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[re: Editorial – Dec 10, 2003 – v11 i50]
Being distance education learners, AU students are at a disadvantage in certain areas. One of these areas is making your opinion heard and The Voice editor, Tamra Ross Low, addressed this in last week’s editorial.
Being physically removed from student contact can be a deterrent in speaking for or against issues that affect you as a student. Some of these issues can also include your student government. Tamra raised some important issues about the role of The Voice in airing these concerns.
The Voice is an important vehicle for AUSU members (a member is any active AU student) to voice opinions and concerns about AUSU activities, whether negative or positive. At no time should anyone be concerned that their criticism won’t be printed or taken seriously. As Tamra pointed out, The Voice is funded by AUSU but is still an independent publication in the sense The Voice has autonomy over content. The Voice also is an acting “watchdog” for AUSU by being the medium that students can access and use.
I would like to stress that I am not speaking on behalf of council in this letter to the editor, but rather as an individual councillor (but I’m sure the rest of council will agree with the message). So as an individual councillor I would like to say: Please, please, and please feel free to critique council on their operations by using The Voice or even the message forums on the home page. To stay informed on operations and the current happenings please attend as many council meetings as you can (even if you can stay for only a portion of it) and ask AUSU councillors as many questions as you want. Speaking for or against council operations is common in other universities (the University of Lethbridge even has a councillor rating survey on their website!) and Athabasca University should not be the exception.
With elections coming up soon, now is even more important to brush up on AUSU’s current operations and projects. So criticize, suggest, support and ask away! Use all and any means available to you. This is what Athabasca University Students Union is here for.