NSSSA Minutes from:
Provincial Cabinet Meeting
Location: Unicorn Theatre, Saint Margaret’s Bay
Time of Commencement: 1:01 pm
Time of Adjournment: 2:04 pm
Duration: 1 hr 3 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Mitchell Archibald, Aidan MacFarlane, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Gabrielle Torrealba, Christina Nickerson, Micci Davy, Eliza Nobes, Chloe Dean-Moore, Molly Somers, Selena Landry, Zac Foran, Patrick Wallace, Kayla Jenkin, Emma Hogenbom, Camryn Smith, Haeley Langlois
Present non-voting members: Lorne Abramson, John Robertson, Maggie MacNeil, Gordon Burns, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Brooke Kattenbusch, Connor Poirier, Tatum Arcon, Amy Oickle, Beth O’Connell
Molly- 8 Key Concepts Within Provincial Cabinet
Following the guidelines of the 8 key concepts is incredibly important for PC to run smoothly as a team.
Speaker in Charge – be attentive when others are speaking, what they are talking about is important. Remember that everyone has an opinion, and they are entitled to it. Try to avoid large conflicts during discussions, but know that they could happen. In order to keep organization and fairness, hands will be acknowledged in the order they are raised.
Speak For I – especially important for those working with a partner (such as Co-Premiers). Remember that even though you are both speaking on behalf of the same region, you are not necessarily speaking on behalf of your partner. You are allowed to have differing opinions and ideas.
No Killer Statements – there will most likely be disagreements within cabinet meetings. Remain polite in these discussions. Just because you do not agree with someone, does not mean you need to be rude about it.
Level Out- this is both a physical and social aspect to meetings. Provincial Cabinet will always be seated on one level, including the Provincial Advisor, and current President. No one will be above or below anyone else. This also goes for status, there is no need to be intimidated by any other position, there is no position more important than another.
Business Never Personal – At the end of the day we are all still friends, any heated discussions during the meeting or disagreements between cabinet members are not related to how they feel about one another as a person.
No Unfinished Business – Provincial Cabinet meetings get very long, however any conversation that is started will be finished. The cabinet will not move forward to a new topic until every member is content that their opinion has been heard.
Right To Pass – Any member of cabinet has the right to abstain from sharing their opinion or voting on an issue. This being said, it is recommended that this option is used the least amount possible as the cabinet wants to hear the opinions of its members and no one should feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts. Nothing will get done properly without a well rounded discussion.
Positive Internal Focus – Cabinet only meets once a month, so the time we are together needs to be used as a focused, professional meeting in order to accomplish the goals of the organization. No cell phones should be used inappropriately and side discussions will not be necessary.
Katelyn – Respect Within Provincial Cabinet and NSSSA
As members of the Provincial Cabinet it is important that everyone holds the highest respect for the organization of the NSSSA, as well as for themselves and their partners. One of the most vital signs of respect is following deadlines. Always be on time for submitting forms, emails, orders, etc. These kinds of things are needed by the recipients to do their jobs properly. Katelyn will be making “check-ins”, occasional phone calls to members of PC to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Molly adds in that the purpose of someone asking for data, information, action, etc. may not always be known, but that it is still important and the task should be completed in a timely fashion. Anything being asked has a purpose. When working with companies or businesses outside of the organization the importance of respect is even greater. Always be polite and send any items or information in as early as possible. This gives the NSSSA a better reputation and expresses professionalism.
John – Future Plans for The Organization and Its Financing
John started with congratulations on 26 years of continued leadership within the NSSSA community. He gives the advice of focusing attention on small things that can be changed rather than the larger picture. Every new year can leave become a legacy and that the only thing that can be hoped for is to leave the organization better than it is found each year. He leaves the cabinet with the following potential plans of action for the coming year;
- Thinking about the best practices for business: if the NSSSA wants to reach the status of a charitable organization, the current finance methods will not be acceptable. Problems such as the requirement of too many authorizing signatures as well as a large amount of separate bank accounts overly complicates financing. It is hopeful that in the coming year the organization will be able to look further into achieving charitable status.
