The AUSU election is an opportunity for AU students to elect their AUSU student council, who in turn elect their AUSU executive council (President, VP External and Student Affairs, and VP Finance and Administration).
Our most recent election was held in March 2020. We had 16 Athabasca University students running for council, with 13 council seats available. All AU undergraduate students were eligible to vote for their student council from February 25 to March 2, 2020 (11:59pm MT) and were sent the ballot by email.
What do AUSU councillors do?
AUSU councillors represent Athabasca University undergraduates students and advocate on their behalf. They also guide and direct the students’ union organization through its mission, vision, and values. Councillors attend council and committee meetings by teleconference, develop strategic plans, policies, bylaws, an annual budget, and more. AUSU councillors serve for a two-year term. You can find out more about councillor responsibilities in the following AUSU policy:
– AUSU Policy 2.14 Councillor Responsibility and Honoraria
In addition, three executive positions are internally elected every year from the elected councillors. The executive positions consist of the President, VP External and Student Affairs, and VP Finance and Administration, with competitive remuneration. You can find out more about the executive positions in the following AUSU policies:
– AUSU Policy 2.03 Responsibilities of Executive Officers
– AUSU Policy 2.15 Executive Accountability and Compensation.
The day-to-day operations of AUSU are run by a dedicated team of 5 staff members (3 full-time, 2 part-time), but the organization is student-led by the elected council and executives.
Why Should you Vote in the AUSU Election?
AUSU impacts your experience as a distance education student at AU, no matter where you study from or how engaged you are.
AUSU council guides and directs your students’ union in its mandate to provide services, support, and advocacy for AU students and is part of creating an online AU student community.
There are a lot of important topics for AUSU to tackle in the upcoming two years, including:
- Tuition increase of 7% for 20-21, with potential 7% increases for 2 more years
- New AU Virtual Learning Environment with major online infrastructure changes
- Service standards and timelines at Athabasca University
- Relevance and competitiveness of distance education
The students you elect to council will sitting at the table with the AU administration and meeting with government officials, influencing the decisions being made regarding these important topics.
AUSU council also guides and directs your students’ union in its mandate to provide services, support, and advocacy for AU students and is part of creating an online AU student community. The students you elect to student council will be the ones deciding what priorities AUSU focuses on.
Your vote helps determine who sits on council and impacts YOUR AU experience.
How does the Election work?
AUSU is the AU Students’ Union, and represents the undergraduate students of Athabasca University (the “membership”). The AUSU membership elects thirteen (13) AU students to represent them on AUSU student council for a term of 2 years.
Students were invited to nominate themselves to run for council from January 24, 2020 to February 7, 2020. The official candidates will be announced on February 12, 2020.
Candidates can campaign to the membership prior to and during the election period. Campaigning will include candidate biographies on our website, and candidates may also campaign through the AU Student Mobile App, on the AUSU Forum, or social media. The AUSU website will be kept up to date with campaign and candidate information, and regular updates will be posted to social media as well as circulated to all AUSU members by email.
Voting will be done by electronic ballot, which will be circulated to all AUSU members on February 25, 2020. Voting closes on March 2, 2020 at midnight Mountain Time. A public teleconference meeting will be held on March 5, 2020 to announce the election results, following which the election results will also be posted online.
The executive election is held internally by the newly elected council following the general election. In 2020, the executive election took place on March 27, 2020.
The new council, including executives, will officially take office during the April 16, 2020 council meeting.
The complete election rules are outlined in AUSU Policy 3.01: Election Conduct.
For more information about AUSU elections and election procedures, please review section 3 of the AUSU policy manual, which can be found online here.
For more information about councillor roles, responsibilities, and honorarium, please review section 2 of the AUSU policy manual, found online here.
For any other questions about the 2020 General Election, election, please contact the 2020 Chief Returning Officer, Bailey Daines, at [email protected].