We represent students within the University and at all levels of government to raise YOUR concerns and ensure that the collective student voice is heard. We sit on decision-making bodies including the University Senate and Board of Governors, as well as a number of government working groups and University committees relating to many other topics.
Students Nova Scotia
Students Nova Scotia (SNS) is a not-for-profit and non-partisan provincial advocacy group that represents and advances the interests and priorities of Nova Scotia post-secondary students. As a member of Students Nova Scotia, we represent Saint Mary’s University students to government alongside NSCC campuses, Acadia University, and St. Francis Xavier University. Collectively, we work towards our vision of a Nova Scotia post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, of the highest quality, and that includes students in decision-making.
Students Nova Scotia Committees
- Policy Committee: Reviews current Students Nova Scotia policies such as Quality of Education and Tuition in order to decide if any changes need to be made. Also creates new policy stances based on challenges and priorities for each year. This committee creates the supporting documents for our advocacy efforts at the provincial level of government. SMUSA’s President sits on this committee, along with our Vice President External, who serves as Chair of Students Nova Scotia
- Governance Committee: Reviews current internal bylaws for Students Nova Scotia such as the Operations Policy or the Social Media policy. Also analyses the landscape of the current board and decides if any internal changes need to be made to bylaws. This committee creates the supporting documents for all the internal governance of Students Nova Scotia. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee in her role as Chair of Students Nova Scotia and SMUSA President is the Chair of this committee.
- Membership Committee: This committee outlines and creates opportunities to improve Students Nova Scotia’s social media, branding, education about the organization and ways to increase brand awareness. This committee also reviews current member schools and helps to broaden membership. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee in her role as Chair of Students Nova Scotia.
- COVID-19 Ad-Hoc Committee: This committee is an ad hoc standing committee created this year to handle the unprecedented challenges for our Nova Scotian post-secondary institutions which may arise due to COVID-19. This committee meets regularly to discuss relevant challenges, best practices and serves as a space for collaboration and idea sharing, so that students can be supported successfully during this challenging year. SMUSA’s VP External and President both sit on this committee.
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations/unions from across the country. As members of CASA, we advocate on behalf of over 350,000 post-secondary students to the federal government. When Canada’s leaders make decisions affecting our post-secondary education system, they turn to CASA for solutions. Our vision is that Canada will achieve an accessible, affordable, and high-quality post-secondary education system whose students enjoy an excellent quality of life.
- Board of Directors: The Board of Directors is a 7-person body that oversees CASA’s strategic plan and the Executive Director. Each board member runs a CASA committee and reports back to the Board on the state of the membership.
- National Advocacy Committee: This committee serves to enhance advocacy efforts for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations at the federal level by organizing annual campaigns across member schools and developing resources and training to aid in our lobbying efforts and in our relationship building with government officials. SMUSA’s VP External serves as Vice-Chair of this committee.
Additional External Committees
- Canadian Organization of Campus Activities (COCA) Event Planning Committee: This committee, consisting of members from 10 universities and colleges across Canada, serves to provide event opportunities for student unions across the nation. It serves as a networking tool for students to meet their colleges across the country as well as offering opportunities for entertainment.
- Peaceful Schools International Board of Directors: SMUSA’s President has a seat on the Peaceful Schools International (PSI) Board of Directors, which oversees and advises the direction of PSI and its actions, both in Halifax and around the world.
- LAE Roundtables: These roundtables occur four times a year and serve as a direct avenue for SMUSA’s VP External and President to share student challenges on our campus, outline our advocacy priorities for the year and build connections with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education in order to better serve our SMU students.
- Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning Working Group: This Working Group is focused on bringing different stakeholders together, including post-secondary staff, faculty, students, and community organizations. The focus of the group is on developing and promoting entrepreneurial and experiential learning projects for access throughout the province.
- Open Education Resources (OER) Working Group: This committee serves to educate about Open Educational Resources, and work with relevant stakeholders in the implementation of Open Educational Resources. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee in her role as Chair of Students Nova Scotia.
- Sexual Violence Prevention Working Group: This committee serves to discuss, analyze and create programming around Sexual Violence Prevention on our post-secondary campuses, as well as voting on allocation of provincial funding for such Sexual Violence Prevention programming. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee in her role as Chair of Students Nova Scotia.
Saint Mary’s University Academic Senate
The Academic Senate is the highest academic body that all work from the sub-committees is approved by. This group is made up of faculty, students, and university administrators. This group meets monthly. The SMUSA President and Vice-President Academic are members of the Academic Senate and sit on various sub-committees.
To learn about the different work that is being done through Senate, click on the drop-down below!
- Senate Executive: The Senate Executive is a smaller form of the Academic Senate made up of faculty students and university administrators; these groups deal with emergency or time-sensitive items that can not be brought to the full Senate.
- Accessibility Committee: This committee’s mandate is to create an Accommodation/Accessibility policy for the academic environment.
- Academic Appeals: When a student appeals their final grade because they believe they were unfairly or incorrectly marked. This committee reviews and makes a decision on the appeal. This committee is made of a SMUSA representative, three faculty members, the chair of Senate, and the secretary of the senate.
- Academic Discipline: This committee acts as an oversight committee for the Academic Integrity process and examines trends, patterns, and outcomes of Academic Integrity cases.
- Academic Discipline Appeals Board: If a student appeals an Academic Integrity decision, this group forms to review and to render a decision on the appeal. This committee is made up of a mix of faculty and SMUSA representatives.
- Academic Planning Committee: APC oversees the program review and new program proposals to ensure they are up to standard before they are passed on to the Senate.