- Partnerships: The NSSSA has always been a student run organization, but has grown tremendously in the past years. However, there are still many people – students and adults – that don’t know exactly what we are. The hope with potential partnerships (such as one with the Rotary International Interact Club) is to increase support financially, improve promotion, and attract students who would otherwise be unable to attend conference because of affordability. The Rotary is the largest service industry in the world and organizes many youth leadership events. They hold many of the same ideals as the NSSSA and could prove to be a useful partner.
Along with this, John brings up the largest expense for the organization – provincial conference. It is possible that prices could be reduced for conference by researching the possibility of numerous universities and deals they could give the organization after the 5 year contract with Saint FX is completed. The thought is that universities are benefitting from having NSSSA conferences held at their schools as it acts as a four day advertisement of their school. 300+ high school students being on their campus often ends in many of them being convinced to attend the university. It is possible for universities to even compete in their prices to have provincial conferences attend.
- Succession: NSSSA is incredibly lucky to have such a hardworking Provincial Advisor. Abe has been putting so much effort into the organization for many years, but down the road we will eventually need someone to take his role. It is suggested that an ‘assistant advisor’ be found to fill the role of Provincial Advisor when the time comes. This would not be a full time position (possibly a teacher willing to commit time to help and learn all of the information needed from Abe). Transitioning from this, John also talks about the need for a more efficient method of passing down information and knowledge within the student held positions of NSSSA cabinets and committees. Every year cabinets are filled with brand new members that are unsure of what their purpose and duties are and how to fulfil them. An online knowledge base is suggested in order to store documents and videos containing needed information and training tools in an accessible format. An August retreat for cabinets is also a good opportunity for training new members. However, this retreat proves to be a large expense ($12 000 last year). An August retreat will be further discussed later in the meeting.
Finance Team – General Financial Information
Cabinet members can be reimbursed for their expenses on behalf of the NSSSA. Everyone should receive copies of a ‘cheque req’ form which will be filled out with information about what was purchased. A receipt must be attached with all of the items being reimbursed. These receipts must not contain anything non-NSSSA related, and must be left whole (do not cut off items that aren’t on the cheque req form, just do separate shopping trips). Along with these purchases, travel costs can also be reimbursed only in the situation of having carpooled with other members of cabinet to a meeting. Reimbursement for travel is 15 cents per km. Cheque reqs must be approved (signed) – and not by the person submitting it – before being sent to one of the treasurers (Eliza and Chloe) to finalize. If someone on a regional cabinet (or IC/CC) wishes to submit a form, their co-premiers/chairs can sign as approval. If on Provincial Cabinet, the Vice Presidents may sign. Co-Premiers and Co-Chairs, do not feel obliged to accept all cheque req applications, use your judgement.
Money needs to be made in order to support and run the NSSSA. Because Provincial Cabinet doesn’t have incoming money, the expenses are paid for through earnings of regional conferences. 20% of conference income goes to PC to use to sustain the organization. This method is percentage based because of the difference in income between regions. For example, 20% of Metro’s regional conference income will be much larger than 20% of Valley’s income solely based on size and attendance of the conference.
Budgets are one of the most important things for a cabinet to be on top of. A conference can not happen without working on the budget. They cannot be fully completed until everything for the conference is done, which means that they are constantly changing. Included in the budget is everything that goes towards conference (venue, food, keynote speakers, incidentals, etc.). Once conference is finished, all budgets should be sent to the finance team. At first budgeting takes a lot of guesswork as you don’t know exactly what is going to happen and what will cost what. Be careful of assuming numbers of people attending as any large difference can make drastic changes to the budget. All purchases must be run by the finance team prior to paying.
Provincial Cabinet is now required to submit a full financial audit to the federal government in order to prove money spent throughout the year. In order to do this the treasurers need databases from all regions.
Co-Premiers and Co-Chairs are to be responsible for their own banking. They will receive all necessary information and must do their banking through an RBC branch. If a co-premier is not in a location close to an RBC, a 3-tion may take over the financing.
There are a few options on lowering costs and improving the financial stance of the organization. Options such as more cost effective speakers, sharing speakers within regions for better deals, speaking to venues about better deals, and there has been talk about lowering the level of advisors. However, this would be a risky decision that may turn some schools away.
