Discover Governance is a resource for student representatives operated by the Students' Union. Our mission is to facilitate improvements to the quality and effectiveness of all levels of student governance at the University of Alberta through impartial professional development, advisory, and support services to student representatives. To fulfill this mission, Discover Governance has four key areas of operation.
Governance Education and Programming
Our education and programming comes in three varieties:
You can download written resources to help you improve your knowledge or skills in the area of governance that's relevant to you. This includes, but is not limited to, participating in meetings, running in an election, starting a new group, surviving a bad transition, taking minutes, and strategic planning. These resources are publicly available and free to download, so go take a look!
We provide a range of in-person professional development sessions, including effective meeting practice, transition facilitation, advocacy training and lobbying practice, introduction sessions on University of Alberta and Students' Union governance, and more! These sessions are free and available to all University of Alberta undergraduate student representatives, prospective SU/representative candidates, and student groups. To find out what's available and request a session for you or your group, visit our Governance Education page.
Every year we run a retreat for Students' Council and Faculty Association Executives called GovCamp. This is a two-day, catered retreat held every Spring to teach new representatives all the basics, and give them opportunities to network and get to know each other. Discover Governance is also involved in planning and executing the STRIDE program, which is a full-year cohort program intended to help women and non-binary students prepare, gain confidence, and build networks to run for student representative positions at the U of A.
Discover Governance provides governance advising services for undergraduate student representatives, undergraduate student groups, and any undergraduate students interested in governance at the U of A. If you want to ask questions, get advice on a governance issue you're dealing with, or find out how and where to get involved, you can get in touch with the Manager of Discover Governance, Rebecca Taylor. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, schedule a time to meet in-person, or take your chances and drop by the Discover Governance office in SUB 6-24 on weekdays between 9:30 and 4:30 and see if any of our helpful staff are around to chat!
Discover Governance provides administrative support for many of the high level student representative groups on campus, including Students' Council, GFC Student Caucus, Council of Faculty Associations, and Council of Residence Associations. We help book space, produce and disseminate meeting materials, and keep in contact with members. If you have questions about what these bodies are doing, when they meet, and how to get in contact with them, you can direct your questions to our office.
Our office can't do what we do unless we have good information on where student representatives exist, what they do, who they are, and what they need. As such, research on student governance at the U of A is integral to the development of our programming and our annual operational planning. We hope to share more and more of this research with the University community in the coming years. To see the information we've collected so far, check out our governance research page!
Students' Union Building
University of Alberta
8900 - 114 Street NW