AUSU Annual General Meeting: A Recap

In the midst of the recent controversy surrounding all things post-secondary, there’s some good news: The AUSU Annual General Meeting, which took place via teleconference on Wednesday, April 10, showed that the undergraduate students’ union is in good shape financially and is working diligently advocating for its student members and creating new and exciting opportunities.

All members of Council were in attendance, and a quorum was established. The meeting moved quickly through various housekeeping items and on to bigger topics, like the financial status of AUSU, a proposed change to the by-laws, and an outline of some of the things AUSU’s been working on the past year.

VP Finance Jason Nixon presented AUSU’s current and projected financial situation. At a time when budgetary woes are hitting post-secondary education hard, AUSU has been financially stable, ending the fiscal year with a surplus (despite the costs associated with the new offices). Nixon noted that AUSU is in a ?strong position financially,? with funds sufficient ?to take care of members? needs? and ?to grow.?

The next order of business was amendments to the by-laws. While one amendment merely corrected a typo, the other was more significant. AUSU is committed to serving its members, and to do that more effectively It’s necessary to adjust by-laws to reflect current realities. Under the Post-Secondary Learning Act, graduate students aren’t represented by undergraduate students’ unions. AUSU has a unique situation, as many graduate students take undergraduate courses and therefore are eligible for AUSU membership. AUSU will continue representing graduate students who are otherwise eligible for AUSU membership; however, these individuals will no longer be able to run for Council if they are ?defined by AU as a graduate student.?

The reasoning? Because of the Post-Secondary Learning Act, a graduate student, if elected to Council, would not be eligible to sit on committees at AU as AUSU representatives. The by-law was amended in order to allow Council to more fully serve its members. Council will be reviewing its policies to cover the unique situation of future Council members who may apply for a graduate program during their term on Council.

After the amendments to the by-laws were passed, the discussion turned to an outline of what AUSU’s been doing this year. One of the most exciting projects has been coordinating AUSU member access to Lynda.com, an online database of professionally produced tutorials and training videos covering software from basic computer literacy to more specialized products, like Adobe Creative Suite. There are also videos and material on business skills, career development, and even basic software installation.

Although normally student access to Lynda.com costs $375, because AUSU has purchased a three-year license to Lynda.com, access to tutorials and training are now completely free to AUSU members. So far the response from both members and AU personnel has been overwhelmingly positive.

AUSU is continuing to make the service more visible to students, including coordinating advertising with AU departments and ?creating viewing lists grouped by topics and area of interest,? according to AUSU Executive Director Tamra Ross.

Although the official announcement will be rolled out very soon, AUSU members can access the tutorials and training now: visit the AUSU forums for more information on how to set up your Lynda.com account.

What’s next for AUSU? This year Council has continued to be busy with member advocacy and project development, but It’s full of new and exciting ideas for the future. AUSU will soon be entering its planning phase for the year, the time when it will consider still better ways to serve its members.

Got some ideas of your own? Have an issue you need resolved? Want clarification on some of what AUSU offers? AUSU wants to hear from you! Email the office at ausu@ausu.org.

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