Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions pertain to AUSU, the Athabasca University Students’ Union. If you have further questions about AUSU, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

If you have questions about Athabasca University services, resources, procedures, or any other topic specific to the University or your studies, check out the AU Quick Links page on our website here, or contact AU directly.

Category: About AUSU
Your student union fees are automatic and non-refundable. Make note, having a students’ union is mandated by the Government in the Alberta Post-Secondary Learning Act (section 94-95). Even if you do not make use of AUSU’s services, we still do a lot of work on your behalf behind the scenes which requires funding, particularly in the form of advocacy. We advocate to the provincial and federal governments for more affordable and accessible post-secondary education for all students, and are a member of the Canadian Alliance of Students’ Associations (CASA). Our executives meet with various government officials to advocate on behalf of AU students, including numerous meetings with the Minister of Advanced Education in Alberta, and travelling to Ottawa every year to meet with Senators and Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill during CASA’s annual Advocacy Week. We also advocate at the institutional level on a variety of topics, including improved student services, improved technology and infrastructure, e-texts and cost-savings sharing, reduction of fees, course and program maintenance and development, external relations, and more. You can read more about AUSU’s position on a variety of important advocacy topics in our position policies here (bottom of page, policies starting with 9). In fact, if it were not for AUSU’s advocacy, your tuition would likely be higher than it currently is! For an overview of AUSU’s recent advocacy initiatives, visit our website here. Additionally, please note that all of AUSU’s services are available to all AUSU students, regardless of their location. Since Athabasca University is an online institution, all of our services were designed specifically for distance education learners. We encourage you to make use of them!
Category: About AUSU

AUSU council consists of thirteen councillors elected by the AUSU membership. General elections for student council are held every two years. You can find out more about AUSU elections online here.

We also occasionally have committee seats available for members-at-large to apply for. We have two standing committees that can have members-at-large on them – the Finance Committee and the Member Engagement and Communications Committee. We also occasionally form temporary working groups or ad-hoc committees that recruit from the membership.

In addition, we have a Student Advisory Committee, consisting of up to 10 members at large and the AUSU president, which provides the leadership of AUSU and its stakeholders with student feedback on varying topics as required throughout the academic year. The committee application process generally occurs in the early Fall.

When these committee seats are available, they are posted to our website, social media, mobile app, and our e-newsletter that is emailed to all AUSU members (except for those that have unsubscribed).

Members are also welcome to attend public AUSU council meetings. Council meetings are typically held once per month by teleconference. During meetings, the council discusses current initiatives, approves policy updates, presents reports from the staff, executives and committees, and more. There is also a Q&A period in all regular council meetings for members to address the council or ask them questions.

AUSU also regularly holds meet & greets in various locations across Canada each year, seeks out feedback from the membership for various topics, such as our annual student services survey, and occasionally posts contests, polls, or other ways to get involved on social media. Make sure to follow us (using social media icons at the top right of this site).

In addition, if you are interested in writing, our student publication, “The Voice Magazine”, is always looking for writers. The Voice Magazine is composed of articles, interviews, columns, and news that are written by AU students, for AU students. You can view The Voice online here, or email [email protected] if you are interested in being a writer.

You can also connect with other students through the free Mobile App, which has a very active campus chat community, or the AU Student Facebook Group.

Category: About AUSU

AU is the Athabasca University itself.

AUSU is the Athabasca University Students’ Union. We are a completely separate, student run organization, with our own office space and budget. AUSU represents the undergraduate students of Athabasca University, with a membership of over 35,000 students per year. AUSU is run by council of 13 elected representatives, which includes 3 executive councillors, and a small staff comprised of 3 full-time and 2 part-time staff members.

AUSU collects a small student fee with each undergraduate course registration ($3.75 per credit), which is one of the lowest student union fees in Alberta. With these fees, we provide numerous student services, including many awards and bursaries, free mobile app, an online student publication, a podcast for AU students, free subscription to LinkedIn Learning, online course evaluations, eyewear discounts, pharmacy savings and free delivery, career resources, and more. We also provide extensive student advocacy, at the university level, as well as with the federal and provincial governments.

Make note, questions specific to AU should be directed to AU itself. Although AUSU can provide support and direction, we are not advisors for Athabasca University and do not work for them. You can find the AU contact information online here.