The Role of Senate
BCYP is sponsored by the Youth Parliament of British Columbia Alumni Society. This is an incorporated society whose members are primarily former members of BCYP or of its predecessor, the Older Boys Parliament. As a member of BCYP, you are eligible to be a member of the Alumni Society. New members are admitted to the Alumni Society at the annual general meeting held in the late fall of each year.
The Alumni Society elects a Board of Directors which has become known in Parliament as the “Senate”. The current Premier of BCYP is automatically a member of the Senate as BCYP’s representative. The Senate’s existence and activities are mandated by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Alumni Society and further outlined in the British Columbia Youth Parliament Act.
All of BCYP’s activities, including the activities of Regional Youth Parliaments, are carried on under the umbrella of the Alumni Society and the Alumni Society is legally responsible for all of those activities. Because of this, Senate reviews all the legislation passed by BCYP each year. When it reviews BCYP’s legislation, the Senate has the authority to disallow legislation if, in the opinion of the Senate, the legislation puts at an unacceptable risk the Society, the members, participants or the reputation of BCYP. Through the Regional Youth Parliaments Management Committee, Senate, with Cabinet, oversees the legislation of RYPs.
In addition to these ongoing roles, the Senate is responsible for the organization of the annual parliamentary session. The Executive Director, Registrar and Chief Returning Officer arrange for the use of the legislature, the visit to Government House, the recruitment, acceptance, transportation, accommodation and supervision of members, and many other matters with the assistance of other senators and alumni. The Vice-Chair co-ordinates the selection of the Parliamentary awards recipients. Senate also considers and approves revisions to the Standing Orders.
From time to time Senate also organizes events for alumni, such as celebrations of anniversary years. The Alumni Affairs Director publishes “The Speaker” twice each year to advise the alumni of developments on Senate and in Parliament.
Senators are volunteers who generously give their time and expertise to help BCYP fulfill its motto. We look forward to meeting our fellow alumni (that’s you), and seeing your contribution to this wonderful organization.
Rhonda Vanderfluit, Chair of the Senate