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Brandon Simmons

Location: Duffield, AB

Check out my campaign video on YouTube here

Throughout my life I have been highly involved in my communities.  I have served on local boards, ran for municipal council, and started a charity to support the Alberta flood recovery efforts.  Along with my passion for community I bring to council a strong business background especially in the areas of governance and accounting.  I have worked as a public accountant, placed third in the CPA board governance competition, and founded a business consulting company.  Currently I serve as the AUSU VPFA and I have also served as VPEX in the past. My goal is to remain highly engaged with AUSU members, so I can truly represent you and be your voice on council. When I started at AU my wife was pregnant with our first child. Since then I have studied full time on student loans, part time while self-funding my education, and soon I will have four kids.  My AU path is not unique, but it does allow me to relate to the many varying challenges faced by our members.

One reply on “Brandon Simmons”

Hey Everyone,

I hope that you take the time to research me and the other great candidates that we have. The candidates that are elected will be representing you for the next two years and you want to make sure that they are going to represent your needs and listen to you. I hope that you will take the time to reach out to me as I would love to connect with you. Feel free to comment below, in the forums, or connect with me on social media (www.facebook.com/bsimmons38) or by email ([email protected])

You may have seen in The Voice Magazine this week answers from some of the candidates. Unfortunately, due to an email issue, my answers were not delivered to the voice but I thought that I would share them on here for everyone to see.

What faculty are you in, if any, and how much longer do you expect to be studying at AU?

I am in the faculty of business and currently finishing my second year of my Bachelor of Commerce degree. I will be studying at AU for another six to seven years as I plan to pursue an MBA after completing my undergrad.

What is your motto in life? In politics?

The moto that I have lived my life by is leadership listens. This applies not only to how I live my life but especially in politics. The only way that a leader can be truly effective is by listening to those around them and to whom they represent.

If you had an enemy, what would they claim is the reason?

The only reason that I can think of would be that they disagreed with my opinion. I am not afraid to firmly stand up for what I think is right and that doesn’t always sit well with people. When I do disagree with someone I do so respectfully and work to resolve issues while remaining open to other points of view.

For awards, do you think it’s better to have fewer, larger awards or many smaller ones?

I feel like it is better to be in the middle as this allows students to still receive a decent award but still opens the opportunity to more students.

Also, should awards be primarily needs based or achievement based?

I also feel that there should be an even balance so that student achievements are able to be celebrated while still supporting students in need.

AUSU is currently budgeting for a deficit. It has funds in reserve of slightly less than one year’s budgeted expenses. It has been discussing increasing fees. What is your take on this issue?

AUSU has continued to increase its services and programs over the years without a fee increase since back in 2009. Over the past couple of years, we have worked to cut down on expenses that will not negatively impact members and we are now at a point where we do need a fee increase. That being said the real question that still needs to be determined is when do we need the increase? I opposed the fee increase proposal that came forward recently because right now AUSU has significant reserves that are just sitting without a purpose and before we can raise fees we owe to our members to ensure that our finances are all in order. This is why I suggested that we undertake an in-depth review of our reserves which I am spearheading right now.

Is there a program or activity AUSU does now that you think it should expand on?

The one thing that I think that AUSU should continue to expand on is its programs aimed at building relationships between students. AUSU currently has the mobile app and we have been hosting meet and greets across Canada. These services help students to make connections with each other and the more that we can do to support these efforts I would support.

Is there a program or activity AUSU does now that you think it should cut support for?

This question is one that council has looked into over the years and cuts have been made in the past. Currently, the only program that AUSU should discontinue would be the lifeline program since AU has received mental health funding and will be taking over this service or implementing a comparable system. That being said we absolutely need to keep supporting this program until AU has fully implemented their mental health program.

If you were able to make AUSU achieve any one thing, what would it be?

If I could help AUSU achieve one thing it would be to increase student engagement. This is something that I feel is something that students are looking for and it is something that I have been working to improve since I joined council.