The Students’ Union has existed since the formation of the College in 1975. In 1989, the Students’ Union was formally incorporated as a not-for-profit society, and in 1990 students voted overwhelmingly to become members of the Canadian Federation of Students. In 2004, students voted to change the name of the Students’ Union from the Northwest Community College Students’ Association to the Northwest Community College Students’ Union. In 2009-2010 the current structure of the Students’ Union was adopted.
Since that time, the Students’ Union’s Board of Directors has worked to increase the autonomy of the Students’ Union. At one time, the students’ association on campus was little more than a bill-receiving account governed by the college, decisions were not made by democratically elected students nor was there a functional board of directors, financial oversight procedures or year to year continuity of services, events, or advocacy work.
The role of the Union is to provide a common voice for students’ concerns, to assist students in working together for the goal of a high-quality, universally accessible, publicly funded post-secondary education, and to provide services and events that enrich the lives of all members.
With the failing of the CFS, our membership spoke to separate ourselves from the National organization in November 2017 and remain a local of the British Columbia Federation of Students. This was achieved in June 2018 when CFS membership voted to expel all British Columbia member locals from the federation during the National Semi-Annual General Meeting.
In preparation of the College’s rebranding our membership decided on three name options to be voted on during our Special General Meeting in March 2018. At that meeting the name Coast Mountain Students’ Union was elected as a suitable new name. We will continue to work on the founding principles of NWCCSU, and remember the importance of our victories and the tireless work of our members past and present.
In Fall 2020, bylaw changes were made to simplify the election process for new board of directors, and new Executive positions were added to better represent the student community at Coast Mountain College. In March 2021, CMSU joined other students' unions across the province in offering an extended health and dental plan to eligible members.
CMSU continues to look for ways to support members and enhance the the student experience by providing services, events and advocacy. We operate with one full-time staff person and a volunteer board of directors. All members of the students' union are encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting held in the fall (usually late October to early November), where a new Board of Directors is elected into office. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone wishing to be involved in decision-making at the students' union.