Student Toolkit: Governance

Governance Structure

Hart House’s unique student-centred system of governance is based upon an unwavering commitment to student collaboration, consensus and democratic decision making at all levels. Student input and action is the cornerstone of Hart House governance. The foundation of Hart House governance is built upon partnerships between students and staff that create unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage with and contribute to the university.

Board of Stewards

Club and Committee Executive

Role of Executive Committee Members

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Board of Stewards

Hart House’s system of governance is based upon a commitment to collaborative and democratic decision-making. The Board of Stewards is Hart House’s highest governing body and oversees the affairs of the House in concert with the Warden. The Board of Stewards is comprised of:

  1. The President of the University (ex officio) or his or her designate
  2. The Warden of Hart House, (ex officio)
  3. An appointee of the Governing Council
  4. Two appointees of the President of the University
  5. The Chair of the Alumni Committee (ex officio)
  6. An appointee of the Association of Part Time Undergraduate Students
  7. An appointee of the Graduate Students’ Union
  8. An appointee of the University of Toronto Students’ Union
  9. A student member of the Finance Committee (to be chosen by said committee)
  10. The Student Secretaries (ex-officio) of the Art, Debates, Farm, House, Literary & Library, Music, Recreational Athletics, Theatre and Social Justice Committees, and any other Standing Committees as may be constituted by the Board of Stewards (to be elected by and from the membership of their respective committees)
  11. A student representative of the Universityof Torontoat Scarborough.
  12. A student representative from the University of Toronto at Mississauga
  13. A Senior Member (to be elected by and from the membership of the Recreational Athletics Committee)

Clubs & Committees

Clubs are focused on a single activity such as “Art” or “Music” and Standing Committees have a broader mandate. All Hart House groups strive to reach across the three U of T campuses and into the broader community through creative and engaging programming and events.

Each of the clubs and committees is responsible for establishing an executive committee.  With some variations in particular instances, the following structural and operational guidelines are in place:

    • C&C executive committees are made up of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 11 voting positions, the majority of which must be filled by students
    • each executive committee has a student Secretary (President), a Treasurer, a Chair, a nonvoting staff liaison and members at large
    • minutes are taken at each meeting and reviewed and discussed at the next meeting
    • at the conclusion of key events the project leader completes an assessment survey
    • C&C self evaluation will take place each term

Role of Executive Committee Members

Secretary (President)

The  Secretary, who must be a current University of Toronto student, is elected as the Chief Officer of the Committee and  must have served previously as a voting member of the Executive Committee or as Secretary of another Hart House Club or Committee for one year.

  • Is the central communicator for and amongst the Executive Committee
  • Presents, with the Treasurer, the annual operating budget to the Committee on Budgets
  • Works with the Executive Committee and with Hart House in the recruitment of new members as well as overseeing elections for the subsequent year
  • Prepares and submits an end of year report including significant decisions, events, assessment reports and recommendations, which informs the final C&C (review will be presented to the Board of Stewards)
  • Is a voting member of the Board of Stewards, which meets monthly throughout the academic year
  • Sends Executive Committee reports to the Board and is the direct line of communication to and from the Board
  • Prepares meeting agenda
  • Organizes meetings as necessary

The Treasurer plays a vital role as liaison between Hart House and each C&C executive committee member, communicating about budgeting and ensuring that committee members are aware of their spending in relation to budget.

Promotions Manager
Co-ordinates and ensures the proper promotion and advertising of the group’s events and activities through electronic media, posters, PSAs, newspaper ads, press/media releases etc., operating within the provisions of Hart House’s Marketing and Communication Standards. You are the Committee’s representative to Hart House’s Marketing Department. In groups that organize several events/activities there may be a promotions manager for each.

Chair and Vice-Chair

  • Are appointed by the Board of Stewards on the recommendation of the Warden with C&C input
  • Are nonvoting members of the Executive Committee, acting as  impartial, unbiased facilitators at meetings, ensuring that the business at hand is executed efficiently and fairly, bearing in mind Hart House rules of order [in the event of a tie, the Chair may vote].
  • In the absence of a Chair, the Warden, Staff Liaison, or Executive Secretary may facilitate meetings
  • The Warden acts as the Vice Chair on all C&C Executive Committees, and as such, holds the same voting privileges as the Chairperson

Members at Large

  • Voting member
  • Attend all Committee meetings and send regrets to the Executive Secretary if unable to attend
  • Understand and fulfill position’s specific duties and report to the Executive Committee as necessary
  • Stay apprised on Committee business in order to make informed decisions when voting on motions
  • Recruit successor and pass on pertinent information in a timely fashion

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