Board of Directors
The Board of Directors (usually just referred to as "Board") is the highest governing body of the BSC.
There are 29 people who can vote on Board:
- 26 BSC members, elected by their unit councils each semester.
- 2 representatives of the BSC Alumni Association, selected by its (separate) board.
- 1 representative of the BSC Employee Association, the BSC staff union.
Since members are a majority of the board, we are entitled to make the highest decisions about co-op operations and structure!
Board "Directors" are also often called "Representatives," since they are elected to represent their house or apartment members.
As of 2021, the main role of Board is to write policy. Policy states how the BSC should operate.
Current Structure #
Board has several subcommittees. Each committee is led by a Vice President. All Board representatives sit on a committee, except the President and the Non-Executive Cabinet Members (NECMs).
Every Board member (except a NECM or President) is part of a committee. Each committee also has a Member at Large, a member who is not part of Board but can apply and be selected by the VP to vote on the committee.
The VPs, President, and NECMs collectively constitute what is called Cabinet. The members of Cabinet typically meet regularly, have a significant portion of their rent compensated, and are considered the member-leaders of the organization.
General members can't vote directly for these Cabinet leaders; they are elected by the outgoing Board from the pool of incoming 29 representatives at a special meeting.
Board Committees #
The Internal Affairs Committee (IACom) is responsible for "evaluating and modifying the policies and procedures pertaining to all BSC professional, member, and workshift staff, as well as BSC program operations at the central and house levels."
IACom typically works on things such as preparing the job descriptions for new hires, and working on minor tweaks or major overhauls of BSC operating procedure.
The Experience & Training Committee (ETCom) works on all aspects of member experience and trainings in the BSC.
ETCom's website describes it as: "the strategic body that shapes the future of the BSC through education!" Goals include making sure new members, member-workers, and member-leaders receive training and support in navigating and shaping our co-op.
The External Affairs Committee (EACom) is responsible for determining directions for BSC's relationship with alumni, community, external entities such as UC Berkeley or the city of Berkeley, and the general public.
In recent years, EACom has often focused on:
- Recruitment strategies for low-income, EOP, undocumented, transfer, and DSP students.
- Fundraising strategies to raise money, primarily from alumni but also from foundations and other sources.
The Capitol and Finance Committee (CFCom) is the main committee responsible for managing and planning the BSC's finances.
Its major responsibility is to prepare a budget proposal each fiscal year for the Board's consideration. CFCom can make changes to policy about things such as reimbursements, the wages of members and employees, or the collection of parking fees.
Other Committees #
Committees you may know of, such as AdCom (Administrative Committee), ConCom (Conduct Committee), or DARCom (Development and Alumni Relations Committee) are not considered Board Committees, because their voting members are not Board Directors.
None of these committees have the authority to create policy. Committees such as AdCom or ConCom typically are concerned mainly with carrying out existing policy. The Board Committees above write most policy proposals which are voted on by the Board.
The Board of Directors meets approximately every month. Committees generally meet every week, unless there is a full Board meeting happening. Agendas for Board and committee meetings are posted in advance online.
All meetings are open to the public.
The exception is if the Board votes to enter "Executive Session" — a closed-door, off-the-minutes discussion. This will be open only to Board Directors and those they vote to include, such as the staff or other members in the room. If a vote is taken during Executive Session, it must be recorded in the minutes as usual.
Summer Governance #
During the summer, Board and its usual committees do not meet. Instead, a body known as the Summer Committee (SumCom) is elected by the Board before the semester ends.
Typically, SumCom consists of a Summer President, Summer Vice President, and 5 others.
Past Structure #
Since the BSC's early days, committees have met to make decisions on co-op operations.
The composition and nature of the committees has changed over time. For example, in Spring 1967, these were the committees:
- Administrative Committee
- Executive Committee
- Finance Committee
- Operations Committee
- Projects Committee
- Social Committee
More recent committee changes include:
- Human Resources Committee (HRCom) was merged with the Operations Committee (OpCom) in fall 2014 to create IACom.
- Demographic Inclusion Task Force (DITF). Though not a "committee" strictly speaking, DITF was active from 2014-2016, working off the 2012 BSC Census results and on the creation of POC Theme House.
- Administrative Committee (AdCom) was functionally eliminated in Spring 2020. Prior to then, AdCom had been a committee of 7 members elected by their units. It was replaced with a version of what had previously been known as "AdHoc," a 3-person group: the Operations Manager (Senior Manager), the Administrative Member Advisor (hired member staff), and the Administrative Committee Chair (hired member staff).
Proportional Voting #
In 2015, the BSC changed its voting rules. According to opponents of the change, this was a shift from being a "direct democracy to [being governed by] an electoral college-style board without proportional representation."
This was a bylaw change, which has to be approved by a referendum of all members.
For more information, see:
- BSC Bylaw Reform Spring 2015: Official website created by proponents of the changes
- "How the Berkeley Coops Lost Proportional Voting": Critical analysis of the changes by opponents
Source: BSC Board of Directors ↩︎
BSC Policy V.D. Executive Sessions ↩︎
BSC Policy VII.A. Summer Governance ↩︎
Source: IACom Website, retrieved 2021. ↩︎
Source: DITF Website ↩︎
BSC Policy: XVII. The Administrative Committee ↩︎
"How the Berkeley Coops Lost Proportional Voting," The BSC Belongs to Us ↩︎