NSSSA Minutes from:
Provincial Cabinet Meeting
Location: St. FX University
Time of Commencement: 11:02
Time of Adjournment: 1:35
Duration: 2 hr 33 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Aidan MacFarlane, Amy Oickle, Beth O’Connell, Brooke Kattenbusch, Camryn Smith, Christina Nickerson, Eliza Nobes, Emma Hogenbom, Gabrielle Torrealba, Haeley Langlois, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Katelyn Libbus, Kayla Jenkin, Mitchell Archibald, Molly Anderson, Molly Somers, Patrick Wallace, Selena Landry, Tatum Arcon, Zac Foran
Present non-voting members: Dereck Thibault, Gordon Burns, Lorne Abramson, Maggie MacNeil, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Chloe Dean-Moore, Connor Poirier, Liam Halliburton, John Robertson
President: The previous month has brought forward new goals for the coming year as well as bonding opportunity within Provincial Cabinet to ensure success. Along with appointing a new webmaster to sit on the Provincial Cabinet, Molly sat on the training Sub-Committee and aided in the organization of the 2016-2017 NSSSA Cabinet and Committee Training Retreat. The NSSSA sent representatives to the HRM Youth Leadership Summit in order to promote and explain the organization. As well, discussion has began with Mount St. Vincent surrounding the current MOU held with NSSSA in regards to Metro and Inclusion conferences.
Molly would remind cabinet members to ensure she and the vice presidents are sent emails pertaining to venues, money, cabinet decisions, and any other vital information by including them in the CC recipients.
VP Internal: Most phone check-ins were completed prior to the training retreat, and any remaining will be executed within the coming week. Any person with a preferred method of contacting Katelyn for these check-ins (ie; email, video call, etc.) should inform her as soon as possible. Updates from Provincial Cabinet members were collected in the days prior to training retreat, and should be sent in 3 days preceding any meeting by every position on cabinet.
Provincial Advisor: Contact has been made with principals of some of the smaller schools in the province who are not currently involved in the NSSSA but are requesting information. It is important to focus attention on contacting these kinds of schools as the larger schools are already involved and promote within themselves.
Abe questions the reliability of Mount St. Vincent as a venue and supplier of marketing/recruitment. There is a possibility of the NSSSA finding a new Metro location within the next few years.
Treasurers: The Audit – On July 21st, Finance submitted audit to the CRA from the 3rd quarter of last fiscal year and confirmation has been received that the submitted data is accepted. The amount received from said quarter’s tax filing is expected to be roughly $1,100.
Joint Stock Companies – Finance has renewed the NSSSA’s membership with the Nova Scotia Joint Stock companies and paid the annual fee of $31.00. As well, an updated list of members sitting on the board of directors has been submitted, including Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Maggie Macneil, Chloe Dean-Moore, and Lorne Abramson.
Final HST Filing – The last HST for the past financial year has been submitted at approximately $8,000, which signifies an improvement from the $11,000 submission of two years ago.
Signing Rights – Finance is currently working on updating the NSSSA Signatories (signing rights). This year those holding access to the accounts will be; Chloe Dean-Moore, Eliza Nobes, Molly Anderson, Liam Haliburton, Katelyn Libbus, Maggie Macneil, Lorne Abramson, and John Robertson. Upon contact from RBC’s Lance Mattson, the aforementioned cabinet members will be informed on how to gain their access.
Quickbooks – Jason has turned over his quickbooks administrative rights to John Robertson. John’s credit card will be connected to this account and he will be sent an invoice and charged for quickbooks every month, the cost of which being reimbursed. Eliza Nobes and Chris Mossop are currently setting up their own quickbook accounts.
Finalizing This Year’s Books – Last year’s quickbooks are currently being finalized by adding the most recent tax filings as well as entering the last cheques. When this is complete, the books will be given to Chris Mossop for review. When final numbers are completed, they will be available to the Provincial Cabinet.
Next Year’s Finances: A meeting is being planned for discussion of the coming year’s finances. Topics of discussion will include a Provincial Cabinet budget, reviewing financial processes and procedures, and the number of necessary NSSSA bank accounts.
There are several advantages to reducing the number of accounts that we currently hold, including reducing bank fees, having a higher chance of receiving charitable status, and make bookkeeping more efficient.
Secretary: Minutes from previous meeting are not yet live due to not having access to the website, but will be posted as soon as possible. Molly has begun to consider options for Provincial Cabinet spirit wear and will be posting voting polls on the Facebook group at a later date. All clothing orders should be sent to Steve in October in order to receive them by conference season.
CC Co-Chairs: A completed Conference Committee has been selected for the 2016-2017 year, and every student who submitted an application was contacted by Kassandra or Aidan. Potential date for the debrief with St. FX has been set for October 1st to 2nd but not all details are confirmed. Conference Committee co-chairs have begun to consider their budget, methods of lowering expenditures for provincial conference, as well as possible changes to the content of the conference (such as SkillBuilding activities, positional responsibilities, and the prospect of returning “How-To” sessions). Training retreat was spent considering larger updates to the function of conference – namely the registration and payment process. St. FX has offered online registration for NSSSA conferences, which could lead to easier access to potential delegates and a simpler experience for those paying the conference fee. The idea is not confirmed, but would be an advisor based application where delegates would be unable to register unless their school held an advisor in the system, who then confirms that they will be able to bring the student. This is an opportunity to discuss further at a future date, but warrants scepticism over raising prices and the chance of not intriguing any use.
