Run for Council in the 2020 AUSU By-Election!

AUSU currently has 4 vacant council seats, so we will be holding a by-election on August 25, 2020 to fill them! Nominations open Friday, July 24.

This is a great opportunity for students to get involved with their students’ union, gain some great experience, and represent their fellow students.

If you are interested in advocating for students, being a part of an amazing team of AUSU staff and councillors, and creating an AU student community, then run for AUSU council!

Any AUSU member can run for council, no matter where they live or what they study. Since AU students are all distance learners, councillors can work remotely from all over the world, and most council work is done through email and teleconference.

Benefits of being on AUSU student council include: 

  • Opportunity to advocate on behalf of Athabasca University students.
  • Helping to create and foster an Athabasca University student community composed of distance education learners around the world.
  • Becoming part of a dedicated and amazing team of AUSU staff and council that serve the needs of the AU student body. 
  • Opportunity to provide services and support to AUSU members. 
  • Opportunity to learn more about the management of your university, and post-secondary education on a provincial and national level. 
  • Governance training and experience, including how to develop goals and strategic plans, approve a budget, read and revise policies, conduct meetings, vote on motions, and more. 
  • Opportunity to work on AUSU committees and help guide and direct the organization. 
  • Paid honorarium for attending meetings ($75 per council meeting and $50 for committee work for councillors without portfolio, unless otherwise specified in the committee terms of reference). 
  • Bringing your AU student experience to the next level and getting involved, no matter where you live!

There are a lot of important topics for AUSU to tackle in the upcoming two years, including:

  • Tuition increase of 7% for 20-21, with potential 7% increases for 2 more years
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on Athabasca University studies
  • New AU Virtual Learning Environment with major online infrastructure changes
  • Support and advocacy for marginalized and under-represented students
  • Service standards and timelines at Athabasca University
  • Relevance and competitiveness of distance education

The students elected to council will help influence decisions being made regarding these important topics.

To run for council, submit the completed Nomination Package to the AUSU 2020 Chief Returning Officer, Bailey Daines, at [email protected] between July 24 – August 7, 2020.

To run for council, you will also need to prepare a short biography, photo, and optional video and/or electronic poster.

What do AUSU councillors do?

AUSU councillors represent Athabasca University undergraduates students and advocate on their behalf. They also guide and direct the students’ union organization through its mission, vision, and values. Councillors attend council and committee meetings by teleconference, develop strategic plans, policies, bylaws, an annual budget, and more. Councillors serve for a 2-year term. Since this is a by-election, the newly elected councillors would serve until April 2022. You can find out more about councillor responsibilities in the following AUSU policy:
– AUSU Policy 2.14 Councillor Responsibility and Honoraria

Three executive positions are also internally elected every year from the elected councillors. These roles are currently held by President Natasha Donahue, Vice President External and Student Affairs Stacey Hutchings, and Vice President Finance and Administration Monique Durette. Executive positions are held for one year. The next election of executive councillors will occur in the spring of 2021. You can find out more about the executive positions in the following AUSU policies:
– AUSU Policy 2.03 Responsibilities of Executive Officers 
– AUSU Policy 2.15 Executive Accountability and Compensation.

The day-to-day operations of AUSU are run by a dedicated team of 5 staff members (3 full-time, 2 part-time), but the organization is student-led by the elected council and executives.

AUSU would love to have you on the team – submit a nomination form to run for AUSU council by August 7, 2020 at midnight MT.

Fun fact: AUSU just celebrated its 28th birthday on July 16, 2020! Check out our video with some highlights of AUSU online here.

For more info about the AUSU By-Election, visit the website here.


For more information about councillor roles, responsibilities, and honorarium, please review section 2 of the AUSU policy manual.

For more information about AUSU elections and election procedures, please review section 3 of the AUSU policy manual.

For any other questions about the 2020 By-Election, contact the Chief Returning Officer, Bailey Daines, at [email protected].