Committee Update from Co-op Affairs Commissioner

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Connor Plante
Co-op Affairs Commissioner
Wed, 01/16/2019 - 12:30

Written by Connor Plante, Co-op Affairs Commissioner.

In my role as the Co-op Affairs Commissioner for Feds, I have the opportunity to sit on multiple Feds and University committees that deal with co-op. I’m often asked: what exactly to some of these committees do? I’ve attempted to give you a brief summary of the main committees I sit on and provide some examples of topics that were covered last term.

Co-op Students’ Council (CSC)

CSC is a collaborative body between Feds and the University’s Co-operative Education Department. The committee is comprised of the Co-op Student Experience Manager from Co-op, myself and the VP-Education from Feds, and student representatives from each society, students’ council and the population at large. The committee provides an opportunity for feedback from students on current issues and new initiatives that Co-op is undertaking. It also is a forum for members to bring forward student issues that they have heard about in regards to co-op and advocate for potential improvements. Some of the big topics we discussed this past term were:

  • students working in the cannabis industry
  • the process of setting the co-op fee for the upcoming year
  • and a change to how the employment rate will be calculated going forward.

Education Advisory Committee (EAC)

This committee serves an advisory role to the entire Education and Advocacy portfolio of Feds. Student Councillors, Senators, Society representatives and at-large students make up this committee, along with the VP-Education and their Commissioners. While co-op related topics are traditionally deferred to CSC, areas that link co-op and broader educational policy are discussed. The main example of this in the past term were several robust discussions around the value of Work-Term Reports and some of the common grievances students have with them. This is an ongoing advocacy project so stay tuned more for info later this term!

Co-operative Education Council (CEC)

CEC is a University-level committee that covers all things in the Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) portfolio. Because the body includes the Associate Deans for Co-op from each of the six faculties, it allows for discussion on high level, strategic priorities of co-op on issues that affect students across the university. One exciting project that was initiated in the fall term is the development of a skills and competencies framework to use across the CEE portfolio. We look forward to continue working with CEC on this in the coming term!     

Topic-Specific Working Groups

In addition to the above bodies, I also sit on several working groups that deal with specific issues within co-op. The most prominent of these is the co-op fee comprehensive review project [external URL] where we are taking a ‘deep dive’ look into the co-op fee.

Also on the topic of the co-op fee, I sat on a special review group this past term that was set up to specifically examine the proposed co-op fee for the upcoming fiscal year. This process culminated with the announcement that there will be no increase to the co-op fee for next year. I am also on several other working groups looking at topics such as:

  • co-op jobs in the cannabis industry
  •  student safety on the job
  • and a co-op student experience mapping project. 

I hope this overview gave you a better understanding of the committees I sit on and the role they play in Feds Advocacy on co-op. Of course, if you ever want more information on any of them, I’d be more than happy to chat! Please feel free to email me at coop.affairs@feds.ca.