I will focus on student involvement and research.
I research in the Learning Analytics Research Group, Lifespan Cognition Psychology Lab, IMAGe Psychology Lab, and the University of California, Irvine Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, and run In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. I work as a board member and foundation volunteer committee member for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, volunteer for the British Columbia Psychological Association, and freelance contributor for The Voice Magazine.
To student involvement, this is a concern for AU. This means advocacy, communication, and governance. Advocacy for students to have students active, engaged, and excited to support their representatives. Communication from the AUSU to the student body at large, especially in an online and diverse student body. It is difficult as the largest student body for an open and online university to keep cohesion because of the lack daily contact and the casual engagement of students with digital technology.
To undergraduate research, this is another concern at AU. This involves a sub-categorization of the previous one. In that, student engagement would involve undergraduate student research. For me, the core issue revolves around the possibility to involve students with research to continue their pursuits into graduate level accreditation. Most will not want to transition from their undergraduate education to graduate school. However, the work experience, professional expertise, and skills developed in the course of extra-curricular work such as undergraduate research can develop the best aspects in education for possible utility in the workforce or personal life in the future. We’re here to learn, to grow, and have a little fun in the process. I found this for myself. I would hope to convey and provide this for others too.
One member of Council cannot be the whole movement for improved student engagement and undergraduate research. It takes everyone. It takes Councilors like us. It takes students like you. We’re all in this together. These things take years, and years. However, assistance in the development of AUSU and student body integration, and knowledge and availability of research opportunities for undergraduates, seem like decent first steps in the right direction to me, even beyond my own graduation.