Location: Unicorn Theatre, Saint Margaret’s Bay
Time of Commencement: 3:04
Time of Adjournment: 4:57
Duration: 1 hr 53 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Mitchell Archibald, Aidan MacFarlane, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Gabrielle Torrealba, Christina Nickerson, Micci Davy, Eliza Nobes, Chloe Dean-Moore, Molly Somers, Selena Landry, Zac Foran, Patrick Wallace, Kayla Jenkin, Emma Hogenbom, Camryn Smith, Haeley Langlois, Beth O’Connell, Amy Oickle
Present non-voting members: Lorne Abramson, Maggie MacNeil, Gordon Burns, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Brooke Kattenbusch, Connor Poirier, Tatum Arcon, John Robertson
Updates: (Problems and possible solutions)
President: Lack of unity within regions. Wants to see fairness across the province. Hopeful to see
all deals within the NSSSA be uniform and equal within all regions.
VP External: Problem with people not knowing what NSSSA is and what it is about. A concise and clear explanation of the organization is vital for advertising conferences as well as recruiting sponsors. Simply being described as ‘fun’ is not enough to make businesses want to donate or schools want to participate. Possible courses of action for a higher level of explanation could be practicing articulation, using alumni as speakers on the organization, and a province wide definition.
Treasurers: Feel method of financing is too large or overly complicated. The organization holds eight banking accounts, while it could be reduced to two, making it easier to produce audits and work towards charitability.
Secretary: Issue of people outside of cabinet not reading minutes or not caring about what is happening behind the scenes. Some members of the NSSSA may not even realize that the minutes are available for them to read. Minutes in themselves can vary dramatically from interesting, to seeming a complete waste of time. It would be useful to work on including vital information and omitting minor details.
CC Co-Chairs: Problem with decreasing numbers at conference in comparison to past years. Possible solutions could include lowering conference prices by cutting back on advisors, chaps, and logistics, as well as increasing sponsor opportunities. Many complaints came from the Exceeding Expectations survey surrounding a lack of freedom during conference. Conference Committee plans on working with logistics to be able to manage delegates without constant supervision. Hopeful to allow more free time and opportunities for returning to dorm rooms/having time away from the constant social interaction.
IC Co-Chairs: Hope to find a more accessible venue (potentially able to have all of conference on one floor – levelling out). IC also wants to work towards including an option on regional conference forms for students with intellectual, mental, or physical disabilities to request a delegate assistant for their regional conference.
Gala Co-Chairs: Problem with people being aware of who can go to Gala. Hopes to promote to more people as well as find a nicer venue at a more affordable price.
Chignecto Co-Premiers: Chignecto regional conferences numbers have been much lower than previous years. Cabinet hopes to strengthen PR presence as well as lower prices and have a larger amount of information sessions.
CBV Co-Premiers: Issues with venue. CBU not accommodating as well as other places may. Rules are too strict (no cheering), there is a large set up, and the committee has not been provided with necessary equipment. Hopes to find a new venue earlier rather than later as well as plan everything in a timely manner and stick to deadlines.
Other PC members recommend confronting CBU or changing venues all together.
Metro Co-Premiers: Hope to increase the quality of skill building sessions, making them more focused and pointed. Also raising promotion – especially aimed towards sports teams and athletic students who do not seem to know what NSSSA is. A plan for the coming year is to include check boxes on forms for students to decide whether they want to receive email notifications of other NSSSA events.
Strait Co-Premiers: This region has great interest and attendance but, this must be kept up. If lost it will be hard to recover. Work must be done with principals to ensure strong relations and boost conference attendance. Not every school in this region has conference attendants, this decreases numbers.
Sou’West Co-Premiers: Junior conference has disappeared from this region, but hoping to bring it back this year. Region feels as though junior conference is a great way of being introduced into the organization and would increase numbers at regionals. Sou’West is a geographically large region, so it is found that people from farther away are less likely to attend conference. This will hopefully be remedied by finding a more central venue for regionals.
Valley Co-Premiers: Numbers are always an issue. There are only four out of nine schools from the entire region sending students to conference, which means that for the coming year, the committee hopes to promote and so presentations focusing on the schools that are not participating, namely Horton High (which has a past advisor as a teacher) and Aberview.
