Emily Gaudette, Mila Mattson and Carleen Thomas join the board responsible for running the University
Greta Kooy, News Editor
Capilano University recently introduced three new members – Emily Gaudette, Mila Mattson and Carleen Thomas – to its Board of Governors (BOG), which conjointly runs the University with the Senate. “We have a diverse, experienced and dedicated Board that will uphold the good governance and stewardship of Capilano University,” said Soon Kim, chair of the BOG.
The BOG is made up of 15 members, including the Chancellor, President, two faculty members elected by their peers, two students and a non-faculty member elected by other University staff. The other eight members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, two of whom are nominated by the Alumni Association. These 15 members are responsible for the land, finance and affairs of the University. In accordance with the University Act of British Columbia, the BOG also sets policies and “must act in the best interests of the university.”
Carleen Thomas, who was appointed to the BOG by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, works as a special projects manager for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN). She has worked for the TWN educational department and with both the Burnaby and North Vancouver school districts. At CapU, Thomas has acted as an Indigenous representative to the Senate.
One of the two elected student representatives is Emily Gaudette. New to the Board this year, Gaudette is in her fifth semester at CapU in the Global Stewardship Program. Apart from serving as a member on the Board of Governors, Gaudette is also a member of the student-driven CapU Works, a representative on the Board of Directors at the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) and sits on their Governance Committee.
“Having that experience and support has been invaluable and I hope to carry that experience over to my role on [the] BOG,” said Gaudette. “Being a Student Representative means my job is to advocate for student issues and goals within Capilano,” she said, adding that being a student gives her a different perspective. “I’ve been a full-time Capilano student for two years and I believe I know what many of those issues and visions are.” She encourages students to approach her with their own perspectives and experiences.
Gaudette’s primary focus will be on helping the University develop in areas such as accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity as well as the implementation of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. “After witnessing the growth of many of my peers and friends who got involved in various ways on campus with the goal of making it better, I decided to put my foot in the ring,” she said.
Mila Mattson, another new face on the BOG, has been involved at CapU in a variety of different capacities for the past 14 years, the latest of which has her in a supervising role in the Faculty of Health and Education.
“I first became interested in running for the [BOG] as I had felt a disconnect to it in the past,” said Mattson. “I didn’t know who was on it, what it did and decided to really look into its role and mandate, and became immediately interested.”
Mattson’s connection to the community is staff and student-oriented. “I wanted to be sure that the everyday story is told from a working and experiential perspective,” she said, “I think that it is important to bring this perspective to the membership.” She has worked directly with students on many occasions in her roles within the Registrar’s office, in areas such as admissions, advising and graduation services.
“I have witnessed unbelievable successes here at CapU and have been honoured and privileged to work with some amazing students and staff,” said Mattson. “If we continue to ask ourselves ‘how does this benefit our students?’ as we move through development… we can’t go wrong.”