WLUSU to dissolve Brantford Campus Council

In a review of their multi-campus governance policy, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) board of directors made a strategic decision on Friday to dissolve the Brantford Campus Council (BCC).

The council, which mainly served an internal operations function, will cease to exist on May 1.

According to the chair of the WLUSU board of directors and chief governance officer Chris Walker, the council offered advocacy to the Brantford campus but didn’t necessarily fit from a governance standpoint.

“Governance is focusing on strategic visioning and monitoring the president and that kind of stuff and the BCC hasn’t really done that in the past,” explained Walker. “The governance of the organization needs to be over-arching and needs to be one body. By kind of delegating things to another campus-specific body, then it’s not really equitable.”

“Their [the BCC’s] authorities and mandate is really unclear. And the board doesn’t really know what their mandate and authority is, so it’s kind of problematic,” he added.

As a result of this constitutional amendment, WLUSU also decided that two spots on the board of directors will be reserved for each campus, including the potential Milton campus.

Since this is a constitutional amendment, a referendum question will be asked to the student public come election time.

While Walker and many other directors were pleased with the outcome, the existing BCC did have some concerns.

“The BCC has always been that connection between Brantford and the board. I just want to see a plan by board to see how they are shifting towards establishing that plan,” said Trevor Faessler, chair of the BCC and former WLUSU director. “[To] continuing and developing that link [between the campuses] even more once removing the BCC.”

“[Brantford students] largely look at board as a ‘Waterloo’ board which is not the case,” said Walker, noting that the BCC was primarily worried about the transition.

Another point of concern for the BCC, as well as a few directors, was what WLUSU would do in the event no candidates from Brantford ran in an election.

In that case, WLUSU would host a general meeting on Brantford to hire or appoint another BCC, essentially to bring it back into existence.

“It’s completely up to our discretion at this point,” said Walker.

Though both campuses are relatively pleased with the outcome, both do agree that more could be done on the Brantford campus expose more WLUSU policy and functions.

“It’s just sort of an awkward stage right now, because they don’t have the same marketing capacity on that campus at their direct disposal,” said Walker. “The problem is that not being in close proximity to them, it’s a little harder on the working relationship. It’s the difference between face-to-face and phone calls all the time, right?”

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