Councillors at AUSU are elected every two years in a general election open to all undergraduate students currently taking any AU course. The most recent general election was on March 14, 2022, the next to follow in Spring of 2024.
Student FAQs About Serving on Council
What technology do I need to perform in these roles?
Ideally you will have a computer or smart device that can run the Zoom application for video conferencing, as well as good internet connection.
Are accommodations available for those with disabilities, chronic illness, neurodiversity, or other accessibility needs?
Yes, AUSU incorporates an Accessibility Officer for all Council and committee meetings that assists Councillors with accommodations that may be required.
How do I request the available accommodations for my accessibility needs?
The first step would be to discuss them with the AUSU Executive Director who also serves as the Accessibility Officer for our meetings. We will try and accommodate any need you might have.
I have children and/or dependents. What happens if they are seen or heard on camera during a meeting?
Most likely other participants will wave and say hi. Athabasca University students come from all sorts of backgrounds and it is common to see pets, children, and other family members on camera – that is more than acceptable, as are brief moments for you to step away as needed.
How long must students attend AU before self-nominating for Students’ Council or the Indigenous Circle at AUSU?
Students must have successfully completed at least one (1) undergraduate course at Athabasca University and be currently taking at least one (1) course at the time of self-nominations.
I’m not familiar with how universities work. How do I know if I’m qualified?
We need students from all backgrounds and demographics, and no prerequisite knowledge is needed to be a successful Councillor or Indigenous Circle member. AUSU’s professional staff along with the Executive Committee will ensure that you are well briefed and prepared to participate.
How should I choose whether to run for Student Council or the Indigenous Circle at AUSU?
If you identify as an Indigenous student – run for both! They do different things, so one isn’t a replacement for the other. Although there can be only one “ISC rep on Council”, there’s no maximum on how many can be on both.
How far in advance are meetings scheduled?
Council meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month. The Indigenous Circle and most committee meetings are set about a month in advance after polling members to find a time that works for most.
What times are meetings typically held?
Most meetings are held in the early evening in the Mountain time zone, between 4:00pm and 8:00pm. Council has an informal session that starts at 5:30pm Mountain time and the formal session starts at 6:30pm Mountain time.
What happens if I have to miss a meeting?
Everyone at AUSU understands that life get in the way of some meetings – Councillors and Indigenous Circle members may be absent from time to time. AUSU policy addresses what happens in the event of persistent absences, which could include removal.
What sort of things will I be doing?
Most meetings involve a mix of reading, listening, speaking, and making decisions. These decisions can range from how AUSU operates, what AUSU should advocate to AU or the government for, and articulating what students need from the university itself.
Will I be meeting with AU faculty and staff?
Typically no, just with other students and AUSU staff – however from time to time Athabasca University will present or consult with the Indigenous Circle or Council at the regularly scheduled meetings.
Does the Student Councillor role involve public speaking?
Most Councillors will not have to speak publicly, however participation in the discussions at Council meetings is expected. Executive Committee roles may involve some public speaking in online meetings.
How much time is required of Councillors and Circle Members?
Students’ Council meets once a month and the Indigenous Circle meets once every three months. Some light reading is required before most meetings and the meetings themselves are between 2-3 hours long, depending on the agenda. There are additional opportunities to do committee work or participate in AUSU events, but they are not mandatory commitments and their time requirements are made clear before signing up.
Will I be compensated for my time?
Yes! Meeting honoraria is provided for all meetings attended.
How much work is there to do between meetings?
For most Councillors and Indigenous Circle members, very little work is needed between meetings, limited to some email and chat conversations, and some light reading. Other opportunities such as sitting on the Executive Committee have much more work between meetings as they are full-time student positions within AUSU.
You can find more on AUSU election governance in our bylaws and Section 3.0 of our policies. Any questions can be directed to Duncan Wojtaszek, Governance and Advocacy Coordinator, at [email protected].