IC Co-Chairs: Christina and Micci have discussed who will have access to databases as well as potential conference dates, application deadlines, and venues. Organization of the opportunities fair is currently under work and the Co-Chairs plan on giving their Public Relations a template with a goal of a certain number of opportunity fair guests to contact. A possible change to the event for this year is to invite parents to take part in the opportunity fair as well as include presenters with the option to stay at conference and potentially ask them to run How-To sessions. This will provide everyone with a better idea of what happens at conference, and what Inclusion is striving for. There has also been discussion on what details would be included on a new form for Regional and Provincial conferences in order for students with special needs to feel included and comfortable attending events outside of Inclusion.
Gala Co-Chairs: Gala held a check in with Katelyn to discuss venues as well as potential dates. Gordon and Meagan have contacted Dalhousie University, the Atlantica Hotel, and the Gahan House as possible venues to organize tours and taste testing. The chosen venue will hopefully be confirmed by mid October in order to have Gala tickets live throughout conference season. Contact has been made with NSSSA alumni regarding having them as a guest speaker at the event, and a timeline has been created with deadlines for the coming year. Co-Premiers and Co-Chairs should remain aware of members of their cabinets during conference planning as it has been decided that there will be Cabinet and Committee awards. Gala Co-Chairs hold the goal of better promotion of who can attend the event as well as possible use of the St. FX bus (which would be determined in Conference Committee’s contract with the university) to transport students from that area and increase attendance.
Chignecto Co-Premiers: On August 5th Chignecto held their first Regional Cabinet meeting of the year. Discussions focused on ground rules of being part of the cabinet, but the meeting acted mostly as a bonding experience. Information about positions and social media were passed on to cabinet members, and dates for conferences were considered with little conflict. Venues and dates will be finalized for both Junior and Regional Conferences in September. Chignecto currently remains without a regional advisor and hopes to find one in the coming month. The Welcoming Chair of the cabinet has taken on the role of Secretary on top of her prior position upon the resignation of the originally appointed.
CBV Co-Premiers: CBV looked into alternate venues but both options have either declined or have not given an answer, so conference will continue to be held at Cape Breton University. After discussing with the venue about necessary space for conference, rooms have been booked for the weekend of November 26th and 27th. CBV Regional Cabinet held an informal retreat at Connor’s house to meet everyone as well as inform everyone of rules and expectations for the coming year. At a later date, a formal Regional Cabinet meeting was held where discussions focused on determining RC spirit wear, conference names, and a debrief on the Co-Chairs’ meeting with Cape Breton University. Regional Cabinet meetings are determined to be held every Sunday.
CBV hopes to brainstorm potential fundraisers in order to reduce conference costs or have select students attend for free, explore potential conference speakers, and contact the venue regarding items for delegate bags.
Metro Co-Premiers: Since the past Provincial Cabinet meeting, Metro Regional Cabinet has held a bonding event with attendance from both the new and old cabinet and has provided members with tasks that can be worked on during this time. Brooke and Gabrielle have met with their regional advisor to discuss plans and expectations for the coming year and have created a list of potential keynote speakers, though have already been contacted by one interested presenter. Discussion with Mount St. Vincent will begin shortly.
Sou’West Co-Premiers: Sou’West Regional Cabinet has now received the majority of their turnover packages from last year, excluding those for the Co-Premiers, Public Relations, Skillbuilding Co-Chair, and Secretary. A Facebook group has been created for the cabinet with introductions of each member, and a non mandatory get together was held in Dayspring for a bonding opportunity. The cabinet has brainstormed conference venues, conference dates (possibly around November 9th for Junior Conference, February 11th and 12th for the first Regional Conference, and April 1st and 2nd for the second Regional Conference), and conference names.
Strait Co-Premiers: Since the last Provincial Cabinet meeting, Strait has held two Regional Cabinet meetings as well as a bonding event. A schedule for further meetings was determined at this time. Zac and Patrick have also had a meeting with the St. FX Conferences and Events team to create a contract draft as well as confirm their conference date for November 19th and 20th. Zac Crouse was contacted as a potential keynote speaker for Strait’s regional conference. Regional Cabinet has decided to host a grade 9 conference and are awaiting a response from the potential venue (Strait Area Education Recreation Centre).
Krista MacEachern, an advisor for a leadership and volunteer group has asked Strait to organize a workshop day for grade seven to twelve students, which would most likely be held in second semester and could be an effective promotional event.
Strait region hopes to gain a speaking time at an SRSB principal meeting to introduce the Co-Premiers and Head School Reps to the school board’s principals. There has not yet been a response from the coordinator, Paul Landry.
