It is a very exciting time for AUSU right now. We have just finished another successful election and for the first time, we now have elected 13 councilors. It is inspiring to see the quality of candidates that ran in this election and we are grateful to all who participated. If you looked at the biographies, posters, forums, YouTube videos, The Voice article, or any of the three debates, you could tell that the candidates had really done their homework. Not only is the new council well informed, but it is a great mix of students both geographically as well as by faculty. It has been fairly common in the past for council to be dominated by business students, but this is not the case this year. It will be a well-rounded group that will bring experience from a range of faculties and programs.
It was also inspiring to see the engagement from our members during this election. I saw many questions being asked via social media and in our mobile app. There was a real excitement about getting involved and I know that I spoke to many members who were not able to run for council but really expressed interest in getting involved.
If you think you missed your chance that may not be the case.Now that the election results have been finalized, the new council is working towards electing the next years executive. After that the next step will be to fill committee seats. In the past these seats were only open to council however the current council made steps to allow for additional participation from members. Now if not all of the seats for the Member Engagement and Communications Committee or Finance Committee are filled, members at large can be appointed to fill the vacancies. Another way for you to get involved is to reach out to the new council and share what you would like to see accomplished.
We really do want to hear what is important to you. What concerns do have with AU? What challenges do you face with your education? How can we best represent your needs to AU and the government? When we are able to hear what you need, we are better able to represent you. A recent example of this is that we have been hearing concerns about the long exam lead times and the burden of the late exam fee or exam rebooking fee. With this feedback we have been able to continually bring this issue up in AU meetings. Just the other day, I had the opportunity to speak up in the General Faculties Council and say that AUSU does not support increasing the late exam fees or the exam rebooking fees. With our continued advocacy efforts, the university president and the administration of AU now understand that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and that it is not something that we are going to back down from. We want to ensure that the timelines imposed upon students are reflective of the nature of online exams in addition to ensuring that costs are appropriate.
At the end of the day this council that has been elected is here to serve our members and in order to do this to the best of our ability we need to hear from you. I would encourage you to take the time to come to a meeting, ask questions, or bring your concerns to council. Feel free to reach out to councilors via email or connect with them on social media. It is our responsibility to serve you and we look forward to doing so for the next two years.
VP Finance and Administration