In past years this conference has been called the Staff & Managers Conference. The NASCO Staff & Managers Conference is a cooperative education and training program that is designed specifically to meet the needs of staff and managers of campus-based housing cooperatives. This year we are adding a track for student leaders to engage and learn how to develop a cooperative as well as get the opportunity to network with professional cooperators. The conference serves as a collective learning forum that strives to empower campus co-op staff and students from across Canada and the United States. Conference participants share ideas through workshops, discussions, peer consultancy, and informal networking. This name change only reflects the additional offerings add this year.
Surveys & round-table discussions reflecting a variety of topics help managers compare their cooperative's performance and policies to those of other co-ops. NASCO strongly encourages managers and staff to attend and share individual experiences with the rest of the movement's management staff as well as to seek new solutions and gain support to face the challenges of campus co-op management. We look forward to creating a space for experienced cooperatives-ops can share knowledge with new cooperatives. This event aims to empower student leaders as well to act on housing. Through training on advocacy, development, and financing, it will provide co-op promoters, union executives and all students interested in developing co-ops with actionable skills and a path to success.
This conference is organized in partnership with:
UTILE is a Montréal-based nonprofit with a mission to support the development of affordable, co-operative housing by and for students. It is currently building the 90-unit Woodnote Cooperative project in partnership with Concordia Student Union.
WCRI is Canada’s largest student housing co-operative. As a co-operative, WCRI relies on member involvement in providing affordable housing and creating a supportive and welcoming student community. At WCRI, every member participates to the extent that they are able. What started with a small group of motivated students in the 1960s has grown into housing for more than 800 resident-members. WCRI’s success proves that co-operative enterprises are able to adapt and thrive in changing economic, political and social currents.
"One of the highlights was spending time with other co-op staff and feeling very understood, supported, and inspired by them and their commitment and skills. I also found both of the presentations about conflict resolution and dealing with problem members very informative and engaging."
"Getting together with fellow co-op staff and learning from one another is always the best part of the Staff and Managers Conference; lots of great ideas were shared."
"As a relatively new staff member, it was a great opportunity to meet, bond and discover a wide swath of common ground with similarly engaged colleagues from around the country. The vibe was warm, inviting and engaging. Although many of our coop systems operate differently we share many common issues. There was no end to the creative ways coops have found to solve similar problems."
"One action item I left with was a clarity that I serve at the pleasure of the membership. It's therefore very important to have clear expectations around the authority staff has to interpret and enforce a policy. On one hand, our members need to be trained on how to evaluate staff and manage professional relationships and staff career needs. Additionally, executive and administrative staff need relationships and understandings with the membership about the nature of their employment that enables them to execute their duties with confidence and efficiency. I'll be working to clarify these issues with the membership in my organization."
"The conference was terrific. I really feel more a part of something larger than just my coop."
“It was worth driving 12 hours back and forth for 36 hours with NASCO.”
“Very, very great conference!”