Unlike a student council every aspect of our student union is run directly by our members, the students of Lakehead University.
Each year they nominate themselves to serve on the board of directors or 1 of 4 executive offices tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the student union.
We all have an equal say who is elected to represent us and our constitution ensures that the ultimate power of the union lies directly with the students.
Democracy isn't something that happens once a year
Students are involved every day in LUSU’s decision-making by sitting on committees, answering surveys, signing petitions, attending meetings, or volunteering to serve as student representatives.
Each year our members approve the previous years operations and financials at our Annual General Meeting and they have the opportunity to ask questions of our executives and the unions 3rd party independent auditor.
No new fees above 5% can be levied on our membership without a vote. If we agree to a fee in a referendum, the Lakehead University board of governors is required to remit those fees to LUSU. This gives us strong autonomy to act in our own best interests.
Why am I a member?
Most post-secondary schools in Canada have at least on student union with representatives elected by the student body to represent them on matters of school policy and campus issues. Students pay membership fees in their tuition anywhere from an additional $10–$500 to pay for the operations and services of the union. The majority of the money raised from student union fees is directly paid to major service providers such as Health Plan and Public Transit providers. The remaining union fees are used to pay for advocacy and support staff, offices, events, campaigns, activities, and student spaces. One of the biggest services a student union can provide is that of advocacy. They will act on behalf of the student on matters such as academic appeals, student discipline cases such as plagiarism and cheating, residential tenancy issues, parking disputes, library fine appeals, and requests for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Acts.
Student unions are charged by their membership to protect their best interests at the university, municipal, provincial and federal government levels. Many students' unions in Canada are members of one of the national student organizations. LUSU is a member (local 32) of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) representing over 500,000 students on both the federal and provincial level.