NSSSA Minutes from:
Provincial Cabinet Meeting
Location: St. FX University
Time of Commencement: 1:19
Time of Adjournment: 3:34
Duration: 2 hr 15 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Amy Oickle, Beth O’Connell, Brooke Kattenbusch, Camryn Smith, Chloe Dean-Moore, Christina Nickerson, Connor Poirier, Emma Hogenbom, Gabrielle Torrealba, Haeley Langlois, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Katelyn Libbus, Kayla Jenkin, Liam Haliburton, Micci Davy, Molly Anderson, Molly Somers, Patrick Wallace, Selena Landry, Tatum Arcon, Zac Foran
Present non-voting members: Gordon Burns, Lorne Abramson, Maggie MacNeil, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Aidan MacFarlane, Derrick Thibault, Eliza Nobes, Mitchell Archibald, John Robertson
President: Molly has spent the past weeks fixing issues that have been arising within the regions and organizations as a whole. She urges everyone to remember to include her along with Katelyn and Liam so that they can help avoid these problems. On a separate note, regions are doing very well in the distribution and opportunity for scholarships for their conferences.
Molly also suggests that cabinets hold an anonymous or signed open survey of how the cabinet feels on the Co-Premiers or Co-Chairs leadership skills. Prompt them to give feedback on strengths and weaknesses as it is incredibly helpful for finding what can be worked on, and gives an opportunity to grow individually and as a cabinet.
VP External: Along with working with Molly and Katelyn to resolve issues within the organization, Liam has made all necessary edits to the document regarding the NSSSA’s social media plan for 2016 and 2017 after the motion to pass it was defeated and amendments were created. The Snapchat section of this plan now fits each region and committee’s preference as decided by the Provincial Cabinet.
VP Internal: Since the last meeting, Katelyn has completed the regular check-ins with co-premiers in order to stay up to date with conference planning. She reiterates the need for communication within the cabinet outside of meetings for the reduction of issues and necessary fixes. There is no way to avoid these problems and have the help of Molly, Katelyn, and Liam, if they are unaware of the actions of regions.
Provincial Advisor: Abe has received multiple phone calls within the past weeks. Principals from Strait and Metro have contacted him regarding how impressed they have been with proper organization and sharing of information from the NSSSA. Private schools are registering students for Metro’s Regional Conference, and a high school that has not been highly involved in the NSSSA in the past has registered approximately 20 students to attend conference, some of which with special needs. This brings the calls about inclusion. Many schools are very intrigued and happy with the invitation for special needs students to attend regional conferences with the aid of a delegate assistant.
Finally, Abe received a phone call from the insurance company after having so many regions requesting liability forms. According to the representative of the company, they are incredibly impressed with the organization for thinking of this and that many other organizations rarely bother, showing the responsibility and professionalism of the NSSSA.
Treasurers: Chloe and Eliza have been working with Chris to reconcile to last quarter’s books in order to file for HST. This quarter we will be receiving a refund of $721.13 as a result of the expenses during the period of July to September while there was no corresponding revenue.
With conference season arriving, the treasurers expect to receive updated budgets from co-premiers much more regularly. Along with these, it is incredibly important that money is deposited as soon as possible after it is received, and that deposit slips are sent to Chloe and Eliza just as promptly. Also, finance requires that quotes and invoices are sent immediately. These things are all to insure that the finance team can help regions make good financial decisions and make sure everything can be afforded.
Secretary: Provincial Cabinet spirit wear has been ordered, and will be distributed at the December meeting. Molly still needs money from Mitchell, Brooke, Molly A, and Meagan.
CC Co-Chairs: CC has held a meeting for this year’s committee to discuss free time at conference, the structure of the itinerary, How-To sessions, the opportunities fair, and the possibility of holding a concert on opening night of conference.
It is determined that How-To sessions will return to conference and will revolve around a couple of topics, being taught by various groups so that material is consistent for all delegates. The committee is very eager to follow through with the idea of holding a concert and plan on discussing with artist Rich Aucoin to come to an agreement at the lowest price possible. The committee has also been exploring potential methods of creating a more interactive and attention-grabbing opportunities fair, such as adding in activities alongside the existing recruiters.
