NSSSA Minutes From:
Metro Regional Cabinet Meeting
Location: St. Francis Xavier University, Gerald Schwartz School of Business Building, Rm 285
Time of Commencement: 20:03
Time of Adjournment: 21:16
Duration: One hour and thirteen minutes
Present Voting Members: Celia Briand, Hannah Hewlin, Cody Campbell, Alex Torrealba, Ciara Harris, Hannah Johnson, Katherine Pindera, Annabelle Linder, Anna Gaudet, Robie Gonzales, Claire Kleinknecht, Mary Stackaruk
Present Non-Voting Members: Christina Torrealba, Anna Campbell
Regrets: Fortesa Sahiti, Becca MacAulay
Introduction: The meeting began with the introduction and roll call of the cabinet members present at the time stating their name, position, grade, and high school. Following, the cabinet expressed their feelings at the beginning of the upcoming season; Cody stated that he was feeling nervous and overwhelmed with much to do and learn, and lots of events going on. Anna stated she was feeling excited, and Ciara & Alex both said they were “feeling good.”
Meetings: Meetings will be held weekly on Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm (19:00) at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax in room 405. The tentative date of the first cabinet meeting is August 20th, 2017, but has yet to be confirmed with the Mount. The meetings will last approximately from an hour and a half to two hours, and if a cabinet member cannot attend, they may call in or Skype in for said meeting. Directly before and after a conference, meetings will get more frequent. CSLC in September will not interfere with any meetings.
Regional Conference: The tentative date for the Metro Regional Conference is October 28th to 29th, but it has yet to be confirmed. There is an inquiry regarding potential dates in November as opposed to the aforementioned October dates.
Grade Nines: There are two potential options regarding grade nines at a conference within the Metro Region. One option is to hold a one-day, junior conference for grade nines within the Metro Region either before or after the Metro Regional Conference. The other option is to include grade nines at the Metro Regional Conference, allowing them to attend. Some things to take into consideration are the number of high schools that currently host grades nine to twelve students within the Metro Region is about a 50/50 split with those who do not, as well as the fact that numbers have gone down at conferences from the Metro Region.
Grade Nine Junior Conference: A junior conference would be a one-day long conference, which would occur at Mount St. Vincent University, and the Mount would provide a lunch for the attendees. The pros to a junior conference for grade nines only would be that it would be easier to prepare for a grade nine conference if it occurred after the Metro Regional Conference (i.e. using leftover material from the regional conference). The conference would bring more numbers for Provincial Conference in May and would provide a good start into the NSSSA. The grade nines may feel more comfortable attending an event solely for students their age as opposed to attending along with students older or younger than themselves.
Grade Nines at Regional Conference: Many other regions invite grade nines to their regional conference. A pro to including grade nines at the Metro Regional Conference is that adding another grade level will increase numbers at the conference. Cons to bringing grade nines into the regional conference are the number of feeder schools with grade nines that go into the high schools in the Metro Region would put a strain on the Head School Reps, and grade nines may not sign up due to “intimidation” from going to conference with older high school students.
Attendance at Conference: One goal for the upcoming year is to increase attendance at the Metro Regional Conference because numbers have been going down. This can be attained through better promotion within the schools, catering to the best way the specific school reacts to the promotion of an event (i.e. videos, posters, announcements, etc.), and contacting the Co-Presidents of the school for promotion as they are the leaders of their school. One suggestion for promotion was to make a promotional introduction video for conference that would be sent to schools across the region as well as posted online. The promotional video may be filmed at the first cabinet bonding session.
Scholarships: Scholarships to conference are to be promoted more within the regional schools and communities. Scholarships are given based on applications written on essay questions.
Fundraising: Fundraising should be suggested within schools for those who are not able to fully cover costs of the conference.
School Reps: School representatives must be chosen carefully to ensure that presentations are done at the schools they are responsible for.
Talent Show/EPIC: It was discussed that some people at conference do not enjoy watching the talent show and it was suggested to have a separate room to host such people with an activity similar to “late-nighter” at the Provincial Conference. At the previous conference, it was noted that EPIC was not as inclusive or team-oriented as many would like and there are to be steps taken to ensure that EPIC will be more inclusive in the upcoming year.
Tech at Conference: Ciara and Celia both noted that is it crucial to have many technology checks before the conference begins to ensure there will be no issues. It was suggested to request that a representative from MSVU should be available to call to provide secure tech connection.
Engagement Sessions: Ways to improve the organization of engagement sessions for conference are: sending out descriptions of engagement sessions within the Welcoming Email so attendees know which session they want to sign up for before conference day, providing more space for athletic sessions (ex. yoga), and well thought out placements between the types of sessions.
Cabinet Bonding: The date currently being looked at for a bonding activity for cabinet is between the 14th and 19th of August 2017. Ideas for bonding are a BBQ, a potluck, laser tag, and swimming. It is strongly recommended to remain in contact between partners, meet up prior to the first meeting and between meetings; it is advised to get a Google account to facilitate communication between partners (such as using Google Hangout).
Email Signature: All cabinet members must use an email signature from now on with the following: their name, region and position, Nova Scotia Secondary School Students’ Association (NSSSA), email, phone number, www.nsssa.ca, and the NSSSA logo.
Social Media: Members of cabinet are now the faces of the NSSSA organization and must take their social media accounts seriously; do not try to be sneaky and block people. It is advised against wearing NSSSA spirit wear when doing inappropriate activities and if someone posts an inappropriate picture or video with a cabinet member involved, it is said cabinet member’s responsibility to get it removed. Co-Premiers will monitor cabinet member’s social media accounts and will speak to a cabinet member to take down a post. If necessary, the regional advisors will speak to the cabinet member and the cabinet member’s position could be in jeopardy if the post is not removed. There is to be no swearing or strong political views within any posts; you may express your opinions but be sure to remember that the NSSSA does not take any political stance.
Miscellaneous: Cody proposed that the regional conference holds a “Human’s VS Zombies” competition within MSVU using Nerf guns.
Robie Gonzales motioned to adjourn the meeting at 21:16, Hannah Johnson seconded the motion.