Changes coming to SAITSA board of directors
Future SAITSA Board of Directors (BOD) members will be receiving a hefty raise as a result of changes to their job descriptions.
“To be honest, it was a few years coming. The board looked into and evaluated what we actually want out of the chair and vice chair roles and how we can provide more value,” said Joshua Bettle, board chair.
At the January BOD meeting, it was announced that future members of the SAITSA BOD will be receiving an increase of $20 bringing their honorarium from $30 to $50, while the chair and vice chair of the board will be receiving a 100 per cent raise with their honorariums jumping from $50 to $100 and $30 to $60 respectively.
The terms for these positions last 12 months.
At the same meeting, it was also announced that student union fees would remain at $167.77.
These changes will be implemented from July 2018 onward.
SAITSA board members are required to attend one meeting per month, sit on at least one board committee, attend a training retreat at the start of their term and work with SAIT students to ensure they are properly represented.
The hours board members serve on sub-committees are largely on a case-by-case basis, but typically involve two-to-five hours of work per month outside of BOD meetings.
The job description and expectations of board members have not been changed in writing as of now.
“We’re the collective voice of the students and we try and vote on issues that are important to students”
The board chair of the BOD is responsible for speaking on behalf of board members, preparing agendas for meetings, working two hours a week for SAITSA along with other duties.
“We’re the collective voice of the students and we try and vote on issues that are important to students,” said board member Jessica Beddow, who sat on the board last year as well.
She said that serving on the BOD offers members the chance to advocate in the interest of students, while learning about the strategic planning that goes into governance.
These changes to the BOD positions will also help create more leadership opportunities for members said Beddow.
Bettle said that these changes are a continuing process that he has seen take place while working for SAITSA, allowing the governance of the student union to run in a way similar to a business or non-profit.
The BOD governance sub-committee is also looking to overhaul the current bylaws of the student government in an effort to make operations run “cleaner and more effectively,” said Bettle.
“It’s been a pretty interesting experience so far,” said Matthew Busby, who is new to the BOD this year.
Busby said that serving on the board has been fun and helped expand his business and political knowledge.
“I find it’s an incredibly valuable learning experience and feel like that anyone who wants to should have a chance to [get involved],” with the BOD.
If students have questions or concerned they would like addressed by the BOD, they can reach the chair of the board at the Governance and Advocacy Office in NN118 or the Executive Council Office in the Campus Centre.
The next BOD meeting will be taking place at the Senator Burns penthouse on Monday, March 5, at 6 p.m.
Meetings are open to all student union members.
The Weal reached out to SAITSA President Alex Dimopoulos, head of the finance committee. He was unavailable for comment.