Student Assemblies are one method that StudentsNS and its member student organizations use to give students a forum to voice their opinions, and to identify issues that are important to the student body. They allow StudentsNS’ direction to be truly driven by the student population, and help to ensure both StudentsNS and our member student organizations are accountable and innovative as possible. Additionally, they allow us to incorporate a diverse set of viewpoints, ensuring that we accurately represent our constituents.
Our student assemblies focus on creating conversation and engaging in participatory leadership. Using Art of Hosting techniques enables students to decide what is important to them and what information they want to inform our work. Topics range from StudentsNS policy areas like university funding, fee costs, health services, international student challenges and student financial assistance, to how to build community solidarity on campus, provide healthy food, improve environmental sustainability and find more ways for students to have fun together.
Student assemblies offer very important information for StudentsNS’ research and we consistently refer to these conversations in our work. StudentsNS itself hosts several Student Assemblies across the province each year. Once our Board of Directors has determined the direction they feel our research needs to take, StudentsNS hosts a student assembly to harvest student opinions and experiences on relevant topic. After these assemblies have taken place, a draft Position Paper is released and is open for public feedback for one month. After this month has passed, the Position Paper is amended and is put forward to our Board of Directors approval. Of course, our members institutions may also host their own Student Assemblies, either in relation to our work, or initiatives their particular student organization is working on.
StudentsNS is committed to having Position Papers’ lead authors or the Executive Director attend all Student Assemblies formally organized by members at any point in the development of a Position Paper to best capture the student body’s thoughts and opinions.