Conference names are confirmed as being S.M.I.L.E. (Supporting and Motivating Individuals with Leadership Experiences) for Grade 9, and L.I.F.T. U.P. (Leadership Involving Fundamental Teamwork and Understanding Possibilities) for Regionals.
Valley Co-Premiers: Valley has not yet had the chance to hold a meeting, but they will begin weekly at the start of school. Still looking for a regional advisor.
Media Relations: Selena will soon gain access to all social media accounts and will become an admin for the NSSSA Facebook page. She is waiting on contact from each of the regions with media opportunities so they can be acted upon. A deadline for this will be determined and shared with Co-Premiers at a later date.
Past President: Currently waiting to view outcome and final numbers from retreat. Apart from minor miscommunications (such as rooms being locked), everything appeared to be a success. Payment will be based on the number of attendees eating at meal hall in order to not be charged for people who left earlier/arrived late. Final numbers will be submitted when database is completed.
Webmaster: Basecamp – Possible option for a project management software that could be used by each region to organize files, assign tasks, create to-do lists/timelines, and keep track of everyone’s activities and completed actions. Instead of receiving multiple emails from cabinet members, base camp distributes a daily email concerning all activity from the previous day. This could provide a more efficient and organized system of communication.
The NSSSA website will be a vital source of information in the coming year, so it is asked that everyone keeps track of activity on the website and inform the webmaster of any corrections.
Action Required – Co-premiers are to send in the names and contacts of their regional cabinet members for Dereck to publish on the website.
Social Media Accounts – Dereck talked to Public Relations about the necessity of each region having their own accounts and the issue of keeping unity in information. It is thought that every social media account requires it to have a purpose to the organization, and this could mean that less is necessary. For the coming year there will be a single page to act as the NSSSA’s main Facebook presence. Individual regions are still welcome to create Facebook groups for their cabinets and events for their conferences. There will also be only one provincial Instagram account including pictures that every region can provide and submit to be displayed. Each region should hold its own Twitter account to focus on interaction within the region’s community (specifically with businesses) to push the NSSSA’s presence and legitimacy. NSSSA accounts should only follow one another as well as appropriate businesses rather than outside individuals. If this is followed, the main page of twitter should contain useful information that can be helpful to retweet. It is recommended to create lists to make it easier to communicate with specific types of accounts. Co-premiers and Co-chairs should discuss this with their Public Relations. A hope for the coming year is to increase the popularity of a provincial Youtube channel. The channel would be used for produced videos such as the CC conference introduction and promotional videos. Content could be sent to the Webmaster to display on the website, bringing attention to the channel. Discussion was held surrounding the necessity of NSSSA holding a Snapchat account. Some cabinet members feel as though Snapchat may come across as being too unprofessional and pointless in a promotional sense due to the short time limit on stories being viewable, and the fact that any followers would already be a part of the NSSSA community. Opposingly, Snapchat is a successful media for holding contests during conference as well as an opportunity for delegates to send in pictures that would otherwise be missed chances for posting on other accounts. Snapchat has become one of the most popular social mediums and can prove to be a useful source of promotion with the use of a NSSSA geofilter and conference attendees posting about their experience. NSSSA will keep its Snapchat account, ‘nsssalive’ but will limit use to primarily during conference days. It will be much easier and cleaner to feature social media accounts on the website if there aren’t numerous versions of the same thing.
Effectiveness of Social Media – Cabinets should hold a conversation about the purpose and use of each social media. There has never before been a plan within the NSSSA on how to more effectively promote online, so Dereck will be sending out a PDF on the topic of social media use. It is recommended to search through inactive pages and have them deleted. Having them online confuses people as to what is current, and makes it appear as though admins simply aren’t updating their accounts. An alternative to this is to make contact with the previous holders of the account and have the current cabinet take control of the original account, just remember that the fewer people with access to passwords, the better.
It may be useful for Public Relations and Media Relations to search and read articles on effective use of social media to learn more about tips and strategies for more popular posts.
Head School Rep Coordinator: During retreat Mitchell had the chance to speak with the Head School Reps from each region and brainstorm the most effective ways to describe and promote the NSSSA. This is a topic that will be worked on through the year with the help of all Head School Reps and the Provincial Cabinet in order to create an accurate presentation that can be given to every school. A Facebook group has been created for the use of Mitchell and the Head School Reps and will be used along with emails as the main form of communication between them.
Goals for the coming year, and longer if necessary, include acquiring a complete School and Principal Database for Head School Reps to have access to in order for every school to be contacted and ideally presented at. In order to achieve the goal of having presentations within every Nova Scotia secondary school, there needs to be meaningful communication between NSSSA cabinet members and school administration, meaning the two would have a continuous conversation over email or other media in a professional, persistent manner. Lastly, Mitchell hopes to focus on promotion and presentation of both provincial conferences in order to increase the general knowledge of them and possibly increase attendance.
Motion to adjourn: Katelyn Libbus. Micci Davy seconds the motion.
Date for Next Meeting: September 17th at Mount St. Vincent University