Governance, what’s governance?
Governance is the policies and processes we use to make decisions and do our work. Basically, it’s the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ for the way the USC works. Governance at the USC is monitored and upheld by a number of different bodies, all of which have different responsibilities and areas of focus: the Board of Directors, Council, Appeals Board, Clubs Governance Board, and Elections Governance Committee.
Governance is set up through bylaws, policies, and processes or procedures. Think of these like the parts of a house. Bylaws are the foundation of any corporation, and should not be changed very often. Everything the corporation does rests on the bylaws. Policies are the walls: they set boundaries that guide the shape of the corporation, from how big it is and how many different rooms (activities) it has. Policies can be reviewed on a regular basis, but you don’t generally take down walls in a house (or put walls up) every year as this would threaten the structural integrity of the building. Finally, the procedures are like the furniture in a house. They are the indicator as to how you should use a room: if it’s got a bed, it’s probably a good indication that you should sleep there, whereas a table and appliances would suggest a kitchen to eat in. Procedures, like furniture, can be rearranged to make the room work better as needed.
Each of the USC’s governing bodies starts from the bylaws, with policies and procedures defining the work each body does and how it gets done. For example, the Board of Directors is responsible for the corporate side of the organization, from finance and operations to human resources and risk management. Council is responsible for advocacy and student experience.