VOICE CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS – Simon Davenport

AUSU COUNCIL CANDIDATE – Simon Davenport
See http://www.ausu.org/election/candidates.php for a list of all of the candidates.

How did you first become aware of AUSU Council, and why do you want to be a part of council in 2004?

I first became aware of the AUSU Council when I joined AU in September 2003; I was browsing the AU website and found the AUSU website. I recently attended the AUSU Council meeting in a non-participant capacity and found it very illuminating.

I have been involved with student groups and unions before and I feel that I can use this experience as an asset to the Council.

I would like to become a part of the Council in 2004 in order to serve the AU student body.

Tell me a little about your experience with distance education: How many AU or distance ed courses have you completed, and what have you found hardest, or most rewarding, about distance study.

My experience with distance education is study at AU. I am currently enrolled on a Bachelor in General Studies and have completed one of my course subjects and am toward the end of my second subject. I have transferred 42 credits from a previous post -secondary education qualification towards my total of 90 credits.

The most rewarding aspect about distance study is the flexibility of the studying process. By this, I mean that I can pick up my books whenever I wish to.

What role, if any, has AUSU played in your AU experience so far? If AUSU has not played a role, what could it have done to facilitate your learning?

The AUSU has played a vital role in my AU experience, as it is an excellent source of relevant information for people studying at AU.

I have received the AUSU publications, subscribe to The Voice and visit and use the AUSU website on a regular basis; the website contains a wealth of information and contacts.

What work or life experience(s) have you had that you feel will be particularly valuable to you in working with council?

I have been privileged to be able to travel the world extensively and seen many different cultures and peoples.

I have also worked in a variety of sectors, both public and private, that has necessitated me to work with a wide variety of individuals, groups and organizations as well as develop my inter-personal skills.

Since a very early age, I have been actively involved with the playing, coaching and refereeing of sports and in particular football (I have to get used to calling it soccer).

If someone were to ask you why they should choose to attend AU, over other universities, what would you tell them?

I would tell them that if you want a rewarding, flexible, home study programme for your studies, then AU is one to consider attending. It is a cost effective way for people to go to university without having to leave the comfort of their own home.

Speaking generally, what do you feel is the primary role of a students’ union (i.e., student advocacy, services, financial support, etc)?

A students union is there to represent and further the interests of students. The emphasis should be focused upon the educational interests of its members and ensuring that students have the maximum possible influence on the operation and development of AU.

The students’ union role is to co-ordinate the organisation of social and welfare activities for its members to promote and represent the educational interests of all students as members of AU.

Is there one, most important thing that you want to do for AU students as a member of council?

As a member of the council, I would see my first and foremost role as being a representative of the AU student body – that, in a nutshell, is the most important thing that I would want to do for AU students.

Working with AUSU council means working with a group. What do you see as the benefits and/or disadvantages of working as a part of a large group or board, rather than as an individual.

The benefits of working as a part of a large group or board, that I see, are that as group, individual’s skills can be incorporated for the common good; it is all about being able to negotiate, co-operate and develop a team-working environment in order to tackle specific topics and issues.

The ability to gain a consensus from those involved means that all view points have been represented within the decision making process. The old adage that two sets of eyes are better than one proves that working within a group environment is of definite benefit.

If conflicts do arise within a group environment, then these can and should be remedied by a little give and take by those involved. A little bit of diplomacy if you will.

See the February 25th (v12 i08) and the March 3rd (v12 i09) editions of The Voice for interviews with candidates Lonita Fraser, Melanie Gray, Stacey Steele, Cindy Stobbe, Joy Krys, Teresa Neuman, and Shannon Maguire.

The pdf versions of these issues are available at: http://www.ausu.org/voice/pdf/pdflist.php

The interviews are also available online at:
Lonita Fraser: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2597
Melanie Gray: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2598
Stacey Steele: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2599
Cindy Stobbe: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2626
Joy Krys: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2627
Teresa Neuman: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2628
Shannon Maguire: http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/articledisplay.php?ART=2629

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