Unlike most nonprofit organizations, the Oregon Student Association is run, led, and directed by students. The professional staff of OSA report to its students, ensuring the needs of students are always the priorities of the organization. Students select the issues, strategy, and outcomes of everything that OSA does, while its professional staff executes the day-to-day operations.
While once the Board of Directors was the sole board of the organization, students of color and queer students found their voices unheard and formed boards focused on racial and queer justice respectively. Now, most major decisions are made with representatives of each of the three boards, or all three boards meeting as one in “general assembly.” OSA’s governance structure, while complex, is designed to preserve diverse student voices in its decision making.
Three boards govern OSA:
- The Board of Directors, made up of the Student Body President of each member campus and an additional appointee
- The Oregon Students of Color Coalition (OSCC), made up of 2+ students from each campus focused on racial justice
- The Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance (OSERA), made up of 2+ students from each campus focused on queer justice
The boards meet once a month, excluding some months due to breaks in school schedules.