Media Relations: Hoping to focus more on in school promotion as opposed to social media. Cabinet agreeing on the idea of approaching students themselves in schools that don’t want presentations. It is more difficult for schools to say no when they are being asked by both sides (students and NSSSA).
Webmaster: Currently no Webmaster.
Voting – Any important decision within Provincial Cabinet must be made as a whole, and will be put to a vote. All members of cabinet (excluding Gala Co-Chairs, Past President, Webmaster, Provincial Advisor, and Financial Advisor) are entitled to vote. In order for a vote to be held, two thirds of PC must be in attendance of the meeting. Voting occurs after a motion is presented by one member of the committee and another member seconds that motion, after which the topic is open for discussion prior to a vote. It has been decided that in the case of a closed eyed vote, cabinet members will write their vote on a ballot as opposed to physically closing their eyes and voting. More logical and professional. The president will not cast their vote during the meeting time, but instead will record their vote prior and be counted only in the case of a tie.
Emails – While occasional contact can be done through Facebook, all official business will be done via email. The proper response time for an email is within 24 hours of it being sent, not received. Even if there is no time to write a full response, the email should at least be answered to acknowledge it has been received within this time. If someone is not replying to an email, one should feel free to email a second time to ask if it has been received. It is not rude to follow up on getting the information you need.
Any emails sent should be CCed to your partner so they remain aware of what you are doing. If you receive an email that your partner is not CCed in, add them. As a general rule, anything money related must be CCed to the finance team (Molly, Liam, Katelyn, Chloe, Eliza, Abe, John) and anything related to venues should CC to Molly, Liam, and Katelyn.
It is not usually necessary to BCC anyone unless it involves mass emails where recipients should not have access to each other’s email addresses.
Social Media – Anything posted on social media that connects to the three “d’s” of NSSSA will be unacceptable and asked to be removed. Always be aware of what is happening around you, such as pictures others may be taking of you that could be posted. Never wear any spirit wear that could be connected with the NSSSA to a party where illegal activities could be taking place. The same rules must be applied within Regional Cabinets, so Co-Premiers must be prepared to keep an eye on their cabinets social media accounts in case of this rule being broken. When looking for anything inappropriate, keep in mind “Friends Only” accounts as well as Snapchat stories.
If someone is questioning if what they are posting is appropriate or not, it is better to just not post it.
When it comes to alumni, it is obviously not illegal to post pictures containing alcohol, but they should still do so cautiously as it is still connected to a secondary school association. Alumni of the age of majority should also refrain from any actions relating to the NSSSA when under the influence (cheers, songs, etc.).
Attendance – There is a three strike rule when it comes to cabinet meeting attendance. Absence for three meetings puts a member’s position in jeopardy, allowing someone to motion to remove this member from PC. Same rules apply to all regional cabinets and committees. Any person knowing they will be absent must email their regrets to the presidential trio (who determine if the excuse is valid) as well as the secretary at least 24 hours prior to the meeting (with an acception of sudden illness or an emergency). Absentees without excuse will be marked as a no-show. If every reasonable attempt is made in order for one to attend, they may Skype or call in for the majority of the meeting.
Aside from actual attendance of a meeting, punctuality is also incredibly important and the secretary will keep a separate list for people who arrive late.
Within Regional Cabinets, meetings should be held consistently (weekly or biweekly) in order to encourage optimal attendance. It is difficult for cabinet members to make arrangements for attending when meeting dates are irregular. It is recommended to speak to cabinet members about any cultural or religious holidays that the co-premiers may not be aware of to schedule around.
Website – The NSSSA website works as a very useful tool for all cabinets. It acts as a distribution of forms for conferences as well as information about the organization as a whole and as separate regions. Any item cabinets wish to add to the website must be sent to the webmaster as far in advance as possible. The coming year brings hope of improving the website to include more photos, information about cabinets, and personalization.
The website is the face of NSSSA as many businesses and interested students go there first for information. This means that all posted items must be as professional as possible – including minutes, forms, and newsletters.
