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Thank You, AUSU
This letter has been a long time coming, but student life can be so busy! I am a student at Athabasca University and so is my husband. We have three fantastic kids who love rearranging the magnets that we got in our Student Gift Packs. The first semester that my husband was at school, we had no idea that there was a Students’ Union. Earlier this year, when we were having some problems, I was at the Calgary Learning Center and I noticed a copy of the Voice. When I read it, I thought it must be too good to be true! When I got home I went on the internet and spent time browsing the site. I had an assignment due in one of my courses, (titled something like, “Life as an Athabasca Student”) and I edited it to include a section about AUSU. It has been months since then, and I still find the site so important. If I am feeling bad about something I like to visit the discussion boards. Getting a degree through distance learning can be an isolating experience and just being able to click on the AUSU site and read about other students going through similar things makes me feel better.
I know that Shirley Barg is no longer on the council, but she was such a big help to me and my family. She often called me at home for more information about certain problems we were having and never complained when I went on and on about something that was bothering me. Through her caring attitude she made me see that AUSU is there to give support to students who are feeling overwhelmed and lost by attending a university, which for some, is only accessible by phone or plane. I miss her but I know that the current members all have something special about them also.
Recently, we had a serious problem with our house and we lost a lot of food and some of our appliances. None of it could be claimed on our insurance. Again, AUSU bailed us out when we applied for an Emergency Bursary.
Christine and Tamra were so nice and patient with us and their kindness will not be forgotten. My children have become familiar with the names and people at Athabasca and whenever we mention AUSU, they smile, (and it’s not just because they love the magnets). We are all alone, without family and friends in a new province and anyone who has helped us during this time has made a real impression on our children, especially the oldest one.
In short, I want to thank you for working to help others. So often, nowadays, people are mainly concerned with themselves and their own welfare. AUSU is not just some organization that pretends to care about their students, they really do care.
Thank you from my entire family,