Co-op Organizational Structure
Board of Directors
Co-op is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of current and past members of the Co-op. Each of Co-op’s five divisions has a Division Representative sitting on the Board. Division Reps are elected at the first division meeting of the year. In addition to the Division Reps, 5 members-at-large and 2 alumni serve as Directors of the Board. These are elected at the Annual General Meeting in September. All directors of the Board are elected to a one year term. The Board meets at least once a month to discuss and decide by vote on issues pertaining to governance, bylaws, policy, budget, special projects, strategic planning and special consideration requests. Please go to Co-op Board of Directors to get to know your current Board members.
Co-op has six standing committees. Each committee is led by a member and has representatives from all five divisions, a Board Liaison as well as a Staff member working with them. Joining a committee allows you to gain invaluable skills and experience in collaboration, organization and time management, planning and executing projects and democratic decision making. The six committees of the Board are:
- Communication and Education Committee: plans and executes a variety of projects related to internal and external public relations such as the revamping of the website, the OSCA conference, or the 75th Anniversary celebrations.
- Facilities Committee: explores short and long term plans and projects of the co-op pertaining to the maintenance of Co-op’s houses.
- Finance Committee: explores short and long term financial plans and projects of the co-op.
- Membership Committee: responsible for providing bylaw amendments and policy recommendations that affect the rights and responsibilities of all Co-op members to the Board.
- Newsletter Committee: produces monthly Newsletter containing member’s submissions (short stories, poetry, photos, information, advertisement, etc.).
- Social Committee: organizes Co-op wide events and community outreach activities.
Co-op Houses belong to five divisions, based on their location. Each division has an elected representative on the Board of Directors, and a Division Chair. The Chair’s job is to conduct Division Meetings, while the Division Representative speaks to the Board on behalf of the division, and shares the Board’s response with the division. Division meetings take place at least once a term, to elect officials, to make decisions about how the division budget will be allocated to the houses, and to discuss and make decisions by vote on issues of division-wide interest, such as meal plans.
Each division also has a Division Manager. The Division Manager is a member whose main responsibility is to ensure by way of biweekly inspections that the houses are maintained and kept clean according to the Co-op’s standards and the city’s fire regulations. Division Managers also conduct room inspections upon move out, and can be called if a member is locked out of the house by accident.
Each House in Co-op elects a House Representative and a House Manager in September. The House Rep ensures that members living in the house observe the various policies aimed at harmonious living. The House Rep chairs House meetings and is the first person to call upon if there is a conflict in the house. Finally, the House Rep attends Division Council Meetings with all the other House Reps from the Division. There are also at least two Town Hall meetings a year for House Reps from all five divisions. These broader meetings allow House Reps to compare notes, discuss concerns and convey solutions to their houses. As House Reps spend considerable time in meetings, their Co-op Hours requirements are fulfilled by attendance in these meetings.
The House Manager’s job is to ensure the common rooms and the external surroundings of their House are kept clean and safe. House Managers schedule members to participate in cleaning chores, replenish cleaning supplies and communicate with the maintenance office if necessary.
Every member in good standing may run for a representative position on the Board, Committees or the Division Council. Any member of a house can call a house meeting if they need to discuss an issue affecting the whole house. Members of a house can decide by vote if they for example wish to declare a house a quiet house, whether or not the house should have a pet, what the house budget should be spent on, should the house have a party, or undertake a project, or establish itself as a theme house. The houses are self-governing in this sense, as long as they function within the framework of Co-op bylaws and policy. Members also attend Division Meetings and Co-op wide General Meetings to participate in democratic decision making processes.
Co-op’s alumni (past members) provide invaluable help serving on the Board of Directors. In preparation for Co-op’s 75th Anniversary, Co-op is seeking input from its Alumni as we would like past members to be part of the celebrations. If interested in participating, please email to email@example.com.
Co-op Staff assists members in countless ways to ensure that their stay at Co-op is enjoyable. For a listing of Co-op Staff with contact information and a brief description of their portfolio, please go to: Staff Directory.