Brand – Social Media plays a large role in the NSSSA as a brand. A majority of the advertising and promotion for the organization is done through social media, so cabinet should make sure to be as professional as possible. Everything said is now connected to the organization, so it is vital to proofread, post links to the website, and put the NSSSA in the best light possible. As members of Provincial Cabinet many people who attend conferences will be aware of the people leading the organization, thus them knowing you even if you do not know them.
Location: Unicorn Theatre, Head of Saint Margaret’s Bay
Time of Commencement: 8:35
Time of Adjournment: 10:49
Duration: 2 hr 14 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Mitchell Archibald, Aidan MacFarlane, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Gabrielle Torrealba, Christina Nickerson, Micci Davy, Chloe Dean-Moore, Molly Somers, Selena Landry, Zac Foran, Patrick Wallace, Kayla Jenkin, Emma Hogenbom, Camryn Smith, Haeley Langlois, Beth O’Connell, Amy Oickle
Present non-voting members: Lorne Abramson, Maggie MacNeil, Gordon Burns, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Brooke Kattenbusch, Connor Poirier, Tatum Arcon, John Robertson, Eliza Nobes
Meeting Logistics: Choosing locations and dates for cabinet meetings can be difficult – especially for provincial cabinets such as PC, IC, and CC. Potential deciding factors for meeting venues include percent based, majority based, and remaining in a central location.
The main factor of discussion revolved around cabinet members living in the further ends of the province (Sou’West and CBV). It is thought that it is a lot harder for these people to find transportation as opposed to people living in more central locations (Metro, Valley, Chig). There are also factors such as the comfort of parents allowing their children to travel across the province alone, accommodations for members staying overnight, access to bus/shuttle stops and routes, and expense of travel (on individuals and the organization). The goal of cabinet is to have meetings in locations that will be the most fair for everyone travelling. It does not seem reasonable to ask cabinet members to drive the entire length of the province for a meeting. It is thought by members of cabinet that holding meetings in central locations (Metro, Strait, Chig, Valley) would be the most fair way of lessening travel for everyone.
Katelyn motions to hold 2016-2017 Provincial Cabinet meetings in logical, central locations.
Zac seconds this motions
Universities (St. FX, Mount St. Vincent, Acadia, etc.) act as good meeting locations because of their knowledge of the NSSSA, the organization’s commitment to some of these places, as well as the ease of accommodations surrounding them. Cabinet should be careful of choosing locations and it should always be considered that some venues will be more or less expensive than others. Dates should also remain relatively consistent (not one at the very end of the month, and one at the very beginning).
18 in favour, 2 non present voting members
Provincial Cabinet Meeting Dates:
⦁ September 17th – Mount St. Vincent
⦁ October 22nd – Acadia
⦁ November 5th – St. FX
⦁ Dec 18th – Mount St. Vincent
⦁ January and past – TBA
Advisors, Chaps, and Logistics: Valley, Chignecto, and IC currently without advisors. Chignecto’s Head First Aid is old enough to be a potential advisor. Advisor from last year’s IC showed interest but did not submit a form, the cabinet plans on contacting them.
It was mentioned a few times about reducing numbers of advisors, chaps, or logistics in order to reduce costs. The current ratio for chaps and logistics is 1:15, but this was never a written rule, just a safety precaution. It is suggested that regions aim for this number, but if it cannot be reached, there is nothing stopping students from attending conference. The school board holds specific rules regarding ‘school trips’ and numbers of chaperones, but if a school attends with the wrong number of people, it is not the fault of the NSSSA.
Logistic numbers vary across the province; larger regions require more logistics than smaller regions do. Provincial conference obviously requires the largest amount of logistics in order to maintain the amount of delegates, but it could be possible to reduce this number by having CC members take on some of the roles of logistics during conference.
There will be further discussion surrounding reduction of advisors, chaps, and logistics at the next meeting.
August Retreat: Looking back at last year’s training retreat, the goal for this year’s retreat is to have a more professional setting as well as a more cost effective venue. This goal was made formal by a motion last year. To reach the goal the retreat will be held at St.FX University. The KMC will be used for sleeping and meeting space. The Schwartz building will be used for training, and Morrison Hall for meals. The weekend will cost roughly $5,000 as opposed to last year’s cost of $12,000. Using St.FX as a location is thought to be ideal because of NSSSA’s partnership with the university and the possibility of the contract providing us with lower costs in the future. The date of the retreat is the weekend of August 27th and 28th.
