2017 Council Retreat

Left to right: Councillor Kim Newsome, VP External and Student Affairs Julian Teterenko, VP Finance and Administration Scott Jacobsen, Councillor Robin Bleich, Councillor Amanda Lipinski, Executive Director Jodi Campbell, Councillor Brandon Simmons, President Shawna Wasylyshyn.

In June 2017, AUSU council traveled from across Canada to meet up in Athabasca for a council working retreat. The retreat was held over the convocation weekend from June 7 to June 10, which provided a great opportunity for council to see the ceremony, greet other AU students and celebrate their successes, as well as to meet in person with various AU stakeholders.

The retreat was a great success with lots of brainstorming and action plans. The council met armed with the results of our recent #AUGoals Advocacy Campaign, and the recent AUSU Services Survey. AUSU values the opinions of the membership, and will use the member feedback to assist in setting our goals, budget, advocacy priorities, and strategic planning.

During the retreat, council was able to meet in person with various AU VP’s, including Estelle Lo (VP Finance and Administration), Dr. Veronica Thompson (Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences), Dr. Margeret Edwards (Dean of Health Disciplines), and Richard Macleod (Registrar) for some engaging discussions.. They were also able to chat with various other VP’s over the course of the weekend at various events.

In addition, AUSU staff and council was all invited to the Board of Governors dinner. This was another great opportunity to chat and mingle with AU VP’s and stakeholders throughout the course of the evening, to hear speeches from AU President Neil Fassina, the new Board Chair, Vivian Manasc, and to meet the recipients of the Order of Athabasca and Honorary Doctorate degrees. Lots of great ideas for collaboration between AU and AUSU arose from dinner discussions!

AUSU also hosted a birthday party to celebrate it’s 25th year. The event took place in front of the beautiful fountain installation in front of the main building on the AU Athabasca Campus. There was an enormous cake and munchies, and some great conversations with other AU students and staff. Even the AU President stopped by to say hi!

Overall, it was a fun and productive weekend. Council got a chance to get to know each other better, which helps facilitate conversation when most meetings throughout the year are done by teleconference. Some great ideas were formed to help AUSU with strategic planning for the upcoming year with a vision of expanding our advocacy efforts, member engagement, and more. Stay tuned for more details to come about our plans for the upcoming year!

If you have any questions, feel free to email

Click images below to enlarge! 

The whole gang with the AU President, Neil Fassina at convocation!

Brainstorming well under way!

More brainstorming – so many colours!

And even more brainstorming – so many great ideas!

Just one of many topics discussed!

AUSU Executives ready to greet students at our 25 Year Birthday Party!

Birthday party picnic by the gorgeous fountains on AU Athabasca campus!

The cake was delicious!

Selfies with the AU President!

All dressed up for the AU Board of Governor’s Dinner!

AUSU President Shawna Wasyklyschyn and AUGSA President Jamie Czerwinski. 

Getting to know each other! What a great weekend!