AUSU Position Policies – What they are and how you can help!
I can’t believe it’s already June! I’ve been in my role as vice president finance and administration here at AUSU now for just over six weeks – and time has flown by! I’ve learned a lot about student governance and university operations in this time, and I’ve been well-trained to pursue the responsibilities this role brings.
What responsibilities, you say? Well, you’re likely aware that I’m assigned the task of overseeing the financial status of our organization and chairing the finance committee, but my other major responsibility falls in the realm of policy – and this is where I wanted to focus the executive blog this month.
Please don’t start snoozing! Policy is actually pretty cool when you break it down. It’s a great way to lay out the operations of an organization concisely. If policy is done right, they can give us clear rules by which we can keep our ship sailing in smooth waters. Simply put, policy helps us create a well-maintained system of practices that get us to where we want to be: advocating for the needs of our students!
Here’s where policy can get really interesting. AUSU has a policy section dedicated to stances we officially hold on different concerns voiced by our student population. These are aptly-named as position policies, and you can find them on our website here: https://www.ausu.org/governance/bylaws-policies/ under section nine. These are worth perusing if you’d like to acquaint yourself with what AUSU is currently advocating for.
Speaking of current, position policies don’t stick around forever. They are created specifically to address concerns that arise, and they can be redacted when the issue is deemed as resolved. This means they can live for any amount of time necessary. During the course of their lives, AUSU uses position policies when asked questions by stakeholders related to the issues in question. For example, if we are asked our thoughts on E-texts, we turn to Policy 9.22: E-text Choice and Cost Savings Sharing, and quote directly from there.
These policies can be a very powerful tool in our organization. They show that we have put thought, effort, and resources into their creation and maintenance. They also show that we are serious about what we advocate for and that we have a strong voice that must be heard. As I begin to dig more deeply into the role of VPFA at AUSU, it has become a goal of mine to develop and flesh out the position policies we want to see enacted so that we can work more efficiently toward fulfilling the needs of our student members.
Although policy is a large part of my portfolio, the effort put into the process is not born by me alone. It is a team effort, as many things at AUSU are, and we have the wonderful support of our staff members when dealing with policy. Our Governance and Advocacy Coordinator, Emmanauel Barker, is super knowledgeable and experienced in this realm. Thanks to our amazing staff support we are able to come up with ideas for policies and turn to folks like Emmanauel to research, develop, draft, etc … (thanks so much team!).
Once Emmanauel creates a draft policy, he’ll send it over to me to add my thoughts and contributions, and any edits I think might be appropriate. We can then have a chat about our thoughts, and once we’ve reached a conclusion on the policy and edits I send it off to our executive team. After the executive committee reviews the policy, we send it up to council. AUSU Student Council has final say on the approval of the creation of policies (although executive committee can approve informal changes to existing policies on their own).
The policy creation procedure is a great way to add many perspectives to a system and allows us to ensure the operations we create are well-rounded and a good representation of our student members. With that being said, it is always valuable to have actual direct input from our members about what they want to see us do! If you have any thoughts on what kind of position policies you’d like to see, or if you have any questions about policy at AUSU, please feel free to email me anytime at [email protected]usu.org.
Thanks for reading – enjoy your June!
Until next time,
VP Finance and Administration