NSSSA Minutes from:
Provincial Cabinet Meeting
Location: Mount St. Vincent University
Time of Commencement: 11:18 am
Time of Adjournment: 1:59 pm
Duration: 2hr 41 min
Attendance and Regrets:
Present voting members: Aidan MacFarlane, Amy Oickle, Beth O’Connell, Camryn Smith, Eliza Nobes, Emma Hogenbom, Gabrielle Torrealba, Katelyn Libbus, Kassandra Kelbratowski, Micci Davy, Mitchell Archibald, Molly Anderson, Patrick Wallace, Zac Foran, Selena Landry, Kayla Jenkin
Present non-voting members: Lorne Abramson, Maggie, MacNeil, Meagan Kettley
Regrets: Brooke Kattenbusch, Chloe Dean-Moore, Christina Nickerson, Connor Poirier, Haeley Langlois, Tatum Arcon, Gordon Burns, Molly Somers
President: Molly has been working with Co-Premiers to help with finishing up any loose ends following their conferences. While attending regional conferences, she has ran How To sessions, helped cabinets, and spoke to delegates about Provincial Cabinet and other opportunities to be more involved in the NSSSA.
Along with Liam and Katelyn, Molly has been playing close attention to the current NSTU Work to Rule and how they may affect conferences in the new year. She has also been speaking with Co-Premiers on appropriate ways to address this topic while keeping a neutral stance in the media.
Molly has been continuing to work on possible Operating Procedures and encourages members to send suggestions.
VP External: Liam has been working towards staying busy after conference season has ended, looking for new organizations to contact, and hopes to get suggestions from cabinet members.
VP Internal: Katelyn has been continuing regular check-ins with Co-Premiers, and attended both Metro and Strait regional conferences, which were great successes.
Provincial Advisor: After attending the recent We-Day event, Abe recommends the NSSSA works towards taking a figurative page out of their book. We-Day as an organization is much more funded than the NSSSA and it is easy to see this during their event. They have grown exponentially and have many sponsors contributing to their funds. With the help of sponsors the NSSSA could make conferences like Inclusion much less expensive, or better, free for delegates. Abe has been holding many phone calls with principals and community members on the topic of the NSTU work to rule and the effects on the NSSSA, and reminds everyone to submit their final databases to him.
Treasurers: Chloe and Eliza stress the importance of Co-Premiers submitting their deposit slips and invoices to them to make bookkeeping and payments much more efficient and reliable.
With the help of Chris, changes are slowly being made to bookkeeping, making the operation much more professional and effective. They will continue to work towards consolidating bank accounts and coming up with a better system for conference budget making, which they plan to begin on in the new year. Goals for the coming year include examining current operational procedures, and making improvements where they apply.
Secretary: Molly has picked up Provincial Cabinet spirit wear from First Choice Sportswear, and has paid for the jackets. Still missing money from two people.
CC Co-Chairs: After cancelling past two meetings due to poor weather conditions, CC has remained productive, holding two check-ins as well as a full conference call. They have decided on the name Reaching New Heights for the 2017 Provincial Conference.
Rich Aucoin has been contacted as a potential performer for an opening night concert, but solid plans have not been confirmed. CC will continue to work towards putting in place online registration with the assistance of St. FX University administration.
IC Co-Chairs: IC has been preparing for their upcoming conference by releasing their conference name (R.O.O.T.S), starting promotion, contacting potential speakers, and attempting to discuss the impact of the NSTU work to rule with the principal of their venue, Auburn Drive High School. Their Public Relation team has set up interview times leading up to conference to promote R.O.O.T.S as well as discuss general disability awareness. Along with this, PR has been looking into contacting new disability based organizations and focusing on financial donations.
Gala Co-Chairs: Gordon and Meagan have been continuing their search for a venue. They have contacted and visited the MicMac Aquatic Club, Harbourview Holiday Inn, and Saint Mary’s Boat Club (which has since been declined). Discussion surrounding venue planning will continue over the winter break. Discussion has begun surrounding awards to be presented at the event. A possibility for these is to provide a list of awards (determined by PC) for all NSSSA cabinets and committees to choose from and nominate one to three members for the available awards. This would be discussed further with cabinets before formally put in place.
Chignecto Co-Premiers: Chignecto held their junior conference on December third with a turnout of forty delegates and twelve skillbuilders. They received a donation from a local Subway, being able to get deli trays for a reduced cost, and a couple for free. They also had their dinner of chicken noodle soup donated by a member of Regional Cabinet. The conference had a wonderful keynote by Shy Polley, who spoke about mental health and growing up transgender, resulting in great feedback from students.