- Academic Regulations Committee: This committee reviews and revises the Academic Regulations found in the Academic Calendar to ensure they are meeting institution standards.
- Curriculum Committee: This committee reviews course submissions and descriptions to ensure they are accurate and reflect course content.
- Library Committee: This committee works to ensure the library is ever-improving to meet the needs of those who use it. This includes reviewing the budget, plans, and goals of the library.
- Literacy Strategy Committee: This committee aims to discuss the academic skills students are gaining and how they relate to real-world applications.
- Student Discipline: This committee works within the Student Code of Conduct to adjudicate non-academic misconduct cases.
- Learning and Teaching Committee: This committee governs the Studio for Teaching and Learning and supports initiatives to improve teaching and learning on campus.
- Bylaws Committee: The Bylaws Committee, reviews, revises, creates and monitors University Bylaws for improvement and redundancy.
- Agenda Committee: The Agenda Committee works to steer Senate meetings, and create a Senate agenda according to the Senate Order of Business.
Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors
The Board of Governors serves to set out the objectives and powers of the university, by guiding the university on topics such as academic quality, the student experience, governance, oversight of the President, etc. SMUSA’s President and Vice President External sit on the Board of Governors.
The Board consists of members of the University community, including alumni, faculty, students, and committed volunteers from the community at large. The Board oversees the conduct of the University’s affairs, ensuring, through the University President, that a qualified and diligent team carries out the day-to-day activities with respect to the University’s financial and other resources, and together with the Senate, fulfills the mission of the University.
Board of Governors Committees
- Executive Committee: The purpose of the Executive Committee is to act on behalf of the Board of Governors to respond to time-sensitive matters or when it is impractical to call a full Board of Governors meeting. SMUSA’s President sits on this committee.
- Finance Committee: The purpose of the Finance Committee is to provide advice and oversight to the financial matters of the University.
- Advancement Committee: This committee on the Saint Mary’s Board of Governors is focused on informing and participating in all aspects of SMU’s advancement priorities, such as connections with alumni, relationships with our government and the community, fundraising, philanthropy, and advocating for Saint Mary’s University in the community. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee.
Strategic Enrolment Management
The purpose of the Strategic Enrolment Management process is to achieve short-term and long-term enrolment targets through a university-wide system of committees, sub-committees, and working teams. With representation on the SEM Steering Committee and the Student Success Sub-Committee with its various working teams, SMUSA is directly involved in providing feedback on programs and initiatives related to student experience and success. Our role is to bring forward ideas on how to improve student engagement and to reflect on current enrolment practices and how they impact students.
SEM Committees & Working Teams
- SEM Steering Committee: The Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) Steering Committee is responsible for the development of a Strategic Enrolment Management plan for Saint Mary’s University. The Steering Committee oversees the 3 main sub-committees: Student Success, Data and Metrics, and Recruitment and Conversion. The Steering Committee will be primarily responsible for the SEM plan’s development and implementation and will monitor and report on the success and status of the SEM plan.
- Student Success Committee: This committee serves to oversee all the student success committees, such as student advising and peer support, which aim to create the best possible experience for students at Saint Mary’s University. SMUSA’s VP External sits on this committee.
- Early Alert Working Team: This working team aims to create an Early Alert Program for first-year students. This involves developing a system to identify struggling students to help ensure they reach their highest potential. The VP Academic sits on this team.
- Student Advising Working Team: A strong, collaborative, and comprehensive advising model helps improve student success. This working team’s goal is to create a system that does just that. The VP Academic sits on this team.
- Student Engagement & Communications Working Team: This group is responsible for pulling together communicators from across campus departments to develop a unified strategy for engaging students. The Working Team will be expected to develop communication processes that engage and support students throughout the cycle of the student experience. The initial priority will be looking at communication with first-year students, then the focus will expand to all students. Student communications should reflect the different needs of varying student ‘groups’ and the university’s need to share information with students. DMC represents the student voice on the committee to raise student concerns about how the University communicates with students.
- Student Experience Working Team: Collaborative team that works together to enhance the student experience at all stages of university starting from Welcome Weeks to Graduation. SMUSA Director of Societies and Engagement and Director of Events both sit on this committee.
- Student Peer Support Working Team: The purpose of this committee is to coordinate peer-based student support programs at SMU, including, but not limited to, peer tutoring and peer mentoring. The Working Team will also look into creating new programming and opportunities within Peer Support.
- Faculty Peer Support Working Team: Faculty development is an important part of improving education quality, facilitating faculty peer support relationships work toward this by creating strong networks. The VP Academic sits on this team.
Additional University Committees
- Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Advisory Committee (SVPEAC): SVPEAC focuses on providing information on the prevention and education of all forms of sexual violence. They provide input on education plans, recommendations, and any efforts created on campus.
- Sexual Violence Policy Committee: This committee creates and revises the Sexual Violence Policy that is used on campus. The policy is reviewed every three years at a minimum.
- Sustainability Committee: This committee works to create a more sustainable campus by consulting stakeholders and conducting sustainability projects.
- Society Committee: The committee meets to discuss policies relevant to student societies, finds scope for improvement and amendment.
- Healthy Campus Initiative: The Healthy Campus Strategy is created and implemented by this committee and aims to improve overall wellness at Saint Mary’s.
- Welcome Weeks Planning Committee: This committee involves all members who play a role in the welcome/orientation of new students. Updates and ideas are shared on a bi-weekly basis.
- University Accessibility Committee: This committee consists of members across campus that examine the University at all levels to ensure compliance with legislation on accessibility.
Questions, Comments, or Concerns?
Have questions about one of these committees, or have an issue/experience you want us to raise to the relevant group? Contact us!