This past March AUSU council had an election and saw 13 councillors, some new and some old, become elected to be the voice of students. I was one of the new councillors, excited at the prospect of having some kind of influence in shaping the Athabasca University experience for my fellow distance learners.After learning more about the way AUSU works and what the position entails, I ran for vice president finance and administration and was successful.
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 Continue Reading
It is a very exciting time for AUSU right now. We have just finished another successful election and for the first time, we now have elected 13 councilors. It is inspiring to see the quality of candidates that ran in this election and we are grateful to all who participated. If you looked at the biographies, posters, forums, YouTube videos, The Voice article, or any of the three debates, you could tell that the candidates had really done their homework. Not only is the new council well informed, but it is a great mix of students both geographically as well as by faculty. It has been fairly common in the past for council to be dominated by business students, but this is not the case this year. It will be a well-rounded group that will bring experience from a range of faculties and programs.
It was also inspiring to see the engagement from our members during this election. I saw many questions being asked via social media and in our mobile app. There was a real excitement about getting involved and I know that I spoke to many members who were not able to run for council but really expressed interest in getting involved.
September is here, and so with it the Fall. At AU, there is 12 months of intake, so this is not necessarily a new time for all of you. But these are the ending times of the year, and time for celebration if you’re finishing your course(s) or starting one.
There has been a lot going on in the month of August, and most likely for September. For my own schedule, I have been busy with meetings for AU and for AUSU. But I even managed to sign up for some courses too, so if you’re in courses this round, then I am with you (and feel your excitement!).
At AUSU, there’s been a lot ongoing. The big thing happening for AUSU has been our proposed bylaw revisions and the consultations involved in those. If you look at the revisions, the main changes include an increase from 9 to 13 councillors, revisions to the sections on the membership fees and The Voice Magazine, an addition outlining the responsibilities of the executive director, signing authority regulations, and the addition of a strategic plan of AUSU. Continue Reading
My first post for the AUSU Executive Blog, for June 2017 – what topic? Community & gratitude. Okay, that’s two topics, but a worthwhile combined topic to me. When I reflect on the nature of AU, and listening to the continual concerns of the AU community, one of the large ones is community.
AU comes from the newer tradition of distance and online education and holds the title of a “Global Pioneer” in open, online, and distance education.I feel honored to serve students, as their needs arise. In reflection on a proper topic to write for the Executive Blog, I looked at previous posts.
I wanted to gauge the reported concerns and hopes for the community from the view of AUSU executives, past and present. Some of the topics included, in one word, waiting, advocacy, representation, AU, cheating, surveys, requirements, vacation, and affordability – more or less.¹Continue Reading
A large role of AUSU, especially the executive members, is to meet with AU on a regular basis and express the voice of the members. The list of things that we discuss is very long, and I like to think that it includes all the topics that are important to the members that I am elected to represent. I take this role very seriously, and hope that I can affect some change for the good for current and future AU students.
AUSU membership is both diverse and dispersed across the country and beyond. It is difficult to engage everyone, and AUSU has a staff member and a committee devoted to improving engagement. Continue Reading
Would You Knowingly Cheat?
I was hoping that my turn writing the executive blog would be a bright and cheery one with the holidays fast approaching, and a well-deserved break from school and work for some of us. But really, how would I fill a whole page with holiday wishes? It seems it would be a better use of this space to give you some really important information that could save you from accusations of academic misconduct. Sounds serious, doesn’t it?
One of the hot topics at AU and across post-secondary institutions recently is plagiarism and cheating. Continue Reading
If you have children, I am sure your house has been filled with lots of activity and excitement this week as summer vacation ends and the new school year begins. If you are like me, you are probably feeling a sense of relief that order will (hopefully) be restored in your household and that the predictability of the school year routine will soon set in.
But, if you are an AU student, you may not follow a traditional semester and you may not have had a traditional summer break. That’s why I love AU! It can fit into everyone’s schedule.
For myself, I would love to tell you how I worked hard all summer and completed numerous courses with top marks. But, that’s not what happened. I trucked along at my normal pace, with the motto that slow and steady gets the grades.
As an AUSU executive councillor, summer is an exciting time for different reasons. It’s the wrap up of the current year goals list, and the proposal of next year’s goals list. Continue Reading
I found out early on in my AU studies that I am not much of a writer, which is why I switched from a B.Psych degree to a business program. I try to avoid classes with essays as much as possible. But, here I am, creatively writing a blog for AUSU and spending way too much time just trying to decide on a topic. Then I realized that the problem is that I have way too much to write about!
The one thing that has been on my mind the most lately is our upcoming in-person council meeting in Edmonton from June 24-26. I’m not even exactly sure what to call it. We have been referring to it as a council working retreat but as the agenda has been filling up and the multitude of background documents have been collected, I am happy to see that this is going to be way more on the working side, and very little on the retreat side.Continue Reading
Many AU students have either read or heard something regarding the sustainability of the university, or the rumors that it may have to close its doors. This information is very troubling to students as AU plays such a vital role in the lives of those who attend it. While it is still true that the university is unsustainable at this time, there has been a lot of recent support given towards AU from the government, including a statement that AU will not be closing!
On April 5 AUSU and AUGSA executives were able to meet with the Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt to discuss the current situation of AU. We had three items on our Agenda that we wanted to discuss. The items were as follows:
- The importance and uniqueness of Athabasca University,
- Funding to AU and the detriment of uncertainty, and
- An invitation for Minister Schmidt to attend convocation.