From the Gallery – AUSU AGM 2008

On Saturday, March 8, the lines lit up for the 15th annual AUSU Annual General Meeting!

Including council, a total of 22 AUSU members dialled in, and the topics ranged from budget issues to online course evaluations.

After the agenda and 2007 AGM minutes were approved, the floor was opened for members to discuss the financial reports (you can check out all the details here, in the 2008 Annual Report).

This was a hot topic, and members inquired about several items on the report, including surpluses in the awards (a lack of applications for some bursaries, such as travel), newsletter (high staff turnover meant extra newsletter editions werenft produced), and representation sections (after considering membership in various student groups, council determined that strategic alliances would see better results than full membership).

Another highlight followed the finance discussion: although it won’t affect the 2008 AUSU election, item 7.0 on the agenda saw a motion put forward to amend Article 9 of the bylaws; specifically, a clarification of the criteria outlining who can run for council in future elections.

Currently, the bylaws state that “any active member in good standing, who has completed a minimum of 3 AU undergraduate credits, and does not fall into any of the exceptions noted under the rights of Active Members may submit to Council a self-nomination . . .”

There was a lively discussion of the pros and cons of keeping the criteria in place for prospective councillors to have completed at least one undergraduate course. A vote was held, and the motion to remove that condition was defeated by a margin of 15 to seven.

As well, a second motion clarifying councillor eligibility was approved, this time 20 to two. The second motion saw a change to Article 4.2, Rights of Members. For consistency, item c) in section 4.2.1 will be amended to read “run for a position on council, pursuant to the conditions in 9.2 . . .”

Just a reminder: the clarification on eligibility for council doesn’t affect this year’s election, but it’s worth remembering for those who decide to throw their hats into the ring in 2010!

With the main items on the agenda wrapped up, the meeting was adjourned and the floor opened up for general discussion. It was easy to see the enthusiasm and sense of community that AU students have for our school.

Everyone was willing to listen, to share ideas, and to express their commitment to staying (or getting) involved in order to make the AU experience the best it can be, whether that meant a position on council, helping fellow students on the AUSU discussion boards, or filling out the online course evaluations.

With some great proposals out there (including Olympic-hopeful funding, working with the Graduate Student Society, and an AUSU podcast), the next two years promise to be busy ones for council. See you next time, From the Gallery.

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