A concern was raised regarding the amount of people gone on vacation in August. However, it was suggested that people attending the retreat will be able to pass along information to the absent members on their cabinet, as we will never be able to accommodate all members who should be in attendance.
Katelyn motions to hold the Cabinet and Committee training retreat at St. FX with a maximum budget of $6,500.
Patrick seconds this motion.
A large concern surrounding the retreat is the price and how it will affect the organization and this year’s budget. Because the NSSSA does not have the expendable money needed for this retreat, it is suggested that the funds are found by other means, such as raising conference fees, spending less money on conferences, incorporating a portion of retreat expense into every region’s budget, finding more sponsors, having regions add extra to the 20% overhead, and raising the Alumni fee.
The main way to make the retreat work is to budget the cost into every region’s conference. This means cutting back on overall conference costs as well as raising attendance from delegates in order to increase the revenue. If the motion is passed, everyone is agreeing to this.
Vote results with 18 in favour, 2 non present voting members.
Retreat will be held at St. FX on August 27th and 28th.
Location: Unicorn Theatre, Saint Margaret’s Bay
Time of Commencement: 8:37
Time of Adjournment: 10:29
Duration: 1 hr 52 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Beth O’Connell, Camryn Smith, Gabrielle Torrealba, Zac Foran, Patrick Wallace, Amy Oickle, Emma Hogenbom, Molly Somers, Selena Landry, Aidan MacFarlane, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Mitchell Archibald, Micci Davy, Christina Nickerson
Present non-voting members: Lorne Abramson
Regrets: Eliza Nobes, Connor Poirier, Brooke Kattenbusch, Tatum Arcon, Gordon Burns, Maggie MacNeil, John Robertson, Meagan Kettley, Haeley Langlois, Kayla Jenkin,
Updates: (Roles of Cabinet Members)
President: PC should always remember that the President, as well as VPI and VPE are the partners of everyone on cabinet. They are there in order to help their cabinet get their jobs done, and do them well. Anyone with questions should feel comfortable asking for answers or for any help when feeling overwhelmed. Molly asks that cabinet sends her emails, but if there is no reply, to feel free to call her. Co-Premiers in particular should ask questions because of the Presidential trio’s past experience with being Co-Premieres themselves.
VP External: The role of the VPE is to work with everything that affects the entire organization at an external standpoint. This could include speaking with outside businesses about partnerships and donations or speaking with media. If any outside source is in contact with a member of PC regarding donations, Liam should be contacted and will direct the message to whoever needs it.
VP Internal: VPI’s job is helping every person on cabinet and making sure the organization is running smoothly from the inside. Katelyn will be the one to organize occasional check-ins with the positions on PC.
Secretary: Main job is to record minutes of all Provincial Cabinet meetings to be accessed by PC meetings as well as the public (via the NSSSA website). Updates from all positions must be sent to Molly and the presidential trio at least three days prior to a meeting. These updates are to include everything the member plans on speaking about at the meeting.
Once minutes are edited they will be emailed to all PC members to read through and send back corrections to Molly. It is mandatory to reply to these emails as there will be a keyword or phrase written somewhere in the minutes that people need to include in their reply to prove the minutes have been read.
Upon Abe’s request minutes will include an “Action Required” feature that will follow a discussion in order to describe what is expected of a position prior to the next meeting.
Media Relations: This year Selena will be working on promoting NSSSA through media across the province. She will have access to all of the official social media accounts as well as create the monthly newsletters sent to those NSSSA members subscribed. These newsletters will include short updates from PC positions, which must be sent in or else they will be written on your behalf.
There has already been contact from television programs about getting interviews or including a story on NSSSA. The organization is hopeful that the coming year will bring further opportunities for promotions like these as it would act as an incredibly valuable method of the public understanding what we do as well as boosting numbers.
Action Required- Co premiers to research media opportunities within their region and compile a list to give to Selena. Molly has contacts for the HRM.
