Welcome to the OCSU!
The Okanagan College Students’ Union (OCSU), is a non-profit organization formed by students, for students. The membership of the organization is made up of Okanagan College Students from the Penticton, Kelowna, and Salmon Arm campuses. There are two basic purposes for the OCSU, or indeed any Students’ Union: firstly, to provide services to our members on a non-profit basis, and secondly, to advocate on behalf of our members.
As a member of OCSU, you are also a member of the British Columbia Federation of Students (Local 1), an autonomous, democratic organization made up entirely of students. When you registered for classes and paid your tuition fees to Okanagan College, you also paid a membership fee to help finance the operations of your Students’ Union. As a member, you are part of a significant organization that undertakes advocacy and campaigns, as well as offers social events and services for Okanagan College students. By being part of this organization, we are able to work beyond the local scope, and work provincially and nationally to have conversations with all levels of government. Government plays a direct role in post-secondary education, providing student financial assistance, and funding for colleges and universities.
Report of the Board
We hold our Annual General Meeting each December, where the OCSU Board Members present our annual Report of the Board to our members. In this report, we recount our events, services, campaigns, and student movement victories that we did on our three campuses. We are always excited to inform our member of the hard work we did and will continue to do. We encourage our members who did not attend our AGM to read over these reports.
How We Operate
Three Campuses, Three Councils, Three Times the Awesomeness
Since our members are spread through three different campuses (Salmon Arm, Kelowna, and Penticton), the activities of the OCSU at each local campus is managed by its own elected Campus Councils. Campus Council meetings are held regularly throughout the academic year, and provide a venue for students at each campus to decide what types of events and activities are best suited to each individual campus. They also provide a meaningful venue of communication between the greater Students’ Union membership and the OCSU Board of Directors that oversees the overall direction of the Union.
Elections for Campus Councils are held at the beginning of the fall semester with every Okanagan College Students’ Union members eligible to run and vote in the elections on their campus. Look for notices marking the opening of the nomination period. An important function of the Campus Councils is to elect campus representatives to the OCSU Board of Directors.
Interested in becoming a student representative? Learn about our elections here!
Democratic Decision Making
The most important and binding decisions of the Students’ Union are the ones made by its members (that’s you!) in general meetings, elections and referenda. These decisions determine the elected members of the Campus Councils and help create the Board of Directors, and prioritize the activities and operations of the Students’ Union throughout the year.
At the provincial and national level, decisions are also made democratically. Every member union of the Canadian Federation of Students exercises a single vote at national and provincial general meetings, regardless of the size of the students’ union’s membership. Through active participation in these meetings, Okanagan College students have a say in setting the policies, direction, and priorities for the student movement in Canada.
The Okanagan College Students’ Union also votes on the Federation’s leadership and has a representative on the board of directors for the BCFS, the British Columbia Executive Committee.
As with any non-profit organization, we have a constitution, bylaws, and policies that we must abide by. They are all excruciatingly interesting documents and we encourage you to check each of them out.
Each level of membership in OCSU is important to the organization as a whole. Explaining how our structure works can be kind of complicated, so ideally we would telepathically inject this information into your brain. But since that isn’t really feasible, we hope this flowchart will do.