A new council term has officially begun, and new committee appointments have been made both within AUSU and within the university. In total your AUSU executives sit on 17 standing committees within the university including the Board of Governors and the General Faculties Council. On top of these committee meetings, AUSU executives participate in multiple ad hoc committee meetings, CASA committees, and we regularly meet with many other stakeholders such as AUFA, AU Deans, and AU executives. The reason that we spend so much of our time in meetings is to ensure that we are are to advocate on behalf of AUSU members. The whole reason that the university is here is to help us to achieve our educational pursuits, so it only makes sense to have students in the room when decisions are being made.
So, the question you might be asking now is what does AUSU advocate for? The short answer is we advocate for the needs of our members. The long answer is that what we advocate for is always changing based on the feedback that we hear from you. I consistently monitor multiple AU Facebook pages, the AUSU app, and emails to see what concerns students are facing. When I see consistent problems, I make sure that I bring them up to AU.
Other ways that we receive guidance on what to advocate for is by our annual survey or by contact from our members.
If you have concerns or suggestions that you would like us to bring up with AU, please feel free to reach out to any of us here at AUSU. We are here for you and want to ensure that we are able to represent your needs. Advocacy does not just take place in official meetings either – any time that we interact with AU we work to try and advance our advocacy efforts. Just last week I was asked to go and speak at an AU open house in Athabasca. While up there I was able to have many conversations with various AU executives and staff and I was able to share student concerns. Recently I have noticed there have been many concerns raised over the delay from student aid advisors, so when I saw the manager of this department at the meeting I made sure to go and share these concerns that have been raised. It was a great opportunity that will lead to future discussions on what can be done to help address this issue.
Even if you do not directly contact us we are working hard to stay informed about what advocacy initiates are needed but we are better able to advocate on your behalf if we do hear from you. Again, with the start of this new council term I encourage you to reach out to your new executives and council even if it is just to connect with them and chat. I love being able to chat with fellow AU students so feel free to connect with me anytime. I really look forward to hearing from you.