Head School Rep Coordinator
At the end of the past year, a new PC position was proposed due to confusion in provincial conference promotion. The purpose of the HSR Coordinator is to streamline information from Provincial Cabinet to Head School Reps of each region and to insure uniform promotion is being completed all across the province. The responsibilities of this position are as follows:
⦁ Attend all PC meetings
⦁ Send emails and contact all Head School Reps about provincial conference
⦁ Create and give media presentations
⦁ Host Head School Rep meetings
⦁ Provide effective feedback to members of PC as well as regional cabinets
⦁ Run campaigns for the promotion of NSSSA
⦁ Aid all Head School Reps with any possible issues or concerns
⦁ Take on any other role asked of by Provincial Cabinet
Mitch’s plan for the coming year is based on consistent communication within the province. All head school reps should be giving the same idea of what NSSSA is to all schools they visit and come in contact with. There should be no school in Nova Scotia that has not heard of the NSSSA.
Even if the school is far out of the way, someone will be able to get you there. The key schools to focus on are the ones that are not currently participating or sending students to conference. Head School Reps will be working more diligently in the coming year even after their regional conference has been completed, at which point they will be focusing on promotion of the provincial conference.
Mitchell will host frequent phone calls with Head School Reps (most likely bi-weekly during busy times) in the case of questions or unsurity.
Discussion was held to determine the best way of choosing head school reps, resulting it it being up to the discretion of the co premiers as to whether they choose preexisting cabinet members or completely new people to fulfil the role. In either situation, RC members should keep in mind to not overstep their positions and encroach on the head school reps doing their own jobs within the schools.
There has been talk about certain schools being unresponsive to contact from NSSSA, mostly within private and French schools. The thought is that not enough effort is going in to getting these schools involved, and there will be more work done in the coming year to encourage both administration and students of these schools to want to attend conference. Aside from these schools, it is thought to be also beneficial to speak with the organization in charge of homeschooling.
It is not thought to be a waste of time to reach out to these schools and focus energy on getting them to support the NSSSA because of the sake of students. There is no such thing as too much leadership or putting too much effort into helping your students grow and gain new experiences.
Working with Members of PC
Working With a Partner – the most important person a cabinet member will have for the year. Partners act as the one to go to for everything needed NSSSA related. Everything is shared between partners, emails, data, finances, questions, problems, workload, etc. It is recommended that partners focus on their strengths in order to ‘divide and conquer’ tasks. For example, on co-premier could be in charge of financing while the other keeps track of databases (however, even if tasks are separate, partners should still always know the details of what each other are doing).
Working with Cabinet – People should be cautious of having good friends on their cabinet. Of course everyone will end up being close after spending the year together, but every member of cabinet needs to remember that the wellbeing of the organization is the priority. If a friend is breaking any rules or not completing their job to satisfaction, they must be treated the same as anyone else. Co-Premiers and Co-Chairs should always keep in mind that they are on equal with the rest of their cabinet. There are no more or less important positions in NSSSA, and a conference could not happen missing any of them. Co-Premiers and Co-Chairs should be approachable as they are the partners of everyone on their cabinet as well as the people they will go to for answers and support. Be friendly, but don’t be afraid to enforce rules (ask to take down inappropriate pictures from social media and keep meetings on topic – save the fun for later).
Abe points out that Regional Advisors should always be informed on what is happening and what is expected of them. Give advisors updates so that they are aware of everything before the fact. They are there because they want to be, make sure they are appreciated.
Being on Provincial Cabinet – It is vital to always be prepared, especially when meetings run as long as they do. Highly recommended to use the help of other cabinet members who may be experiencing the same issues in their own regions. PC members should keep in mind that changes only happen when they are talked about, so don’t be scared to speak up about ideas or concerns. Put them in the updates to ensure they aren’t forgotten.
2016-2017 Potential Conference Dates:
⦁ Chig – Dec 3rd
⦁ Valley – Junior Conference Nov 26th, Regional Conference Feb 18th/19th
⦁ Strait – Junior Conference Oct 29th, Regional Conference Nov 19th
⦁ Sou’West – TBA
⦁ Metro – Nov 12th
⦁ IC – March 25th
⦁ CC – May 18th to 21st
⦁ CBV – Nov 26th/27th
Motion to adjourn: Aidan MacFarlane, motion seconded by Kassandra Kelbratowski
Date for Next Meeting: August 27th at St.FX