Last year’s CC Co-Chairs along with the current, met with some of the staff from St. FX, holding a meeting to discuss the potential of online registration, which will be a topic to discuss in greater detail later, but is a very possible additive to this year’s Provincial Cabinet. One of the staff members has been researching speakers on behalf of Conference Committee with the common goal of finding more relatable speakers. As well, there was discussion around a more effective space for the dance as well as a replacement for Nicholson Hall, which is being removed from campus.
IC Co-Chairs: IC has ordered their spirit wear, which will be antique cherry red crewnecks. The committee has been completed with the addition of a Head First Aid, and plans on working closely with Mitch and the Head School Reps to promote and communicate in and out of learning centres to give presentations to teachers and students. IC’s Public Relations hope to focus on gathering monetary donations as well as items for delegate bags. As well, there is discussion within the committee surrounding finding speakers who are more relatable to delegates as well as the possibility of shortening conference.
Gala Co-Chairs: After consulting with Dalhousie University, Meagan and Gordon have found that the only available date for Gala at that venue would be May 13th. This would not be ideal for Gala as it is the weekend prior to Provincial Conference, where a majority of the tickets are sold. As well, Dalhousie, though the venue would be free, would charge $28 per plate, which is in comparison to the $24 of last year’s event. Gordon and Meagan have decided to begin contacting alternate venues within Halifax, including last year’s host, Saint Mary’s University. The Co-Chairs are also working on their budget to send in to Chloe and Eliza, and are continuously discussing new ideas for Gala 2017.
Chignecto Co-Premiers: Since the previous meeting, Chignecto has received another liability paper to give to their junior conference venue (Northumberland Regional High School), placed their order for cabinet spiritwear (heathered green quarter zips), and began to plan activities for advisors to get them more involved in the NSSSA and entertain them at conference more than in the past. The cabinet is in the process of organizing donations from either Subway or Greco for lunch at junior conference, and have posted forms online as well as sent mailouts to schools.
CBV Co-Premiers: CBV has booked and signed a contract with speaker Tyler Hayden, who was at last year’s Provincial Conference. They have also been contact with multiple businesses about the conference’s opportunity fair, began collecting forms, planned a mini retreat for Regional Conference, finalized a first draft of the conference itinerary, decided on having no How-Tos for regional conference, and contacted a bank that hopes to be a larger sponsor for CBV. The region held a media contests with two winners and have been informed that Glace Bay High will be sponsoring two delegates to attend conference.
Metro Co-Premiers: Brooke and Gabrielle have been working with their regional cabinet to finalize speakers, send skillbuilding manuals to be printed, finalized and signed a contract with Mount St. Vincent University, finalized the conference itinerary, held their skillbuilding retreat, distributed scholarships (four full and twelve half), and confirmed radio sets for the cabinet. They are currently working on editing their budget, contacting alumni, and waiting on conference t-shirts. As a cabinet they have also decided on sleeping arrangements being a ‘female’ room, ‘male’ room, and an open room.
Sou’West Co-Premiers: In the past weeks Sou’West has finalized and printed skillbuilding manuals for their retreat, which was held October 30th. After collecting forms, there were only 34 delegates registered. Amy and Tatum held individual conversations with cabinet members to hear their opinions on whether the conference should continue or not. A decision is pending.
Strait Co-Premiers: Strait has held two meetings, drafted a contract with their speaker, finalized skillbuilding and delegate manuals, received donations for conference, created a budget, determined a rough attendance number (approximately 190), and sent out a conference t-shirt order. The region has also raised enough money to sponsor 18 students to attend conference.
Valley Co-Premiers: Valley Regional Cabinet has decided to push their conference date to December 3rd, 2016 in order to allow more time for preparations. This also alleviates the need to find a new advisor as the previous will be back in time for conference. A venue has not yet been determined but the cabinet is contacting multiple possibilities to find one as soon as possible and continue with conference planning.
Media Relations: Since the last meeting, Selena has released the first edition of the NSSSA newsletter, which is still quite low on subscribers. Everyone should be doing their best to promote this. She has also been trying to find content to post on the Facebook and Instagram as they aren’t nearly as active as the twitter accounts. Regions should also keep in mind that they have access to the Instagram and can post pictures as well. Selena has looked into geofilters, and found that filters for events are generally $5.00 for every 20 000 feet.
