Board of Directors and Education Council elections loom
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Yesterday, final nomination papers from Douglas students wishing to run on the college’s Board of Directors and Education Council were drafted for those looking to serve on these bodies during the 2013-14 term. Student elections for the two available college board seats and four available education council seats are slated to happen in mid-March, with tentative dates allegedly taking place in the third week of March.
The Douglas College Board of Directors is composed of 12 members, with two being student representatives, a staff and faculty representative, and eight other members appointed by the provincial cabinet ministers. Many of those appointed are business and education professionals of high calibre, giving student representatives otherwise unlikely opportunities to meet and work alongside of experienced professionals.
“We think there’s an opportunity here for students to enhance their own development. They can be a part of something that not a lot of students get to see. Does it look better on a resume? It might,” explained Paul Wates, board chair. “Most of our students who have come through the board have found it to be very enjoyable and educational as well.”
“Student board members are elected for one-year terms. Typically, students only stay on the board one year because of their individuality. We have one board member student who has been on her second term now,” said Wates. “We really want to encourage students because we value [them]. They bring a perspective.“
Wates was adamant in assuring that students elected to the board do not take on an advocacy role in their board position as they would in the Douglas Students’ Union.
“We really want to emphasize that when student, faculty, or staff members come onto the board, they’re elected, and they’re elected by their constituency groups, but the bottom line is that when they come to the board they leave that hat at the door,” said Wates. “They have to bring in their perspective but they’re not going to be advocating on behalf of that group.”
During the New Westminster revamping unveiled in the Fall 2011 semester, student members of the board had a major role in recommending changes made to the concourse, input Wates considered valuable given the amount of time students spend at the college.
“We got very good input from students on the board when we asked ‘what would students like to see?’ because I come here, but I don’t live here,” Wates joked. “Students were very instrumental in putting suggestions on the table that were very valuable.