Arthur’s Board of Directors will be electing new members at our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, November 13. If you’re interested in seeing that happen or taking part, you are most welcome. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on.
Like Trent University, Arthur operates essentially on a bicameral (literally, two-chamber) system, though Arthur gives preponderant power to the content side, whereas Trent favours the business side.
At Arthur, editorial and production – what’s actually in the paper – is entirely in the hands of the editors. Operational and financial issues, which aren’t always very interesting or controversial but need to be covered for the paper to publish and for the editors to have editorial freedom, are handled by the Board of Directors.
Arthur is pretty democratic. Editors and Directors are elected, though editorial elections tend to be more openly contested and political because they affect the content of the paper, and especially its political position, for a given year. For the most part, Directors are acclaimed, because they only control whether the paper even exists. (That’s irony, by the way.)
Editors are elected once a year, in the spring, whereas Directors are elected twice: half the Board is elected in the spring along with the editors, and the other half is elected in the fall at the Annual General Meeting.
Arthur is supported by a student levy, so all students are formally members of Arthur. Members can attend the Annual General Meeting and vote at it, and can run and sit as member Directors on the Board. Member directors are elected in the fall.
Anyone who contributes to producing Arthur – the writers, editors, photographers, and production staff and volunteers – on a semi-regular basis (officially it’s 15% of the issues, or three issues) is a member of the Staff Collective.
People in the Staff Collective not only vote on who gets to be editor of Arthur (see? Pretty democratic) but also can run to be staff directors on the Board. They’re elected in the spring along with the editors.
The Board of Directors meets once a month to discuss with the editors how the paper is going. It’s not much of a commitment time-wise, but it’s a pretty big deal. If there’s a crisis (and there have been some doozies over the years) it becomes an even bigger deal.
Mostly, though, it’s a chance to contribute to independent journalism at Trent by making sure everything is working the way it needs to.
Please consider joining us.