First on the docket of this month’s AUSU council meeting was AU’s current standards of quality; I think we’ve all received the green, photocopied Student Handbooks with our course materials, and some students have even received photocopied versions of textbooks. Rest assured, the situation is being looked into, and a letter to AU will be submitted, inquiring on the situation.
Also on the agenda was student-instructor relationships; instances of students hiring outside tutors have been a source of concern, and the council will be examining measures in which to make it easier for students to access the assistance they need, and recover AU student-tutor connections. Additionally, the council wants your feedback, and will be posting corresponding questions on AUSU website polls. You are encouraged to offer your opinion – after all, it’s the quality of your education. More information on this topic will be coming, I’m sure.
The council also received a proposal from the Canadian Federation of Students, a national union that would provide AU students with internationally recognized student I.D. cards, presenting full-time students with 25-35% discounts with ViaRail and Greyhound Bus Lines, Air Canada, and other travel discounts, working with TravelCuts and various international hotels. For part-time students, the CFS provides a Student Saver Discount Card, which offers coupons and discounts for local communities. While these offers are mostly campus-based, there would be online elements, like TravelCuts.com, for distance ed students.
The Canadian Federation also offers the Student Work Abroad Program, National Student Health Insurance, and is an affiliate of Homesforstudents.com, a website offering a searchable database of student housing for your area.
To join the Canadian Federation of Students would require a fee of $3.60 per student, per semester. To do the math on that one would equal a 72 cent increase on your tuition invoice for every course (based on a 5-course-per-semester example.) AUSU likes the idea of these benefits for students, but the council has made no commitment, though they have heard propositions from a similar organization. If AUSU were to consider membership to the CFS, a student referendum would be applied first, and based on student vote, would go from there.
Finally, I’m happy to report that something is being done about the AUSU forums. The council has given the go-ahead to transfer the forums to new a new format and/or server. Some existing forum threads will be archived, while older ones may be deleted, so it is suggested that if there are threads students wish to preserve, they save them at their earliest convenience.
Stephanie Antscherl is an AU student providing student coverage of AUSU council meetings. She is not affiliated with AUSU. For more information on any AUSU initiative, please contact council.