CBV Co-Premiers: CBV held a successful conference at Cape Breton University, and have planned their debriefing meeting. The Co-Premiers have been preparing a final budget to submit to the finance team, but are currently waiting on word from CBU regarding the $1000 dollars they intended on donating to the conference.
CBV Regional Cabinet has been discussing the possibility of holding a junior conference
Metro Co-Premiers: Metro held their regional conference on the 11th and 12th of November, which was very successful.
Sou’West Co-Premiers: Sou’West held their conference, Nebula’16 with thirty-four delegates and four skillbuilders. They overestimated attendance when purchasing food, so ended up going over budget. Conference t-shirts weren’t able to be picked up in time for conference, but will be distributed in the new year after Work to Rule reaches an end.
The Regional Cabinet is looking into holding fundraisers and finding sponsors in order to increase the profit margin following Nebula’16 and are now looking forward to holding SuperNova’17, which is being planned for the 10th to 12th of February at Digby Regional High School. 3-tions have finished application forms and have been sent to be edited and hopefully posted on the NSSSA website over the winter break.
Strait Co-Premiers: Since the last meeting Strait has held two regional meetings, a skill building retreat, a successful conference, and a cabinet debrief. They have paid their fees to Bell, First Choice Sportswear, and Tareq, only needing to pay X until they are done. They have sent out their finalized database and are still working on a finalized budget. The cabinet is looking at possibilities for raising money for students to go to provincials, and are coming up with potential operational procedures with the help of Peter Woo.
Media Relations: Since the last meeting, Selena has released a second newsletter. Number of subscribers is still quite low, but she has been receiving positive feedback on the two released so far. Selena has also been trying to update the social media accounts as much as possible, but with this time of year being fairly quiet, there isn’t much material to post. She encourages Regional Cabinets to post their own photos of regional conferences and is working on figuring out how NSSSA media will be run for the rest of the year.
HSRC: Mitchell has held updates with the Head School Reps from each region, discussing small issues that may have been missed during their conferences. HSR’s who have held events now understand their position much more and this knowledge is very valuable as some move on to hold a secondary conference as well as the two provincial conferences. During the winter break, Mitchell plans on working on documents and presentations for the year. He would like to hear from Co-Premiers and Regional Cabinets to discuss their opinions on their events and how they could be improved relative to the the Head School Reps and their work.
NSTU Work to Rule: The current Work to Rule action within Nova Scotia’s schools is a huge impact to the NSSSA, and finding ways to continue operation is difficult. Molly requests that everyone airs on the side of caution when it comes to this subject and to be very sensitive in expressing opinions as anything a cabinet member says can be put back onto the organization as a whole.
The average time to plan a large conference is five to six weeks, meaning that April will act as relative cutoff for knowing whether or not a Provincial Conference can be held in 2017. If Work to Rule has not come to an end by then, decisions will need to be made and the possibility of cancelling Provincial Conference will be discussed. It is possible that NSSSA representatives could hold a meeting with NSTU members to discuss possibilities for the organization.
Retreat: After the survey was posted in the Provincial Cabinet Facebook page for people to fill out and voice their opinions on the August retreat, Maggie has collected all of the information and created a summary of everyone’s thoughts. She received a lot of positive feedback on the sessions and those who ran them. Some of the suggestions for next year included more hands-on experience (i.e. 3-tions entering forms in databases), more time for cabinets to spend together, Provincial Cabinet staying longer at the end of retreat rather than having a late night meeting, and hosting retreat earlier in the year. Maggie feels as though the survey showed that the retreat was an overall success and beneficial to those in attendance. She suggests having a formal committee for planning the retreat made up of alumni who have held the positions being taught. Forms would come out in January to begin planning next year’s retreat as soon as possible. Possible positions on this committee would be; Training Co-Chairs, 3-tions, Session Coordinators, and Retreat Management. Maggie also suggests keeping the retreat at St.FX University.
The Presidential trio are in favour of continuing to hold the retreat at St. FX, and would consider including this in their pre existing contract with the university. They also believe having a cabinet formed by alumni would be beneficial for the retreat as they would all know how positions work and how they can be improved. Possible changes for the coming year could include session facilitators needing to apply for retreat, enforcing the retreat to be mandatory, and cabinets and committees working together in the selection of members to reduce the number of individuals holding a position on more than one cabinet, and reducing the workload and responsibility of a single person.
2017 Meeting Dates: Meeting dates for the near future will be sent out through email or Facebook poll shortly.
Motion to adjourn: Kassandra motions to adjourn the meeting, Micci seconds.