Response to Life at The Top by Debbie Jabbour

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Letter to the Editor, The Voice

In her December 10 article, “Life at the Top,” (The Voice, Volume 11 Issue 50) AUSU President Debbie Jabbour wrote about a decision of Council with which she disagreed. Since the minutes of AUSU Council meetings are not yet posted on the AUSU web site, I’d like to present readers with some details about the discussion and subsequent decision.

In March of this year, the AUSU President told Council that AU had received some additional funding from the Alberta government and AU wanted to use these funds “in conjunction with a re-allocation of budget money that was intended to support multiple-course-takers” to reduce the out-of-province student fee charged to AU students living outside of Alberta. The President asked Council to direct her on how she should speak to it at the next Governing Council meeting.

In the above cited Voice article, students may get the perception that Council was unilaterally opposed to reducing fees for students and voted against it. That’s not the case, however.

At our March 20 meeting when this question came forward, Council felt that if AU had extra funds to allocate, it should be used toward student services or fee reductions that would benefit all AU students, not just a particular segment of the student population. The following sentence is from the approved minutes of the March 20, 2003: “It was generally decided that AUSU will not agree to a selective reduction in out of province fees, however, will support a reduction of general fees that would benefit all AU students equally.”

As elected representatives of AU students we try to always be cognizant of the fact that we’re the voice for students across Canada, including those in Alberta.

Shirley Barg