As my first semester as Undergraduate Student Trustee draws to a close, I can’t help but have noticed that the most common question I get asked is: “What do you do? What’s the Undergraduate Student Trustee? And for that matter, what’s the Board?” Given how important these matters are to Queen’s, I thought I would provide some light reading right during exams to better inform students.
Much like how any company or organization has a board of directors or a board of governors, Queen’s has a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees governs all the financial and strategic matters of Queen’s University. The Board has 25 members, 3 of whom are students: the Graduate Student Trustee, the Rector, and the Undergraduate Student Trustee. It is the job of the Undergraduate Student Trustee to provide a student perspective to the work of the Board. It is a two-year, volunteer position, with my term beginning last spring. Given that the Board only meets four times a year, I work hard in between meetings to stay informed of the issues at Queen’s. I sit as an ex-efficio member of AMS Assembly, observe the meetings of the University Senate, and speak at faculty society assemblies to better understand the issues and priorities of the diverse student body of Queen’s.
As Queen’s University revisits its Campus Master Plan, faces challenges in its Pension Plan, and navigates the ever-evolving world of post-secondary education in Ontario, the Board of Trustees will play a critical role in guiding our school into the future.
The value provided to undergraduate students by having one of their peers sit on the Board of Trustees is immense. While this value may not be always obvious to the average student, each Undergraduate Student Trustee has worked tirelessly to benefit Queen’s University, and the experience of the students who attend it. In many instances this work is done behind closed doors, representing student perspectives on confidential matters. At other times it has been very public, such as spearheading the effort to rename the School of Policy Studies building to Robert Sutherland Hall, in order to honor Queen’s’ first graduate of colour and first major benefactor. The student perspective added by the Undergraduate Student Trustee is invaluable, and given the matters facing the Board of Trustees, this role will continue to be as indispensable as ever.
I would strongly recommend that students take advantage of me as a resource. For any students with questions or concerns about the Campus Master Plan, enrolment planning, tuition, and the countless other issues overseen by the Board, do not hesitate to contact me. I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org!
It is also worth noting that the Board of Trustees will be meeting on the evening of Friday, December 6th, in Richardson Hall. If you wish to attend this meeting, please email email@example.com to reserve a spot!
Alma Mater Society of Queen's University
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.