The final countdown has begun, and with just two days until voting begins, the 2008 Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU) election promises to be unique in council history.
From March 9 ? 12, AUSU members will have the chance to select their representatives for the nine positions on council, and the range of candidates is nothing short of amazing.
AUSU elections are held every two years, and the field of candidates usually numbers around 20. But this year, there is a record-setting total of 78 names on the ballot. With such a wide range of candidates, It’s not surprising that the dialogue surrounding this election has been lively.
On the AUSU website, each candidate has the opportunity to introduce themselves and outline their experience and ideas. Several candidates have created campaign posters, and the issues and platforms are as diverse as AU’s membership: increased affordability for post-secondary education; student email addresses; dispelling distance-education myths; increased student-tutor communication; increased bursaries and scholarships; peer mentoring; and national credit-transfer standards, just to name a few.
All AUSU members are eligible to vote, so if that means you, get your mouse ready! The polls open on Sunday, March 9, and close Wednesday, March 12. The electronic ballots will be available through the AUSU website (you’ll need to log in to access the ballot), and a special newsletter is on its way to members, with all the info they’ll need to make sure their voices are heard in the election.
The Chief Returning Officer for this year’s election is Rehan Qureshi, and results will be announced once he has completed the official count.
But the preparations don’t stop with the final tally. The current council has been busy making sure that everything is in order for new members. Transition documents are being prepared to help new councillors adjust to their roles, and a special interim meeting will be held (including both current and new council members) to announce the election results and officially welcome the incoming AUSU council.
The changeover must take place within 30 days of the official election results, and council bylaws provide for a two-week period in which the results can be contested. After the new council has been working together for 30 days, internal elections are held to select the executive group: the President, VP External and Student Affairs, and VP Finance and Administration.
Whether You’re a full-time AU program student, attending part-time, or taking occasional courses toward a program at another university, It’s important to remember the vital role AUSU plays in your experience at AU. Council members advocate on students? behalf, meet with university staff to discuss new ideas and ongoing issues, and act as student representatives on AU committees, including the Budget Advisory Committee, Finance Committee, Awards Committee, and more.
So if You’re eligible to vote, circle March 9 ? 12 on your calendar. See you at the polls!