Student Leaders Toolkit: Governance


Governance Structure

Learn more about governance structure, your group’s role in shaping Hart House, and resources to help your group govern effectively.


Clubs and Committees: What’s the Difference?
Board of Stewards
Hart House Elections and Committee Selection
Governance Resources

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Clubs and Committees: What’s the Difference?

Committees have broad mandates, and strive to reach across the University of Toronto campuses and beyond, through engaging programming and events. Each committee has one vote at the Hart House Board of Stewards. In addition to their chairperson and staff advisors, all committees’ executives are comprised of eleven voting positions, including standard positions like Secretary, Treasurer, Communications, etc.

Clubs are single-activity focused and serve their members, each of whom pays a nominal club fee. Though they report to the Board of Stewards, they do not have a vote. Clubs are free to establish their own governance and executive structures, but should have established internal guidelines and by-laws that ensure consistency, transparency and fairness in club governance.

Board of Stewards

The Board of Stewards (BOS) is Hart House’s highest governing body, and the cornerstone of our commitment to collaborative and democratic decision-making. The BOS oversees the affairs of the House in concert with the Warden.

The BOS meets every month, and clubs and committees are responsible for periodically delivering presentations to the board on their activities.

Moreover, committees should select one executive to serve as their representative on the BOS. In addition to the committee representative, the BOS is comprised of:

  • The President of the University (ex officio) or his or her designate
  • The Warden of Hart House, (ex officio)
  • An appointee of the Governing Council
  • Two appointees of the President of the University
  • The Chair of the Alumni Committee (ex officio)
  • An appointee of the Association of Part Time Undergraduate Students
  • An appointee of the Graduate Students’ Union
  • An appointee of the University of Toronto Students’ Union
  • A student member of the Finance Committee (to be chosen by said committee)
  • A student representative of the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
  • A student representative from the University of Toronto at Mississauga
  • A Senior Member (to be elected by and from the membership of the Recreational Athletics Committee)

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Hart House Elections and Committee Selection

Hart House Committee Secretaries are chosen through an election that takes place every year during the winter semester. Anyone who has previously served as a voting member on a Hart House Committee, and who will be a University of Toronto student during their proposed tenure of service are eligible to run for secretary. Approved nominees will have a chance to campaign prior to the election, and will have profile statements posted on the Hart House website.

All U of T students (full and part time, graduate and undergraduate) on all three campuses are eligible to vote in the Hart House elections. After the votes have been tallied, the successful candidates will be notified, and the elections results presented to the Board of Stewards.

After the Secretary Elections, all students will have an opportunity to apply to other committee positions. Applications will be available on the Hart House website, each committee will review all applications, and inform applicants of their decisions directly. Each committee will also reserve one executive position for an incoming first-year student, to be determined in September of the following year.

Detailed information regarding this year’s election and committee applications will be sent to all committee executive members at the beginning of the Winter Semester. All applications deadlines can be viewed on the Toolkit home page.

Questions about the election or committee selection process can be directed to Danielle Thibodeau.

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Governance Resources