The Athabasca University Students’ Union exists to serve its student membership and enhance their AU undergraduate experience. Through meaningful services, advocacy, and student leadership, AUSU embraces its student diversity while supporting an exceptional online learning experience.
The Athabasca University Students’ Union has students at the heart of the organization and supports their exceptional online learning journey, while continually seeking opportunities to enhance the AU student experience.
The Athabasca University Students’ Union is an independent, student-run organization representing undergraduate students at AU. It serves over 38,000 members annually in home-study locations across Canada and internationally. In any given month, membership is approximately 27,000 active students. AUSU supports students through various online programs and services that include career services, community and wellness initiatives, and an awards and bursaries program.
Due to the widespread nature of the membership, AUSU operates as a virtual organization run by staff located in Edmonton, Alberta, and directed by an elected council of up to thirteen active undergraduate students. Its mandate is to provide advocacy support, and services to the student membership, and to foster community and excellence of distance education at AU and globally.
AUSU has a strong, vibrant, and powerful student voice, and is an important part of the AU community. It is one of the largest students’ unions in North America, with the largest undergraduate student membership in the province of Alberta. While membership changes monthly, as of 2020 AUSU represents over 38,000 undergraduates each year from every province and territory in Canada and over 80 countries around the world. It prides itself on maintaining a strong culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and ensures that EDI is woven through the fabric of the organization.
Originally incorporated on July 16, 1992, the organization became Athabasca University Students’ Union in 1994. AUSU was the first students’ association in the world devoted to serving the needs of distance education learners. The first AUSU election in September 1992 paved the way for hundreds of student leaders to get involved by representing their peers and advocating for AU students at the institutional, provincial, and federal levels.
AUSU regularly advocates on behalf of all members through several initiatives. These include, but are not limited to:
- Member of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), including attendance at numerous CASA conferences and advocacy events. AUSU Executives participate in CASA Advocacy Week on Parliament Hill where student leaders gather annually to advocate to various MP’s and senators for accessible and affordable post-secondary education in Canada.
- Member of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS), which represents the interests of over 140,000 Alberta university students across Alberta.
- Advocating for members to the provincial and federal governments for increased educational funding, equitable student loans programs, scholarships and bursaries, and other relevant student issues.
- Student representatives on numerous internal committees with Athabasca University, including the Board of Governors (BoG), General Faculties Council (GFC), BoG Finance and Property Committee, BoG Governance Committee, BoG Honorary Awards Committee, BoG Institutional Advancement Committee, BoG Academic Affairs Committee, GFC Academic Learning Environment Committee, GFC Academic Excellence Awards Committee, GFC Executive Committee, GFC Student Academic Appeals Committee, GFC Student Awards Committee, each Faculty Council Committee, ICT Governance Committee, Pedagogy and Research Service Advisory Group, and the ERP Service Advisory Group.
- Consultations with the Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and other representatives.
The Voice Magazine is the official publication of the students of Athabasca University and is made possible through funding by the Athabasca University Students’ Union. The Voice is composed of articles created by AU students and guest writers to promote the sharing of news, ideas, opinions, and valuable insights with fellow students at AU.
AUSU members are AU undergraduate students currently taking any AU undergraduate course. Students pay $3.75 per credit toward a membership. Your membership ends on the end date of your course, including extensions or when your final grade is posted. If you purchase a course extension, AUSU extends your membership for free. You need only be in one course to have full membership, though most of our awards have a minimum credit completion requirement.
With membership, students have access to all AUSU services, including the Awards & Bursaries Program, LinkedIn Learning, Vmock Resume Review, personalized student advocacy, Peer Course Reviews, and the Virtual Food Assistance Program. You will also receive AUSU newsletters. In addition, an AUSU member in good standing may:
- attend regular AUSU council meetings for free via teleconference (watch the AUSU website or Facebook page for meeting dates and details);
- attend and vote at any general meeting; and
- run in the AUSU general election for a position on council.
Graduate students are represented by the AU Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA). Visit augsa.com.
The Athabasca University Students’ Union respectfully acknowledges that our organization is located on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional territory of the Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), Woodland Cree, Beaver Cree Dene, Saulteaux, Niisitapi, Métis, and Nakota Sioux Peoples. The traditional name of Edmonton, Alberta is amiskwaciy-wâskahikan, meaning Beaver Hills House in Cree. We also recognize that our members span across the lands we now know as Canada and abroad, and we acknowledge and celebrate these Indigenous histories, languages, and cultures. As an organization, AUSU is committed to decolonization, reconciliation, and conciliation efforts, acknowledging that there is much to unlearn. AUSU will continuously strive to build equitable relationships with Indigenous learners at AU, as well as Indigenous members and staff within AUSU, advocate with and for Indigenous learners through consultation, and create spaces that are inclusive, respectful, and equitable.