Thursday, January 11, 2007


It's this writer's humble (and biased) opinion that BoG Rep is among the two most important positions up for election (the other being President). Why? Three reasons:

  1. Face time. There are no student reps who get anywhere near as much time with the actual decision-makers, and the face time can translate into influence.
  2. Strategic decisions. The decisions at BoG aren't operational, they're strategic, big-picture stuff. And even though a decision may not go the students' way, the BoG rep has the ability to influence the next decision.
  3. Numbers. There are twenty(ish) student Senators, five elected executives, forty(ish) Councillors... and only two student reps on BoG. On the other bodies, the student voice is easily diluted, and it can be harder for any one student to exercise influence. But not on BoG.
So, what skills make a good BoG rep?
  • First and foremost, the ability to make a good argument. Persuasion. If they can even come close to convincing the Board members, then their opinion will stick with them, and hopefully make a difference, sooner or later.
  • Political savvy and inter-personal skills. If the Board members respect you personally, they'll respect what you say. The converse is also true. So it's important to speak their language, to treat the room with respect, and to constantly make friends in that room.
  • A collaborative attitude. Any student who goes into the room with a "you're out to get us" attitude will automatically be ignored. Think about it - who likes being told that they're wrong? The position requires not a "you're failing students" attitude, but a "this is how you can help student more" approach.
  • Professionalism. Take it seriously, and they'll take you seriously.
  • Confidence. It can be very difficult trying to hold your own against CEOs, doctors, lawyers, administrators, academics, and, quite frankly, people who have more experience and knowledge than you do. Speaking your mind in such a situation ain't easy, and it takes guts.
This is what we see as important in a BoG race. And we'll be assessing the candidates accordingly.