Cabinet Questions – Strait has received a sponsorship from Canadian Tire, and they would like to have an ad, but wants a receipt specifically stating the money given is going toward the cost of the ad. The information surrounding this should be sent to Abe and he will help create the receipt properly. Include the name of the contact with the business, email, and address.
CBV is concerned about ordering t-shirts with short notice. Steve is aware that he will be receiving an order from the region, but the cabinet doesn’t feel comfortable sending it in because of not having received all forms and t-shirt sizes. It is okay to estimate sizes and quantity. Use an approximate attendance number and general sizes.
IC Delegate Request Forms –
Micci motions that every NSSSA conference will be required to use the Delegate Assistant Request form.
Patrick seconds the motion.
It is very often that at the end of Inclusion Conferences delegates say that they wish there was more. Having the option for students with special needs to request a delegate assistant allows them to have more conference experience.
The main discussion surrounds the cost of having extra advisors/aids for these students. Would the organization be required to pay, or would it be the parents of the students? A way to get around this cost would be to have a delegate who was already planning on attending the conference volunteer to be a DA, a member of IC, parent, etc. The cost taken on from having an extra person would be equivalent to an advisor, and would be covered by the paying delegate.
This idea pairs with the NSSSA’s wish to make leadership accessible for everyone and to have consistent and fair opportunities.
Unanimous, motion is passed.
This new addition to regional forms must be promoted heavily by regional Public Relations because of no one knowing it exists. If it is just added to the forms and not talked about, no one who needs to see it will even realize it is there.
Training Retreat Feedback – After taking an incredibly large part in the planning of the NSSSA 2016-2017 Cabinet and Committee Training Retreat, Maggie has gathered feedback from the short survey provided following the retreat. She plans on compiling the relevant comments and information from this into a report regarding what was viewed as beneficial and what could be improved at later training retreats. The report will hopefully be completed before the December Provincial Cabinet meeting and be sent out to members of PC for review as well as be held for the reference of future Cabinets. This feedback is from members of all NSSSA regional Cabinets and Committees, but further feedback may be asked of Provincial Cabinet through discussion or a Google Form at a later date.
According to the surveys, the vast majority of people in attendance gave positive feedback. On a 1-5 scale (5 being very helpful, informative, and beneficial), 10% gave a 3, and the other 90% said either a 4 or a 5.
Some suggested alterations to the retreat could be better organization for cabinet members who hold multiple positions. It is impossible for them to get all information when they can only attend one training session at a time. A manual, or in depth copy of the facilitator’s notes on the subject could be given to these people to insure they are given as many tools to learn their position as possible. This would also be beneficial to have for members of cabinet who can not be in attendance of the retreat at all. A large stresser for years to come is that the retreat is mandatory for all cabinet members to attend. Also, a suggestion is raised to have more than one meeting as a full cabinet/committee. While the retreat should focus on training individual positions, it should also focus more on working as a cabinet and team. This could mean sessions surrounding meeting etiquette, responding to minutes, etc.
It is a possibility that the retreat could be held earlier in the year. This erases some of the gap that is felt when cabinet members are chosen in May, but don’t begin holding meetings or get trained until August or September. This is especially true for Provincial Cabinet, who generally hold a first meeting before cabinet members have actually been trained for their positions. High school students will always be too busy in June to give up a weekend, but July 1st is turnover and could be a good general time to hold a retreat. All cabinet could be chosen by then if forms were due a bit earlier than past years.
Record of Operating Procedures – As of now, the NSSSA does not have any recorded procedures for the operation of the organization. This would be a document separate from the By-Laws including internal information such as how to proceed after the resignation or removal of a member of cabinet, the role of the newly elected President during Provincial Conference, etc. Molly will be looking into the format of this in other organizations as well as the possibility of forming a sub-committee to address these ideas.
Motion to adjourn: Micci motions to adjourn, Christina seconds the motion.
Date for Next Meeting: Dec. 18, Mount St. Vincent University