Bravo to the Voice Editor for speaking out on the sensitive issue of the relationship between a university and its students’ union (http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/featuredisplay.php?ART=1854). It’s important to forge and maintain good working relationships between the two whenever possible. Those relationships, however, should not be what drives the actions of a students’ union. Building the relationship between a students’ union and its members must always be the ultimate goal.
I have to admit that during my term on Council, I’ve been guilty of sometimes putting the interests of AU ahead of the interests of the members, rationalizing it to myself by saying that if its good for the university it will then be of benefit to our members. This was the result of my initial contact with AUSU Council coming at a time when there had been some erosion of the working relationship between past Councillors and a handful of AU admin staff. But, as I grew more confident in my role as a Councillor, an AUSU Executive member, and a representative of AU students at provincial level, I came to fully recognize that I am a voice of students and that I must never compromise that trust they have placed in me–even if it meant setting the AU/AUSU relationship aside to deal with crucial issues for students.