students on social media as a WUSA Board member and tips and tricks for interacting with mainstream media! The President and Vice President are the official spokespeople for WUSA, but we ensure all Board members know the right protocol in case they’re contacted. The Board also received training on effective stakeholder engagement, as Board members are your representatives at various university, municipal, provincial, and federal committees and associations! 

Board Meetings 

You can read more about what happened at the May and June Board meetings on our website and on our Instagram, @yourwusa! We post regular updates about what was discussed at each one and you can find recordings of the meetings on our YouTube channel 

What’s Coming Up? 

As the Board heads into their third month in office, they’re focusing on setting the annual plan and budget for the 2024-25 year. After that, they’ll tackle long range planning, including the development of the 2025-2030 plan. This plan will set the direction for the organization for the next 5 years!  

Interested in what a long range plan looks like? Check out the 2020-2025 Long Range Plan here.   

They’re also working on developing advocacy positions for the year, which will have their home on the soon-to-be refreshed advocacy page on wusa.ca. In the coming months, they’ll continue making progress on the Work Plan, which outlines objectives for the rest of their year in office. It also serves as a roadmap for governance activities and guides decision-making and the allocation of resources. Allocation of resources and financial oversight is a key component of the Board’s role. They set WUSA’s budgets and can approve additional funding for key initiatives. 

 

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  • President & VP First Month Recap

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