Exec Blog: December 2015

It’s hard to believe that 2015 has already come and gone and 2016 is now before us.  2015 has been a busy year with many ups and downs, but we are looking forward to the many new and exciting adventures that await us.

Looking back at the past few months, things have been very busy for both AU and AUSU.  AU has been working on multiple projects that will help to provide better student services, such as a student relationship management program that will help to improve the overall student experience, and hopefully will be rolled out during 2016.

AU has also begun moving forward with their business process review as outlined in the Presidential Task Force report.  This will help to identify areas where AU can achieve more administrative efficiency and save money.  While all this is going on, AU is still working very closely with the Alberta Government to help the University get the appropriate funding that it needs.

AUSU has also been hard at work beefing up policies, increasing communications, and most recently, increasing representation for our students.  Back in November, AUSU executives were able to attend the CASA policy and strategy conference.  This was a great opportunity to get the needs of AU students recognized at national level. The objective of the conference was to decide on the advocacy topics and strategy for the coming year.  There were many long meetings and discussions, but it was a great opportunity to provide insight from the perspective of AU students.

During the conference, there was also a number of new committees formed which allowed AUSU to take on a more active role in CASA. Before this conference, AUSU was part of one CASA committee. We now have representation on four committees, one of which is the National Advocacy Team.  The National Advocacy Team position gives AUSU an active role in shaping the various advocacy campaigns undertaken by CASA. The next advocacy campaign is going to be focused around student financial aid.  Anyone who has used student financial aid as a mature AU student knows how challenging it can be to get access to government funding.  As a member of this committee, I was able to pass on the concerns and challenges that AU students face when trying to get financial aid. This helped to develop the central theme of the campaign, namely to increase funding accessibility for students.

With the increased representation that AUSU now has with CASA, we look forward to this coming year and the increased opportunities that we have stand up for the needs of AU students.

With all of the work going on at AU and AUSU, we are excited and looking forward to this new year!
Brandon Simmons
AUSU VP Finance and Administration