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!